CUTS to Victoria’s agriculture budget and little action to reduce red tape for farmers are taking a toll on Victoria’s booming agriculture sector, according to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh.
The Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report 2016-17 was released last week and showed Victoria’s agriculture sector continues to lead the nation in exports, but that growth in exports has slowed.
Mr Walsh said our state’s agricultural export boom had hit the brakes under Daniel Andrews.
“It’s a credit to the hard work and innovation of farmers and industry that our food and fibre exports continue to top the board nationally,” Mr Walsh said.
“It’s disappointing that such an important sector has faced cuts from the Andrews Labor government, most recently a $32 million cut to agriculture in this year’s state budget.
“Labor’s city-centric focus is stopping our agriculture industry growing even more.”
Good seasonal conditions that led to a bumper grain harvest for Victorian farmers saw grain exports increase by $839 million in 2016-17, while meat exports dropped $311 million.
“Our farmers and agricultural businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy and support tens of thousands of jobs in our regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Premier for Melbourne must make a real investment in making sure these industries have a strong future.”