darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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August 30, 2013

Concerns raised during a recent farming forum have been addressed as part of the Coalition’s agriculture policy.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Coalition has released a plan which centres around building farm and agribusiness profitability.

“Our plan focuses on research and development funding; integration of agriculture into school curriculums; and the strengthening biosecurity and quarantine measures,” Mr Chester said.

“All of these issues were raised by farmers when Shadow Agriculture Minister John Cobb recently visited Gippsland.

“$100 million for Rural Research and Development Corporations will provide greater capacity to deliver cutting edge technology to continue applied research and focus on innovation.

“A Biosecurity Flying Squad and a biosecurity and containment fund will help tackle alien pest and disease incursions.

“We will also provide $15 million to support export growth and $8 million to increase access to effective pest and disease control options.”

Mr Chester said consultation with the industry would be increased by establishing an advisory council that will meet with the Minister at least twice a year.

“We will also refocus the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and a White Paper on the sector will set out a clear, well-defined and strategic approach to promote more investment and create jobs,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Chester said the Coalition had also outlined plans to improve local road and bridge infrastructure which was a key concern for local primary producers.

“Local farmers and growers are concerned by the level of maintenance on local roads and the capability of older bridges in our region,” Mr Chester said.

“We will continue the successful Roads to Recovery and Black Spot programs to assist councils and the State Government maintain and upgrades local roads as well as implementing a $300 million Bridges Renewal Program to replace old wooden bridges.”

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