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Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce visits the South East

Barnaby Joyce

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce with Member for Barker Tony Pasin and Sam O’Connor at the Mount Gambiersaleyards

S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

MEMBER for Barker Tony Pasin hosted a visit to Barker by Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce this week, starting  (Tuesday) afternoon in Mount Gambier.

O’Connor & Graney stock agent Sam O’Connor hosted Mr Joyce and Mr Pasin at the saleyards for a ‘meet and greet’ with about 50 farmers and agents from throughout the South East. Mr Joyce was then guest speaker at a dinner at The Barn with about 70 key industry stakeholders from across the primary sector in the South East.

Mr Pasin said Minister Joyce’s visit came at a significant time for agriculture industry nationally, with the recently released Free Trade Agreement with Korea to deliver major gains to the beef industry and the Australian farm sector as a whole.

“At such a time, the Minister is particularly keen to speak to people involved in our local primary sector and I am very pleased to facilitate that discussion with key stakeholders from our region,” Mr Pasin said.

“I think we should all be very relieved to finally have a Federal Agriculture Minister who thrives on spending time with real people in the regions and is in his natural surrounds when he’s outside the city.”

Minister Joyce’s time in Barker will include a stop-over in Renmark today to meet with members of the Riverland Wine Grape Growers Association and Citrus Australia.

Mr Pasin also welcomed the first steps Minister Joyce has taken in developing the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, by releasing the issues paper in recent days and calling on stakeholders to get involved.

The issues paper identifies the key matters the government would like input on and will guide the development of the White Paper. Issues include access to finance, competitiveness through the value chain, reducing inefficient regulation, enhancing agricultural exports and managing drought for the longer term.

Mr Pasin welcomed the chance for those interested in the future of our primary industries to contribute their ideas.

Written submissions are also sought and these can be lodged via the website. Submissions are due by 5pm EST 17 April 2014. To find out more visit http://www.agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.

Provided by Member for Barker Tony Pasin

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