The biggest challenge facing horticulture is labour and we will – as a collective sector – ask the new government to focus attention in this area.
If elected, Labour will partner with industry to create a single planning framework, aiming to reduce costs for every farmer and grower and the burden of compliance.
Once fully rolled out, the farm plans will provide a framework which will meet all on-property requirements, including environmental management, labour, biosecurity and health and safety, replacing the overlapping and wide-ranging reporting, auditing and consents that are currently required.
The farm plans will enable farmers and growers to capture all of their compliance requirements in one place.
Labour says it will create a cost-sharing agreement with industry to ensure every farmer and grower pays less for their compliance.
“It can cost farmers and growers between $5,000 and $10,000 for each property to develop an integrated farm plan and we will create a cost-sharing agreement with industry that will ensure every farmer and grower pays less for their compliance,” said Labour agriculture spokesperson Damien O’Connor.
“Cohesive national farm plans that adopt a whole of farm approach will ensure that we stay ahead of the curve internationally when it comes to good farming practice.
“One of the first farm plan templates to be rolled out will seek to replace the consent process for intensive winter grazing. Working with the regional councils and the industry we will design a template that makes applying for intensive winter grazing consent much easier or, over time, supersedes the need for the consent process.
“Our primary sector is a huge part of our economy and our brand, and will be vital in our economic recovery from COVID-19, which is why we need to work with them and support the industry,” said O’Connor.