WAFarmers has identified the Liberal-National Coalition Government as the best hope for the continued development of the agricultural sector over the coming years, following considerable engagement with the major political parties and consultation with industry.
With a score of 16 out of 25, WAFarmers President Tony York said the Coalition was the most agreeable option as their election promises aligned most with the WAFarmers Policy Priorities, as opposed to those of Labor and The Greens.
“Taking into account our consultation with the parties, other available information related to the parties’ Federal Election campaigns and alignment to the WAFarmers Policy Priorities, we have rated the performance of the parties as way to hold them accountable to their election promises,” Mr York said.
“Of all the areas of interest identified by WAFarmers under our election campaign, the Coalition Government has addressed most of the critical issues within the industry at the moment, including the improvement of mobile telecommunications infrastructure, research and development, farm business, economic growth and the backpacker tax,” Mr York said.
“While the Coalition appears to be the most suitable party, we were pleased that all parties committed funds towards investing in innovation, science, research and development, with the intention of extending existing facilities and processes and developing new programs to capitalise on current and future opportunities, both locally and internationally.
“By increasing opportunities in these areas, we are more likely to attract the best and brightest people into the agricultural sector, and have a greater chance of keeping them within the industry.
“We were also highly encouraged by significant commitments made towards increasing connectivity in regional and remote areas, through the improvement of telecommunications infrastructure and the completion of the NBN roll-out, however we acknowledge that even more work needs to be done in this space in the years to come.”
Mr York said there was room for improvement for all parties for future elections.
“Both Labor and The Greens addressed WAFarmers Policy Priorities, however neither party demonstrated a holistic approach to furthering the agricultural sector that aligned with WAFarmers’ policy – there was always something missing in their commitments, or we did not feel that their pledge represented the best option for our members,” he said.
“While the Coalition was the preferred option for the agricultural industry, there is still a considerable way to go for all parties to ensure that agriculture is marked as a national economic and policy priority,” he said.
In second place was the Australian Labor Party with a score of 10 out of 25, followed by The Greens with a score of six.
“We hope that the contents of the scorecard will help voters to make an informed choice this Saturday that will benefit the nation’s agricultural sector in the coming years,” Mr York said.
“We look forward to working with the incoming government, whichever party that may be, to further the interests of the nation’s agricultural industry and capitalise on current and existing opportunities to ensure competitive, sustainable and profitable future.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].