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Victoria’s new Agricultural Advisory Council

Friday, 08 November 2013
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh has today announced the formation of a new advisory council that will help guide the future of Victoria’s food and fibre industries.
Mr Walsh said the Victorian Coalition Government will use the Victorian Agriculture Advisory Council (VAAC) to provide strategic advice for support of food and fibre producers, specifically during times of industry pressure or crisis.
“The VAAC will provide advice in response to various  industry pressures as they arise, including how seasonal and economic conditions are impacting Victoria’s agricultural and rural communities,” Mr Walsh said. 
“The Council’s advice will help the Coalition Government to build more productive, resilient and competitive agricultural businesses and communities in regional Victoria.”
Mr Walsh and the VAAC met in Tatura today. The Council will meet twice yearly or at the request of the Minister going forward.
“The VAAC’s inaugural members have been selected because they have a diverse range of expertise and experience across fields including agricultural industry development, banking, regional development, community health and small business,” Mr Walsh said.
“I am very pleased to announce Michael Taylor AO as the Council’s chair. Mr Taylor has a distinguished public service career, with more than 15 years as Secretary for several Commonwealth departments including Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Mr Taylor is the current chair of the Gardiner Foundation.
“I expect the Council to contribute to the development of best-practice agriculture policy by providing the Coalition Government with accurate, timely, robust advice that is backed up by sound evidence.”
VAAC members:
  • Michael Taylor AO (Chair);
  • Mark Bennett, ANZ Banking Group;
  • Susan Brumby, National Centre for Farmer Health;
  • James Flintoft, Department of Environment and Primary Industries;
  • Alexandra Gartmann, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal;
  • Rob Goudswaard, Rural Finance Corporation;
  • Dennis O’Connor, O’Connor’s Case IH – Farm Machinery;
  • Bernie O’Sullivan, Department of Environment and Primary Industries; and
  • Peter Tuohey, Victorian Farmers Federation

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