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Roll Out the Barrel - Joyce’s Meddling Puts Australian Agriculture at Risk

The Australian Greens have today labelled Barnaby Joyce’s ill-advised move of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his home electorate as pork-barrelling and are calling for the relocation to be immediately scrapped.

 

In the last 24 hours alone the move has prompted the resignation of the agency’s highly respected CEO as well as a Productivity Commission report slamming the proposal as costly and ineffective.

 

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Further to go to make sure our food is labelled clearly and efficiently

I rise today to speak on the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016. The Greens have been leading the way on country-of-origin labelling law for years. We want to see labelling laws that work for Australians—that work for Australian farmers, manufacturers and consumers. Since 1998 we have been working with the industry to develop our proposal to make country-of-origin labelling mandatory for all packaged and unpackaged food sold in Australia.

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Green Army money must go into actual environmental programs

“The Green Army was not an environment program. It was an employment program, and a bad one at that,” said the Greens agriculture spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.

“The program saw participants doing manual labour such as weeding and clearing creeks in return for half the minimum wage with the government describing it as ‘training and experience’.”

“The Greens have received assurances from the government that none of the money we secured for Landcare will be taken from any other environmental program or policies to balance the books.

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Barnaby must scrap APVMA move

The Greens have called on the federal government to scrap the proposal to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, after a new report showed that less than 10% of current scientists are expected to stay.

“Minister Barnaby Joyce has failed to consult with staff, stakeholders and the community,” said the Australian Greens Agriculture spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.

“The decision to uproot the lives of APVMA staff and their families to the Member for New England’s own electorate is nothing short of pork barrelling, but he can’t even get that right.

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Foreign ownership of water on agricultural land

 I rise today to speak to the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Amendment (Water) Bill 2016. The bill before us today would fulfil a longstanding commitment of the Greens to create a register of water holdings by foreign nationals. Indeed, this is the second stage of our foreign agricultural reform package, following last year's passage of legislation to develop a Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land and to lower the Foreign Investment Review Board's threshold of agricultural sales to foreign investors.

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Greens backpacker outcome provides security for Tasmania

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is relieved to see the backpacker tax impasse finally resolved to provide certainty for Tasmania’s agriculture and tourism industries and to have helped deliver additional funding to landcare groups right across the state.

 

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “What a bloody relief to get this finally done. It should never have gotten to this point, but I am relieved it to finally have it resolved.

 

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Greens announce end to backpacker tax deadlock and $100mil for Landcare

Senator Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader said today, “This is a victory for farmers who have been watching their fruit wither and die on the vine. Farmers have already lost tens of thousands of dollars waiting for politicians in Canberra to agree on an outcome. With this agreement, they will wait no longer.

“Rural communities have been desperate for someone to clean up this mess with a sensible solution and the Greens have heard them.”

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