THE Victorian Farmers Federation has welcomed new Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the former Queensland Senator as minister on Monday.
VFF president Peter Tuohey said farmers were glad to see they had gained a strong voice for agriculture.
“Barnaby Joyce has committed to a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets, ridding us of the carbon tax, strengthening country of origin labelling laws and demanding greater scrutiny of foreign ownership,” he said.
Warracknabeal farmer and Federation Wimmera branch president Ross Johns said it was excellent to see such a high-profile person in the agriculture portfolio.
“Barnaby is forthright and able to speak his mind, so I certainly welcome his appointment,” he said.
Mr Johns believed important issues in agriculture could be addressed with the change of government.
“There are key issues in agriculture at the moment that need to be addressed and I think Barnaby will be able to address those,” he said.
“Issues such as transport, road networks and funding for regional councils are all areas that have a significant impact on agriculture.
“Changes also need to be made to simplified tax rules, which have certainly constrained agricultural business in Australia.”
Mr Johns also welcomed Mr Joyce’s promise to scrap the carbon tax. “It wasn’t a logical position for Australia to have a carbon tax in the first place, because other major polluting countries don’t have a tax,” he said.
“For us to go at it alone was very difficult.
“At some point humanity will need to address those fundamental issues together, instead of just one small country doing it.”
Grain Producers Australia chairman and Rupanyup farmer Andrew Weidemann said the agricultural industry could benefit from a Coalition government.
“I think they are more in tune to agriculture because there are plenty of people in Coalition who are agriculturally based,” he said.
“Particularly Dan Tehan and possibly Andrew Broad.
“Also, the previous Opposition Minister for Agriculture John Cobb was very experienced in agriculture and all those people will provide advice and input to the industry.”
Mr Weidemann said history was more in favour of a Labor government.
“What is interesting, is that history shows the industry has received more from a Labor government rather than the Coalition,” he said.
“So I hope they are looking to break that trend and will give us decent agricultural policies and help producers across Australia.”