It’s taken four attempts, but Bill Shorten finally uttered the word “agriculture” in a Budget Reply speech. Sadly, it was nothing more than a patronising, passing mention that will further damage his credibility in regional Australia, which is already near rock bottom.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, says he’s not surprised by Mr Shorten’s failure to set out a vision for the future of agriculture and regional Australia in tonight’s Budget Reply speech.
“They will not admit it, but their actions speak volumes – Labor just doesn’t care about agriculture or regional Australia,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“The regions are driving our economy forward, with agriculture delivering much of our national economic growth in recent quarters.
“Agricultural production is up more than 30 per cent over the last four years, enjoying a resurgence on the back of strong support from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and the Coalition Government.
“While Labor’s vision for regional Australia and Australian agriculture has gone missing, the Nationals and the Turnbull Coalition Government have a rock-solid commitment to supporting Aussie farmers and backing the regions to succeed.
“Our record stands up to the toughest scrutiny, with this year’s Budget a further demonstration of our commitment to securing a fair deal for the 3 in 10 Australians living in the regions.”