New Coalition Ministry Needs to Deliver Better Outcomes for Regional Australia

16 Sep 2013 5:09 PM -

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Inc. (RGA) has welcomed the new Coalition Government Ministry announced by Prime-Minister Elect, Mr Tony Abbott MP this afternoon.

RGA President, Les Gordon, said the appointments of Mr Barnaby Joyce MP, as Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP as Minister for Trade and Investment and Mr Greg Hunt MP as Minister for Environment were of particular interest to the RGA.

“We have worked closely with Mr Joyce in his previous role as Shadow Minister for Water. We recognise his strong interest in the Australian agriculture industry and his ability to work through complex policy issues, including the formulation of Murray Darling Basin Plan,” Mr Gordon said.

“Mr Robb is well known to our industry and we acknowledge his comprehensive understanding of agriculture and trade issues.”

“Mr Hunt visited the Riverina several times during his term as Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage and has a good understanding of the rice industry.”

“The other significant area of interest to RGA, water, remains in the Environment portfolio and will be the responsibility of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham,” Mr Gordon said.

“We have also developed a constructive working relationship with Senator Birmingham over the past three years in his previous role as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin, and we look forward to that continuing in Government.”

Mr Gordon said that one of the first acts of the new Coalition Government must be for Mr Abbott to deliver upon his written commitment to cap the total volume of water buybacks required under the Murray Darling Basin Plan to 1,500GL.  

“While we acknowledge legislative changes may take some time, amending the Government’s Water Recovery Strategy as a priority will give us some confidence that the Coalition Government is committed to delivering a more balanced Plan and a better outcome for regional communities,” Mr Gordon concluded.

The full media release can be found here.