Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the Federal Government to make a serious investment in agricultural innovation to drive growth in the industry.
“There needs to be a vision and target set for agricultural innovation,” Ms McGowan said. “The Government must invest in agricultural innovation. Farmers and related businesses, for example the dairy industry, are already innovating and creating strong partnerships in the North East. Agriculture and manufacturing when combined is the second largest employer in the Hume region and there is significant potential for growth.”
The House of Reps Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry will be hearing from some of the most innovative farmers in Australia at Wodonga this Thursday, January 28 at the Agricultural Innovation Inquiry Public Hearing at the Cube. Presentations will made by:
- Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project
- Charles Sturt University
- Rutherglen Premium Lamb
- North East Catchment Management Authority
- NutriHealth International
- Riverina Local Land Services
- Mr Don Lawson OAM
The Committee will also visit the Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project to learn about the plan to double milk production by 2025. Ms McGowan said the Project was one example of how an investment in innovation and research increased profitability for the local agricultural sector.
“Farmers lobbied hard for the public hearing to be hosted in the North East, and made submissions to this important inquiry,” Ms McGowan said. “This is a great opportunity for the sector in Indi to explain what is needed for agriculture and food production and manufacturing to thrive in the North East. These submissions will inform the Committee’s report to Government on how innovation will increase productivity and grow local economies.”
This report will be presented to parliament with recommendations by the end of 2016.
Ms McGowan said agriculture was the main topic of discussion at the 2015 Indi Community Summit. The sector is worth more than $600 million per year to Indi and is the fifth largest employer, with around 5000 businesses across eight local governments.
For all information on the Public Hearing, including programs and submissions, go to the Committee website.