Food Security

The Nationals Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Food Security, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon. John Cobb has today announced the Coalition's plan to secure the nations food security.

"The Nationals recognise that food and water security are already becoming the defining issues of the 21st century, and food producers in the Riverina are coming under enormous pressure to increase productivity while using fewer natural resources," Mr McCormack said.

"Here in the Riverina, our farmers are amongst the worlds leaders in thinking strategically about food production and have for many years led the way in developing efficient and sustainable food production systems.

"Many of the world's traditional food and fibre producing areas face issues such as urban spread, desertification and declining water resources, resulting in fewer areas available for food and fibre production.

"This is why the Riverina is so vitally important to our food security. I cannot stress this enough!

Under the plan announced by The Nationals Shadow Minister John Cobb, the Coalition will boost Australian agriculture.

The plan includes Increased Research and Development for primary production funding of $150million over three years; A $5 million four-year scientist/researchers pilot programme offering grants of up to $50,000 for specialised research, mentoring or further study; Grants totalling $50 million over four years for farmers undertaking water-saving activities for stock use; $20 million over four years towards a large scale Feral Animal Control Programme; A Saltbush Planting Programme to provide up to $100,000 matched dollar for dollar per annum per farm enterprise and up to $250,000 per established nursery per annum; $8 million for a "third party" auditable map of Australia's Agricultural Production carbon footprint; $2 million for a "Green Tape" audit of all environmental legislation and regulations; $15 million for a Bio-security Flying Squad to provide urgent additional resources when a bio-security risk is identified.

"Border security will be given rightful recognition as opposed to the current situation under Labor with an additional $108.1 million allocated to Bio-security and Customs agencies, which will give support to our local industries including apple growers," Mr McCormack said.

Cristy Houghton