WAFarmers reveals election priorities

Countryman
WAFarmers senior vice-president Lyn Slade.
Camera IconWAFarmers senior vice-president Lyn Slade.

WAFarmers has called on the State Government to commit to re-establishing the competitiveness and profitability of WA agriculture by addressing several key issues in the lead-up to the State election.

Split into two sections, the WAFarmers Policy Platform will focus on capitalising on the State Government’s acknowledgement the WA agricultural industry has the potential to double production by 2025, and supercharging the opportunities available to industry.

“At the time of the 2013 State Election, WA had enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth, underpinned largely by the resources sector,” WAFarmers senior vice-president Lyn Slade said.

“However, as the emphasis on the resources sector continues to diminish across WA, the opportunity arises for other sectors to offset any possible economic decline, and agriculture has been identified as a key driver of this growth.

“Given agriculture is WA’s second major export industry, with up to 80 per cent of its agricultural production exported, and that it represents about 10 per cent of the State’s economy, we must work hard to keep this momentum going to strengthen our economic value and stimulate our workforce.”

Mrs Slade said the platform comprised a six-pillar policy priority list as well as a wish list., with the latter including a commitment to the development and ongoing funding of a livestock and pasture research institute and the creation of an industry-endorsed institute for grains research and development in WA.

“Our members are major contributors to the growing value of the State’s farm production, which has risen from $5.4 billion at the farm gate to $8.6 billion in four years,” she said.

“WAFarmers has undertaken extensive consultation with our membership through our zones and commodities regarding the issues they considered most pertinent to agriculture this State election, and we have developed our policy platform around these discussions. Further, we have extended invitations to representatives from the major political parties to discuss our policy platform, and have recently completed a series of meetings with interested political parties that have responded to our invitation.”

Mrs Slade said WAFarmers would release further details surrounding each of the policy priorities and the wish list in the coming weeks.

An election scorecard will also be released towards the end of the campaign period in a bid to outline the positions of the major political parties with regards to the policy platform.

“There are so many opportunities in agriculture, so we need a strong State Government to get on board, capitalise on these opportunities and safeguard the future of this ever-evolving sector,” Mrs Slade said.

“We hope that the information we provide will assist the public to make an informed decision regarding the future of agriculture in WA at the polls in March.”

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