FRESH from romping home to win the seat of New England at Saturday’s federal election, Barnaby Joyce will make his first official speaking appearance next week at the AgForce State Conference in Townsville.
Mr Joyce will be a key participant in the ‘Vision for Northern Australia’ panel discussion on Wednesday, September 18, and provide insight into the newly elected government’s plans for the rural sector.
“I am delighted to be attending the AgForce State Conference as my first engagement as part of the Abbott Government and look forward to speaking directly with industry stakeholders about what they see as the way forward for agriculture,” Mr Joyce said in a statement.
“There is no doubt agriculture, particularly in the north, has faced difficult operating conditions over recent years which have not been helped by poor policy.
“I look forward to participating in the panel discussion, outlining our vision for the north and, more broadly, the new government’s hopes for agriculture as a key pillar of the national economy.”
Mr Joyce will be joined in the panel discussion by one of Queensland’s best known company directors and public figures, Keith De Lacy, and prominent CSIRO scientist Dr Ian Watson who specialises in sustainable management of arid rangelands and tropical savannas.
Mr De Lacy said it was critical to capitalise on the opportunities held by the north of the nation although support from both government and the scientific community was required for development to progress.
“I am involved with a major integrated agricultural irrigation project centred on the Gilbert River system in Far North Queensland,” Mr De Lacy said.
“I firmly believe this type of development is the way of the future – we have to do things differently than we have in the past.
“The reality is white and green papers do not bring economic development and there is an obvious need for support both from Government and the scientific establishment to provide the science and policy underpinning sustainable progress.”
AgForce president Ian Burnett said given Mr Joyce’s senior role in the Abbott Government his attendance at state conference was a valuable opportunity to engage directly with the new administration in the early days of its leadership.
“Throughout the course of the election campaign AgForce advocated strongly on a range of policy issues requiring the urgent attention of our political leaders,” Mr Burnett said.
“We now welcome this opportunity to engage with Barnaby and to further communicate industry’s position and what we expect from the new government.”
The AgForce State Conference will be held at Rydges Southbank, Townsville, from September 17-19.
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