REGIONAL & RURAL AUSTRALIA
Farmers are the backbone of regional and rural communities. They’ve helped feed all of us, through both droughts and floods. Yet country people have increasingly been taken for granted by major political parties.
Australia should better support farmers and regional and rural Australia.
Policy Methods (Federal & State)
To help achieve this Australia should:
- Increase its commitment to agricultural research and development, including through greater support for regional universities.
- 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 JOBS & ECONOMY policy).
- Implement fair trade policies that address unsustainable cheap imports that unfairly compete with local produce (see JOBS & ECONOMY policy).
- Encourage population decentralisation and regional revitalisation, including through regional tax concessions, for inland areas experiencing significant population decline (see JOBS & ECONOMY and SUSTAINABLE POPULATION & IMMIGRATION policies).
- 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.
- 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 (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 distribute ABC resources into regional and rural coverage to both provide a voice for a fair share of government services and to educate city-dwellers as to regional and rural issues.
- Also see JOBS & ECONOMY, SUSTAINABLE POPULATION & IMMIGRATION, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT and FOREIGN INVESTMENT policies.
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