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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 396. Updated Tuesday, 11 February 2014

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Feedback sought on farm future

The initial step in developing an Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has been taken with the release of an issues paper.
 Announcing the issues paper, Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce called on people to get involved.
  “Whether you’re drenching sheep, mustering cattle or sitting on a tractor, you always had in the back of your mind what you would do to make the show work better—well this is your opportunity to do precisely that,” Mr Joyce said.

Issues paper prepares ground
 The issues paper identifies the key matters on which the Government would like input and will guide the development of the White Paper.
 Mr Joyce said issues included access to finance, competitiveness through the value chain, reducing inefficient regulation, enhancing agricultural exports and managing drought for the longer term.
 He said a taskforce would visit 25 towns and regional centres and the eight capital cities in the coming weeks, consulting with industry leaders, farmers, and those in sectors connected to the land like transport and banking.
 Mr Joyce said written submissions were also sought and these could be lodged via the Department’s website.
 “Now is your chance to think big; now is your chance to say what I would do for my nation if I were to make agriculture work better,” the Minister said.
 Submissions are due by 17 April. To find the towns and regional centres the taskforce will visit and any further information go to this PS News link.

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