In spite of recent setbacks, Senator Eric Abetz says Tasmanian agriculture is thriving.
Liberal Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz was on-hand at Agfest today, where he spruiked the state’s positive agricultural outlook.
“The agricultural sector has a great future in Tasmania,” he said. “It’s doing very well.”
Sen. Abetz was keen to discuss the Federal Government’s agriculture policy, saying it had been well-received by the rural community.
“We’ve got irrigation schemes, the freight equalisation for exports and we’re extending the Hobart runway so the big air freighters can land and take our produce to the world,” he said. “There’s definitely a sense of confidence in the industry.”
Sen. Abetz said that Tasmania’s agricultural success was helped by the state’s clean, green image.
“It’s our image of being a niche area of high quality product, be it from our gin, whiskey, wine, Cape Grim beef, our lamb and dairy products,” he said.
“There’s a whole range of products that the world is willing to pay a premium price for and as a result, we can provide certainty for the farming community.”
All this comes in spite of Tuesday’s announced closure of the Murray Goulburn processing plant in Edith Creek.
The shutdown of the Circular Head plant will result in the loss of 120 jobs.
Sen. Abetz said the biggest issue workers face is finding new jobs.
“Murray Goulburn will be able to pay out all the workers entitlements, but we have JobActive providers on the North West coast to assist them into alternate employment.”
This story forms part of on-going political coverage at Agfest 2017.
This piece was written from a mobile newsroom on-site at Agfest 2017 in Carrick. It can be found at https://www.agfest.com.au/news/2017/05/04/abetz-optimistic-about-tasmanian-agricultural-future/