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White paper ‘must be rolled out in full’

THE government must not back way from the commitments made in the nation’s road map for agricultural growth in the upcoming budget, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) says.
Nanjing Night Net

The organisation said the 2016/17 federal budget, due to be handed down on May 3, must deliver the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper in full, to allow the Australian rural sector to perform to its full ability in the global market.

NFF president Brent Finlay said, while the industry understood there were limited fundsavailable in the government’s coffers, a commitment to deliver the white paper with no cost reductions was crucial.

“We understand there will be limited short-term cash to put on the table and that $4 billion was allocated to develop the white paper, but the roadmap of practical actions to grow the agriculture industry must be rolled out in full,” MrFinlay said.

“To not follow through with delivery would be a wasted opportunity to drive growth in the agriculture sector.”

The NFF said extending the Mobile Blackspot Program, committing to the inland rail and reforming the backpacker tax were among the key budget issues.

Mr Finlay said there must also be commitments that stand the bipartisan test and contribute to the long-term robustness and profitability of the sector, including trade, workforce, research and development, innovation and climate change.

“Agriculture is one of the drivers of the Australian economy, with potential to significantly increase this contribution as demand for our product grows, but, to do this, we must be able to maintain and build our competitive advantage,” Mr Finlay said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.