The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) has today announced its 10 Key Issues for the upcoming Western Australian State Election on Saturday 9 March 2013.
WAFarmers President, Dale Park, said the intention for announcing WAFarmers’ key issues was to put the major political parties on notice and to fight for the interests of all the state’s farmers in the lead up to the poll.
“It is absolutely crucial the needs of the state’s producers are met by whichever party or parties win the right to govern this state in March, and a long term plan for the State’s agricultural industries formed,” Mr Park said.
“As the number one farm lobby group in the state, WAFarmers, now has our demands and that of our membership out in the public sphere, and we want answers from all sides of politics.
“We will be writing to the major parties seeking meetings about their policies for the upcoming election and to discuss the needs and wants of the state’s farmers.”
Mr Park said he wants farmers to consider the issues raised by WAFarmers and the responses from the parties to ensure they take that into account when casting their votes.
“The incoming State Government needs to recognise the tough times farmers have experienced and currently face, so they must cast a vote which will assist them to produce food and fibre to feed and finance this state,” he said.
“WAFarmers has said previously, the agricultural supply chain contributes 10 per cent of the State’s economy and feeds 100 per cent of the State’s population. This must be recognised by any State Government.
“Gone are the days when it was simply Liberal versus Labor, all political parties including the WA Nationals and the Greens can have a say when the voting public is finding it hard who to vote for,” Mr Park concluded.
WAFARMERS 10 KEY WESTERN AUSTRALIAN STATE ELECTION ISSUES
WAFarmers has 10 Key Issues for the upcoming Western Australian State Election on Saturday 9 March 2013.
1. A long term plan for the State’s agricultural industries
WAFarmers wants a long term vision, beyond the electoral cycle, for the State’s agricultural related industries.
2. Reform of the State’s land clearing laws
WAFarmers seeks legislative changes to allow farmers to clear their land within accepted agricultural practices; establish offset land parcels to enable land clearing; and obtain financial compensation where restriction has been placed on future land clearing.
3. Ongoing use of all current Tier 3 rail lines
WAFarmers is calling for the extension of the operation of Tier 3 rail lines beyond the State Government’s current commitment of October 31, 2013 and will be seeking a commitment from the Government to find a long term solution for Tier 3 rail and the broader grain rail network.
4. Increased funding for rural roads
The rapidly deteriorating rural road network, with unsustainably low levels of funds needed to maintain the aging network.
5. The introduction of an ‘agricultural impact assessment’ process in the evaluation of potential mining or industrial development in farming areas
WAFarmers seeks the introduction of an ‘agricultural impact assessment’ process in the evaluation of potential mining or industrial development in farming areas.
6. Development and implementation of a State Salinity Strategy
WAFarmers is seeking the development of a State Salinity Strategy which prioritises NRM planning and funding processes to address the impact of salinity.
7. Expansion of the State Rural Water Program to include farm businesses connected the IWSS
Expansion of the State Rural Water Program to include farm businesses connected the IWSS.
8. The continued use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops
WAFarmers, in line with its GM Policy, supports continued use for Genetically Modified (GM) crops including future research and development into GM crops and pastures.
9. Expanding the live animal export trade from Western Australia
WAFarmers is committed to working with industry, government and other key stakeholders to ensure the future and expansion of the live export trade.
10. Improving community services in rural Western Australia
WAFarmers wants to see increased investment into rural and regional communities in the areas of education, health and generic services.
*These issues are in no particular order of importance.