The announcement on Thursday 1 April by Premier Gutwein of the creation of a nation-leading Tasmanian Agricultural Precinct in Launceston, by a re-elected majority Gutwein Liberal Government has been welcomed by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA).

TFGA CEO, John McKew, attended the announcement last week at the UTAS Campus, Newnham, on the invitation of Minister Barnett, noted that any opportunity for increased collaboration and communication between the Department, UTAS and the state’s agricultural sector had the potential to deliver significant benefits. Mr McKew also commented that the extra investment of $15 million into state-of-the-art research facilities at the new precinct was especially exciting. This investment will help to drive further innovation across Tasmanian agriculture, leading to increase on-farm productivity and profitability. The TFGA is absolutely committed to research and innovation.

Farmers have a well-deserved reputation for innovation in primary production and Australia has plenty of examples of innovative ideas, concepts and products being implemented from within the sheds, paddocks and workshops of farms. We need to continue to foster and promote research and innovation, this is one of the best ways to solve problems and improve productivity and this announcement provides a demonstrable commitment to that ongoing need.

While there is much still to be planned to bring to fruition a Tasmanian Agricultural Precinct in Launceston, the TFGA will work to support the initiative. Tasmanian agriculture has been a beacon of economic success but will need extra Government support and investment over coming years to reach the target of a farmgate value of $ 10 billion by 2050 and the TFGA stands ready to work with government to make the target a reality.