New report reveals bipartisan support for agricultural growth

By Nathan Calman on
14 March 2024

Electioneering has almost finished in this year's State election, with several polls indicating the re-election of the Liberal party on March 23 by the smallest of margins. It appears voters have not been swayed or inspired by the promises of the major parties.

Unless something happens in the final days leading up to the election, the minor parties and independents look to have positioned themselves to play a pivotal role in governing the state.

The only poll that matters, of course, is the one that happens on election day and in the pursuit of promoting discussion and debate, TasFarmers has meticulously compiled the policy and priority commitments of both major parties and independents in response to our policy package.

Feedback from across the political spectrum on our policy package has been positive regarding our six key priorities:

  • North-West transmission development,
  • Enhancing on-farm sustainability & productivity
  • Securing irrigation's future in Tasmania
  • Investing in agricultural workforce, education & training
  • Safeguarding Tasmania's primary industries
  • Looking for innovative approaches to other challenges

Additionally, we have had responses from independents and held meetings with the Jacqui Lambie Network, Greens, and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF).

The SFF has said they strongly support for preserving productive farmland, game fencing, and improved wildlife management, a position not expressed by the major parties.

Independent candidate for Clark, Sue Hickey was fully supportive in principle of all six priorities and recognised policy in technology, education and training can enhance farming innovation, but as mechanisms, they were overlooked or dismissed by governments all too often.

Independent candidate John Tucker also reached out with an undertaking to take into account the organisation's views in the new parliament.

In comparing the two major parties, we can reveal a strong bipartisan approach to agricultural policy in Tasmania, with both parties committing to the growth and sustainability of the sector.

There were however some nuanced differences and noticeable gaps in their policy responses to the pressing challenges of climate change, energy policy and technology. This highlights the need for further dialogue between industry and the political parties.

In the interest of transparency and accountability, we have compiled the responses to our policy questions in a comprehensive report, empowering stakeholders to make informed decisions and actively participate in shaping the future of Tasmania's agricultural sector. The report is available here for download.

While the approach to agricultural policy by the major parties appears relatively aligned, the support of advocacy by the minor parties will play a key role in the policy debate of the new parliament.

Post-Report Reactions
Here are their responses following the release of this report.

- Liberal Party: Premier - Letter to TasFarmers
- Labor Party: Tasmanian Labor Commitments
- Shooters Fishers and Famers Party - SFF TasFarmers response

Download Report