29 June 2012
The Liberals and Nationals have confirmed they have no interest in representing the interests of Australian farmers in Federal Parliament, with the Coalition asking only a single question on agriculture so far this year.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said that this was a damning mid-year report card for the Liberals and Nationals.
“Despite the amount of talk and posturing you hear from the Liberals and Nationals on standing up for the bush, I think the real record speaks for itself,” Minister Ludwig said.
“So far this year the Liberal party hasn’t been bothered to ask me a single question in Question Time about agriculture, fisheries or forestry. This is a solid fail for the Liberal Party.
“The National Party haven’t done much better, asking a solitary question this year.
“That’s the sort of service the people of rural and regional Australia get from Senator Joyce and the Nationals.”
Minister Ludwig said the lack of questions was a consequence of the Liberal and National Party’s obsession with negativity.
“The Coalition completely ignore every other part of the national picture,” Minister Ludwig said.
“They don’t care about rural health and hospitals, they don’t care about agriculture, they don’t care about country schools or TAFEs – they only care about saying no and pursuing a relentless agenda of negativity.
“While the Liberal and National parties have been sitting on their hands, this Government has been getting on the business of delivering for farmers.
“In the last six months alone we’ve secured $2.2 billion for Caring for our Country for the next five years, we’ve continued to deliver reforms that protect our unique biosecurity status, and we’ve rolled out the Carbon Farming Initiative that will bring new opportunities for Australian farmers.
“This has been on the backdrop of strong growth in agricultural exports, the end of the drought, and the opening of new trade markets.
“It’s clear that the Liberals and Nationals can’t be bothered representing rural and regional Australia in Parliament, let alone deliver for them, despite what they’d like farmers to believe.”