Warning Alarm: Farmers want needs heard and acted upon

28 February 2024

Tasmania's peak body representing Tasmanian farmers has presented a comprehensive package of critical policy questions to political hopefuls.

TasFarmers is asking for political party’s and independents to reply to our election package by Monday, 11 March 2023, when we receive the information, we will make the answers public to the rural community.

We want to see clear long-term strategies from the major political parties and their candidates regarding the critical issues confronting farmers should they win government in this election.

TasFarmers President Ian Sauer said that members have highlighted the pressing need to address growing red tape and bureaucratic demands being imposed on them.

"Tasmanian land-based farmers contribute over 2.3 billion dollars at the farm gate to our state's economy, this does not include the significant, social and environmental benefits agriculture delivers to the community.

"We want to see governments move the needle further to show recognition of agriculture’s contribution.

"TasFarmers can't take seriously governments that don’t prioritise agriculture. We've seen minimal support in recent budgets, leaving farming needs unaddressed.

"The current policy settings are only serving to exacerbate frustration and alienate food and fibre producers, our members are telling us they want to see more long-term strategic change.

"Let me be clear, we don't just want money thrown at the sector, we are not after handouts, we want to see a strategic approach, and farmers want and need to be part of the solution.

"We require forward-thinking solutions to address challenges like:

- Improving shipping access

- Enhancing access to telecommunications technologies

- Providing accessible, fit-for-purpose education and training

- Mitigating the risks posed by climate change

- Ensuring readiness for ecosystem services market

- Reducing bureaucratic red tape

- Amending planning laws to allow worker accommodation on farms

- Revising the compulsory land acquisition act

- Supporting a proper compensation model for compulsory land acquisition

"The list goes on.

"There are some easy wins, with little or no cost, initiatives like the farm access code. It’s crucial farmer's rights are protected and it is a simple thing to implement," said Mr Sauer.

TasFarmers Members have voiced their concerns about the neglected areas of agriculture within the political landscape, underscoring the urgent need for decision-makers to address the growing pressures on farmers.

We urge all political parties and candidates to engage in a meaningful discussion, as we commit to making their responses public before the election, ensuring transparency and accountability.