Farmers call for new Ag Minister to prioritise climate change and ag policy

6 February 2020Farmers across the country are calling for Federal politicians to step up and take serious climate action, starting with the new Agriculture Minister prioritising the funding and implementation of a national strategy for climate change and agriculture.

Queensland grazier Jody Brown called on Minister David Littleproud to make the implementation of a national strategy for climate change and agriculture a top priority. More than 100,000 people have signed Jody’s petition online calling for this plan.

“It’s time our elected leaders stopped talking and endlessly debating climate change and get on with the job of responding to it. And that starts in regional Australia with a national strategy for climate change and agriculture,” Ms Brown said.

“The changing climate is making it increasingly difficult to farm. Increased droughts, bushfires, heatwaves means that if we don’t have a plan I am afraid we will see farmers start walking off the land.

“If Minister Littleproud can make some serious headway on this front, and lay solid foundations for a strategy on Agriculture and Climate Change, he will leave a lasting legacy. He has the opportunity to be a crucial catalyst in the turning point of our political history, and to work with Australian farmers to chart a positive path forward through one of modern agriculture’s most daunting challenges. 

“This is an opportunity for Minister Littleproud to show farmers who are feeling the pinch because of climate related disasters that he is listening, and takes their concerns seriously.” 

Crookwell sheep farmer and Farmers for Climate Action deputy chair, Charlie Prell, said the Government had to stop being frightened of acting on climate, and grasp the opportunities that taking strong action on climate would bring. 

“Farmers and regional Australians are craving leadership on climate change from the Federal Government. You just have to look at the current wave of people across the country joining the #ShowOurColours campaign. They are demonstrating their support for stronger action on climate by adopting the colour yellow,” Mr Prell said.

"Minister Littleproud has done excellent work during his previous time in the agriculture portfolio and also during his time managing drought and water. We look forward to working together with Minister Littleproud to develop a fully-funded national strategy for climate change and agriculture before the next election. 

“Support from the Cabinet for this strategy is imperative. Now is the time for action.

"All state governments support this strategy. Farmers support it. We just need this government to make it a priority."

Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontlines of climate change, are a key part of its solution.

ENDS

Interviews available. Please contact Fiona to arrange - 0434 505 188 or fiona@farmersforclimateaction.org.au