Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Richard Colbeck visited Benalla last week.MONIQUE FREER June 4, 2014 3:37am
Indi Federal Electorate Conference president Tony Schneider, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck and Benalla farmer Michael Burston.
Issues facing the region’s farmers were on the agenda last Friday when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Richard Colbeck visited Benalla.
Senator Colbeck toured Rutherglen and Wangaratta before speaking with local farmers at the property of Benalla sheep farmer Michael Burston, in a bid to gain a greater understanding of the issues encountered by north-east residents in the agricultural sector.
‘‘It’s valuable for me to hear local farmers’ stories so that I can have that in my mind when I’m making decisions or developing policy,’’ Senator Colbeck said.
‘‘There is always a lot of localised bits and pieces that you pick up and mould into a broader story around agriculture, but picking up the local elements I find really valuable; just talking to people on the ground to see what they’re doing and how they manage their particular patch.’’
Particular challenges that were brought to Senator Colbeck’s attention included profitability, the work of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority and price pressures in the Australian market.
‘‘There’s been a few tough seasons and a lot of farmers have used up a bit of equity in their properties, and we need some good seasons to actually recover,’’ Senator Colbeck said.
‘‘There’s a whole heap of price pressures coming down the supply chain from the supermarket itself, and that’s why free trade agreements are important.
‘‘Alternative markets to the Australian market are important so that if you can’t get a decent price here you might have an opportunity to do that in some other markets and certainly the indications that we’re starting to get out of South-East Asia is that there is real opportunity in those markets providing we’ve got all those settings right.’’
Mr Burston said farmers around Benalla had done it tough in recent years, and continued to face challenges in pricing of their product.
‘‘It costs us about $180 to kill a beast and bone him; it costs just on $80 to do the same in Indonesia, USA $80 and $40 to 50 in Brazil,’’ Mr Burston said.
Senator Colbeck said the information he gathered during his visit would also contribute to the development of the Agriculture White Paper, which would be released late this year.
‘‘That is going to form the foundation that informs our core agricultural policy moving forward, bearing in mind that we committed to make it one of the five pillars of the economy at the election,’’ he said.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.