Every day is Agriculture Day
21 November 2018
Joint release with:
The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of The Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina
The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Federal Member for Maranoa
National Agriculture Day provides all Australians a great opportunity to acknowledge Australia's hard working and determined farmers and the broader agricultural industry.
This year's theme #GrowforGood highlights the broader positive contribution the farming and agribusiness sector makes to our nation, each and every day, in putting food on our tables and clothing our families.
Australian farmers produce high quality food and fibre products with a professional focus on sustainability and profitability, in some of the most challenging growing conditions in the world.
The Nationals understand this and are proud to be part of a Federal Government with a strong track record of backing Australian agriculture knowing its vital importance, to the national interest.
When Australian agriculture is strong so too are our regional economies and communities and when our regions are strong, so too is our nation.
That's why we're investing in multiple agricultural policy initiatives, especially in water but also in broader areas such as transport, infrastructure and regional health and development.
In more recent times we've provided direct and targeted drought support programs where and when they're needed most, to help ease immediate pressure on farmers and their communities.
Last month a National Drought Summit was held to assist with coordinating the strategic response of governments and stakeholder groups with a $5 billion Future Drought Fund revealed, to help build greater drought resilience; including water infrastructure projects.
In addition to the Fund, on the ground practical assistance was provided by cutting red tape to make transportation of hay and fodder by roads to drought stricken communities, easier and in greater volumes.
Those initiatives are in addition to the more than $1.8 billion in additional Commonwealth Government drought support measures already delivered this year.
Water security also remains a high priority to help drought-proof farming communities and build certainty for an industry which is subject to Mother Nature's often fickle fluctuations.
On Monday we announced an added investment of more than $500 million to boost the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund taking it to more than $1 billion
Added to the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program, this means more than $3 billion is now available from the Federal Government to support State and Territory Governments and their project partners, to build new water infrastructure.
We are also investing in important corridors to connect paddocks to plates more safely and efficiently, including $10 billion towards Bruce Highway upgrades over 15 years; $700 million for the Northern Australia roads programs; and $3.5 billion for the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.
The Nationals understand improving digital connectivity in regional Australia not only keeps family and friends closer, it's also critical in times of natural disasters like bushfires.
Digital connectivity also helps improve farm productivity by allowing producers and their businesses access to the latest technology to implement innovations which save time and money such as remote monitoring of crops using a smartphone and controlling irrigation.
That's why we have also delivered more than 860 mobile base stations through our $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program to support the regions and primary industries.
The Nationals recognise regional Australians deserve access to high-quality health care when they need it.
The $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy will deliver around 3,000 additional specialist GPs for rural Australia, over 3,000 additional nurses in general practice and hundreds of additional allied health professionals in rural Australia over 10 years.
The Nationals understand and respect our farmers and we're proud to take action to back and support Australian agriculture every day, not just on National Agriculture Day.