Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay attending the VFF annual Conference in Ballarat today, has welcomed a $40 million pledge of support through a Grow Victoria: Food and Fibre Exports Program for Victorian farmers’ markets and small food producers if a Liberal Nationals government is elected in November.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh announced that if elected, the Liberal Nationals will help our local farmers and food manufacturers to get more Victorian products into the rapidly expanding Asian markets through this Program.
Simon Ramsay said the $40 million investment in food and fibre production is vital to continue to grow and support jobs and business opportunities in the Western Victoria region and throughout the State.
A Liberal Nationals government will make the investments to drive growth and support jobs in Victoria’s agriculture industries to benefit all Victorians, Mr Walsh said. Victoria’s reputation for clean, green, premium produce puts us in prime position to grow food and fibre exports but the current city-centric State Labor Government has failed to grasp the opportunity knocking at our farm gates.
Under the Liberal Nationals leadership, we will reverse the Andrews Government’s funding cuts and ensure Victoria’s food and fibre export strategy addresses key drivers including market access, research and development, reducing red tape and infrastructure investment.
As the nation’s largest exporter of agricultural goods, Victoria’s exports have declined over the last three years dropping to 25 per cent, whilst other states have seen an increase in the share of exports, Mr Ramsay said. When regional Victoria’s economy is strong, all Victorians benefit.