Farm industry calls for action from Turnbull

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Newly re-elected prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has made a number of commitments to the farming industry. Newly re-elected prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has made a number of commitments to the farming industry. Newly re-elected prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has made a number of commitments to the farming industry.

Farming industry body National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling for the Coalition government to invest in agriculture following the re-election of Malcolm Turnbull as a result of last week’s general election.


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NFF president Brent Finlay says he is committed to advocating on behalf of farmers to ensure agriculture remains a national priority post-election. 

"Throughout this long election campaign, we have consistently sought to highlight where the priorities for food and fibre lie, and what policy settings are required to ensure Australian farmers remain ahead of the curve," Finlay says.

"It’s absolutely critical for Australian agriculture that there is continued investment in digital connectivity and bridging the data gap between city and country; building 21st century infrastructure and trade relationships to link Australian farms to new markets; and ensuring positive environmental outcomes work hand-in-hand with productive farms."

He made a renewed call for the government not to impose new tax rules on foreign working visa holders, who make up a large proportion of seasonal farm workers.

"We need policy makers who understand the complexities and diversity of farm labour requirements — this includes the need for government to scrap the detrimental backpacker tax," Finlay says.

"We need policies that help not hinder business confidence in rural and regional Australia."

Finlay says he is now looking forward to the government delivering on what he previously described as positive announcements made by the Coalition during the campaign, ranging from more funding for mobile blackspots, to water infrastructure and streamlined administration of farm loans.

"The NFF has welcomed announcements from both the major parties," Finlay says.

"But with the election behind us, the hard work starts now. We have set out our five priority areas, together with key policy and investment asks, that we know are required to help Australian agriculture reach its full potential.

"We are ready for a constructive relationship with the government, the opposition and the newly elected crossbenches, to progress these vital initiatives on behalf of Australian farmers and propel Australian agriculture into a decade of growth and prosperity."

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