Featured in Tasmanian Country Newspaper 20th May 2022
I am sure we are all aware that tomorrow is the federal election. Five weeks ago, TFGA launched its key election priorities called “TFGA’s Call to Action – Just Act”. We sent this to the two major parties plus the Greens. This week we compare their responses and policies in relation to ours.
It is good to see that all Parties are very supportive of Tasmania’s irrigation development. Over the past fourteen years, since its inception, Tasmanian Irrigation has taken on a number of existing irrigation schemes, constructed 15 new ones, and now has a further six at various stages of planning and development. We are asking for a commitment to fund these six schemes along the same lines as the last 15 in a Federal government, State government and private partnership over a five-year period. While the Labour Party is the only one to put a dollar figure on it ($ 100 Million) the other parties are fully supportive.
Both the Coalition and the Greens are in support of an expanded AgVisa scheme, our aim is to sign up ten countries in the next six months. They are also both in favour of our Sustainable Agriculture Recognition System (SARS), which will help Australian Agriculture, demonstrate sustainability in the market value chain and to society more broadly.
All parties seem very strong toward Biosecurity. With the spread of Lumpy Skin Disease and Foot and Mouth disease more recently in Indonesia it is good to see such a high priority placed on Australia’s biosecurity to help keep these and other diseases out, or in the event we do have an outbreak, we are prepared and will be able to get back to business quickly.
The Forestry sector will attract investment from whoever forms Government next week, specifically in relation to plantation development and increasing wood supply for the construction industry. The Greens however have a long-standing policy to transition out of native forest logging. This is something many of our members have an issue with as they consider sustainable harvesting of native timber to be an important part of their business.
On a final note, all parties are committed to better connectivity for rural and regional Australia. While Labour will specifically roll out more optic fibre, they will all invest to expand the mobile network.
Here at TFGA it is not our place to tell anyone who to vote for, we are an a-political organisation and will work with the government of the day. It is our place however to point out the policies of the parties and what they might mean. I hope this has given you some insight into their policies. Happy voting.