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Australian Farmers Welcome New Shadow Ministry

23 October 2013

AUSTRALIA - The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the appointment of the new Shadow Ministry, led by Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, and Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek.

“The NFF developed strong relationships with the Labor party in Government, and we will continue this work with the party in Opposition to ensure we can meet, and overcome, the current and future challenges facing the agricultural sector,” NFF President, Duncan Fraser, said.

“We particularly welcome Joel Fitzgibbon, the former Agriculture Minister, to the position of Shadow Minister for Agriculture, and we look forward to continuing to work with Mr Fitzgibbon and his Parliamentary colleagues to drive forward key outcomes for farmers and the wider sector.

“We acknowledge the appointment of many former Ministers to their respective Shadow portfolios or portfolios they have had previous experience in, ensuring a continuity of knowledge and expertise in areas that are of critical importance to the agricultural sector.

“We are pleased to note Anthony Albanese as the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; Mark Butler as Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water; Mark Dreyfus as the Shadow Attorney General; Chris Bowen as Shadow Treasurer; and Gary Gray as the Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia – all critically important areas for farmers and the future of the sector.

“We also welcome Brendon O’Connor as the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations; Senator Kim Carr as the Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Industry; Sharon Bird as Shadow Minister for Vocational Education; Kate Ellis as Shadow Minister for Education; and Richard Marles as Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection – portfolios that play a major role in ensuring a sustainable farm workforce.

“In addition, we also welcome those Shadow Ministers who have moved into new portfolio areas, including Senator Penny Wong in Trade and Investment; Julie Collins in Regional Development, Local Government and Employment Services; Dr Andrew Leigh as Shadow Assistant Treasurer; Tony Burke in Finance; Jason Clare in Communications.

“The NFF had four key priority areas leading into the Federal Election – and these remain our four key policy platforms now. We believe there is a vital need to: increase investment in research, development and extension; ensure that Australian agriculture remains globally competitive; address the growing labour shortages in the sector; and ensure our natural resources are sustainably managed, while also increasing agricultural production.

“Overall, reprioritising agriculture in the national agenda remains our key focus, and we will continue to advocate to both the Government and the Opposition re the importance of this as Parliament resumes next month,” Mr Fraser said.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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