Victoria is the food bowl of our nation.
From the orchard rows in the Goulburn Valley come the peaches and pears that fill our children’s lunchboxes. From the dairies in Gippsland and South West comes the milk that fills our coffee and cereal. The Mallee has long produced some of the world’s best citrus, while the staples of our pantries come directly from the paddocks filled with wheat, barley, canola and more.
Our agriculture industry is about so much more, and to continue producing the very best, we must protect one of our most precious assets – our soil.
The Liberals and Nationals always have been and always will be the party for farmers and our agricultural sector.
Our agricultural sector is already strong, but we want to make it even stronger.
That’s why a Matt Guy Liberals and Nationals Government will develop a $100 million plan to better prepare Victorian soil to adapt to changing environments.
By establishing a new regional Victorian collaborative research centre, VicSoil, we will bring primary producers and researchers together to better manage Victoria’s most critical environmental assets.
The plan will see $100 million delivered over 10 years to research better ways of productively and sustainably managing soils, linking VicSoil with the national Soil Cooperative Research Centre to build on existing partnerships.
Our agricultural industry keeps around 150,000 Victorians in a job, and produces an economic output worth more than $17.8 billion.
Soil is the foundation. It is where our food and fibre starts.
It is vital that we ensure our soils are rich and productive so Victoria remains the nation’s food bowl. But more than that, we must protect our soil to protect Victorian lives and livelihoods.
Leader of the Liberal Party, Matt Guy, said VicSoil will protect the future of agriculture in Victoria.
“Our plan is a real solution to strengthen Victoria’s vital agricultural sector”, Mr Guy said.
“Working at the Victorian Farmers Federation in my 20’s, I got to see first-hand the vibrant and diverse agricultural industry that lives in our great state.”
“This commitment means the latest research in soil environmental benefits will make its way into practice sooner, and working with the national Soil CRC also means Victoria can collaborate with researchers and industry around Australia.”
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said effective soil management was the key to ensuring future farming is adaptable to changing environments.
“Soil underpins our agricultural industry, research and constant improvement is vital to the future of the industry,” Mr Walsh said.
“VicSoil will bring some of the best minds together which means farmers and growers will have access to the latest research right here in Victoria.”
“This plan will deliver innovative solutions for farmers in a changing environment, but also play a critical role in Victoria reaching its emission reduction targets.”
“Our farmers need innovative ways to achieve their net zero ambitions and to protect our natural environment.”
“This is a way to help protect our environment as well as improve the productivity and profitability of Victoria’s agriculture industry.”