Albany ABARES Regional Outlook conference


Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson opened the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Albany Regional Outlook conference yesterday.

Attending his first ABARES Regional outlook conference, Mr Wilson spoke about how the government is working with industry to improve productivity and reduce red tape.

“This Government continues to be open to new and innovative ideas, taking its Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper roadshow around Australia, inviting feedback from stakeholders on how to make Australia’s agriculture sector more competitive and profitable. The 675 submissions received are now being shaped into the Green Paper, to be released in the coming weeks.

“Common themes emerged from the local consultation including high farming and production input costs, labour force issues and access to affordable technologies. Across the board, all attendees spoke of the increased amount of red tape as a barrier to all aspects of farm productivity.

“As an example of improving productivity, I recently spoke in Parliament to the debate resulting in the Amendment of the Veterinary and Agricultural Chemicals Bill, knowing that it will reduce some of the unnecessary red tape incurred in the registration and renewals process for important farm chemicals and medicaments. This should ensure not only the continued availability of low cost products to farmers but also support innovation in the veterinary pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals sector.

“Likewise, the removal of the carbon tax will provide significant cost savings to farmers across Western Australia but particularly to food processors and horticulturists who have energy-intensive operations.

“We signed free trade agreements with Korea in April and Japan in July, both of which will reap large benefits for the electorate when they come into force. And while New Zealand and Chile already have their own FTAs with China, I anticipate an even more enhanced trade between Australia and China once our bilateral agreement is finalised.

“This Government will continue to work on all free trade agreements to achieve better access and export results for all Australian primary producers.”

At each conference ABARES economists deliver commodity forecasts and research results, followed by a range of local producers, industry representatives and business people discussing issues relevant to the region.


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