Regional & Rural Australia

Related policies

  • Environment
  • Jobs & Economy
  • Sustainable Population & Immigration (Australia)
  • Water

Background

Farmers are the backbone of regional and rural communities. They’ve helped feed all of us, through both droughts and floods. Yet farmers and country people have increasingly been taken for granted by major political parties.

Policy

Better support farmers and regional and rural Australia.

Policy Methods (Federal & State)

To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:

  • Increased commitment to agricultural research and development, including through greater support for regional universities and TAFE.
  • Achieve greater agricultural product commercialisation, regional processing and value-adding opportunities.
  • Better promote the financial, health and environmental benefits of local primary products.
  • Encourage the re-allocation of Australian investment capital, including superannuation funds, into agriculture and regional development including value-adding manufacturing (see General policy above).
  • Implement fair trade policies that address unsustainable cheap imports that unfairly compete with local produce (also see Trade policy below).
  • Better manage our water security, including through lower wastage and fairer water rights and responsibilities in regional Australia.
  • Where there is an abundance of water, encourage population decentralisation and regional revitalisation, including through regional tax concessions, for inland areas experiencing population decline (also see Sustainable Population & Immigration (Australia) policy).

"In some areas these water problems are being compounded by population growthConsider, for instance, the NSW townships surrounding Canberra. In January 2020 the town of Braidwood (about halfway between Canberra and Batemans Bay) had to start trucking in water when its own water source, the Shoalhaven river, stopped flowing. Yet nearby Bungedore (about 50 km away) is building anew high school due to population growth." The Mandarin

  • Establish 'job guarantee' programs (especially for youth and the long-term unemployed) that includes opportunities for employment and training in conservation land management in regional and Aboriginal (see Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australians Policy) communities.

"...the [state’s stock route] network also harbours campsites and areas of ecological and cultural significance, leading to furious discussion about who should ultimately pay to maintain key infrastructure that will benefit a diverse stakeholder group." In Queensland

"In Australia, you have tens of thousands of abandoned mines — abandonment of mines still happens now. You have mines that are put on 'care and maintenance' and that's it." Australian Broadcasting Corporation

  • Further develop land stewardship funds to support relevant farmers and rural landowners to help manage biodiversity values on their properties, including areas that are either high conservation value and/or unsuitable or marginal for agricultural use.

"As a continuing commitment under the National Landcare Program, the Environmental Stewardship Program provides long-term support for private landholders to maintain and improve the condition of matters of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999." National Landcare Program

  • Further develop community opportunities for employment and training in conservation land management in regional and rural communities where there is high unemployment and low educational attainment, with underutilised labour skilled in practical outdoor work.
  • Recognise the adverse effects of fracking and mining on agricultural land and communities, by imposing a moratorium (also see Energy policy).
  • Further develop humane reduction and eradication programs for high-risk feral species.
  • Subsidise the reintroduction of larger abattoirs in Australia in order to offer viable alternatives to live animal exporting, minimise animal cruelty, value-add to commodity exports and help secure the livelihood of people in regional and rural Australia.
  • Better fund the ABC's regional and rural services to both provide a stronger voice for a fair share of government services and to better educate city-dwellers as to regional, rural and remote community issues.

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