Cotton Australia today launched its National Policy Priorities for the 2019 Federal Election.
Share your support for Australian cotton by using the hashtag #ISupportAussieCotton.
The policy priorities cover water security, research and development, essential services (energy, telecommunications, transport), and workforce, education and training, and are detailed below (or via this link to our election brochure).
Smart water policy that improves the health of our waterways, makes our farms more productive, and our regional communities more resilient.
• Delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, as written in 2012 and agreed to at the December 2018 Ministerial Council Meeting.
• Enhanced investment in complementary measures to leverage greater environmental outcomes from the available water.
• Support for states and irrigators to develop and implement a world-class system of transparent water measurement, management and compliance.
• Improved measuring and monitoring of environmental water.
Research and development
Policy to protect the assets, systems and technologies we have now and innovating for the future.
• Commitment to maintaining matched-government funding of rural RD&E.
• Unlock innovation through a commitment to upholding the rural R&D model - where growers provide input on R&D priorities, facilitated via their representative organisation.
• Ensuring access to existing and new technologies (crop protection products, biotechnology traits) which are independently proven safe for use by a robust, science-based regulatory system.
• Maintain funding to ensure the strength and confidence in Australia’s independent, science-based regulation and reviewing system of products.
Vibrant cotton communities sustained by a diverse economy with access to services and technology that foster innovation.
Advancing productivity and profitability by supporting access to reliable and affordable energy through:
• Government policies that help the cotton industry transition to affordable and renewable energy.
• Continuation of the Diesel Fuel Rebate.
Mobile phone and internet connectivity with adequate speeds and data allowances to every Australian farm at a reasonable price.
• Ongoing commitment to the Mobile Blackspot Program.
• Complete connectivity to enable agriculture to have full access to the Internet-of-Things.
Address transport challenges to improve our competitiveness.
• Prioritised transport infrastructure upgrades to ease agricultural supply chain choke points.
Workforce, education and training
Capable people supported by a skilled, cohesive and diverse workforce.
• Commitment to ensure agriculture is strongly positioned in the education system.
• Establish strategic programs to attract more Australians to a career in agriculture.
• Establish effective visa incentives that encourage regional settlement.
• Introduce an Agricultural Visa to specifically address skills shortages.