2013 State Budget must help double agricultural production | My Machinery
CASE Agriculture
2013 State Budget must help double agricultural production

Recruiting the next generation of farmers and countering skyrocketing energy costs are two key issues the Victorian Government must address in its 2013 Budget. These are just two of the strategies outlined in the Victorian Farmers Federation’s 2013 Pre-Budget Submission. “Our submission is all about ensuring the Government delivers on its promise to double food and fibre production by 2030,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said. “The policy and infrastructure initiatives outlined in the VFF submission are crucial in helping us achieve that goal.” The VFF has called on the Government to invest in boosting the image of agriculture and attract the next generation of food and fibre production. “Our Young Agribusiness Professionals are already running forums with students and young people already employed in agriculture to develop a blueprint for a larger government-funded campaign,” Mr Tuohey said. “We also need a decent energy strategy, given the impact of the carbon tax and the huge surge in network costs. The VFF’s submission also highlights the need for greater infrastructure investment by the government in: • Staged standardisation of the rail network. Many lines are still broad gauges, restricting the movement of grain and other rural freight. • A full-scale cost-benefit analysis of the North East Link, connecting the Western Ring Road to EastLink. “Linking the Western Ring Road to EastLink would assist in the delivery of 600,000 tonnes of feed the Gippsland dairy region and the movement of 25 per cent of fruit and vegetables to the new Epping Market,” Mr Tuohey said. The VFF’s submission also calls for policy reforms that will drive agriculture productivity. “A more flexible approach to native vegetation management will ensure better use of agriculture land,” Mr Tuohey said. “Current regulations on clearing native vegetation restrict farmers’ ability to boost their productivity. “We commend the government on completing initiatives such as; the funding for roadside pest and weeds, increasing access to the stamp duty exemption scheme for young farmers, and continuation of the Primary Producer Registrations charges.”

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