TasFarmers to hold government accountable

27 March 2024

The election results are in, and voters have chosen to reinstate the Liberal Party to govern in minority. What is needed now is leadership and clarity. Our politicians must not allow uncertainty to linger for months and must collaborate to achieve outcomes for the state.

The minor parties and independents will need to negotiate with the government to ensure supply and confidence to allow the implementation of the liberal governments’ 'A Strong Plan for our Agriculture Industry' policies which took direction from the TasFarmers election package.

TasFarmers will seek to hold the government accountable for its election promises while ensuring meaningful dialogue with parliamentary members to foster an understanding of agricultural issues.

The government has considered members' feedback on various issues, including the Northwest transmission development compensation, land access, irrigation, education, and training. They also recognise the need for supply chain efficiencies to facilitate a smoothly operating market.

The State of Tasmania, including both the mainland and the Bass Strait Islands, is grappling with unprecedented dry seasonal conditions, posing significant supply chain challenges for our primary producers.

We have received consistent feedback that farmers are encountering difficulties in transporting livestock, accessing meat production services, and securing feed for the upcoming winter. The gravity of the situation necessitates the full attention of policymakers and political leaders.

In response to drought conditions, TasFarmers is working to assist members and the community through several initiatives and advocacy outcomes.

TasFarmers has established a dedicated resource for its members during this challenging time. We urge members to share their feedback with us so that we can continue to advocate effectively for their needs.

Thanks to our lobbying efforts, the government has expanded hardship grants initially designated for King and Flinders Islands to cover the entire state. Farmers on King Island can already access grant payments, with statewide support applications expected to open soon.

This week, we announced that, with support of funding from the Tasmanian Government and the TAS Farm Innovation Hub, TasFarmers will appoint a Regional Drought Coordinator specifically for King Island. This role will support various drought response activities, including sourcing feed, providing technical advice, and facilitating access to relevant resources.

We also continue to actively advocate for the government and TasIrrigation to ensure the supply of irrigation water beyond the typical end of the irrigation season. In this light, we welcome TasIrrigation's announcement that 12 schemes across the state will be extended to support farmers during these dry conditions.

Tasmanian agriculture is at a crucial juncture where leadership and clarity are paramount. Our politicians must act decisively to address the pressing issues facing our industry, particularly amidst unprecedented dry seasonal conditions.