Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today said it is a major concern that the Government is still going through the approval processes for the well overdue Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper with no clear end in sight.
“Questioning in estimates this morning confirmed there is no final date set yet and that the White Paper was still going through the approval process.
“What is most concerning is the revelation today that the Department of Agriculture has no formal set of criteria to assess the various initiatives and ideas that will be part of the White Paper.
“The Government has openly admitted in estimates that consultation was ‘ad hoc’ and that there has been no criteria to assess ideas when developing this comprehensive framework for the future of the Agriculture sector.
"The Green paper was essentially a wish list of ideas and missed key issues such as climate change, we need more than ideas thrown into the air, a rigorous process is required for the White Paper.
“To add to the Department confirmed that any further funding initiatives that are announced with the release of the White Paper will be outside the budget process and will have to be offset by savings from Government agencies, and not necessarily just the Department of Agriculture.
“It is concerning that the budget has just been handed down and already we know that there is likely to be changes when the White Paper is released.
"Questions today have cemented sentiment that the development of this paper has been scattered and difficult process, it is simply not good enough”.