Agriculture ministers from around Australia came together in Melbourne today to endorse a national program, led by Victoria, that will see governments work together to help farmers meet the challenges of climate change.
Much of Australia is facing severe drought and dry conditions are set to become more frequent and extreme as a result of climate change.
It is vital that governments across Australia work together to build the country’s response to droughts and our farms’ preparedness for ongoing difficult seasonal conditions, through a coordinated national approach that gives Australian producers access to support that will provide relief immediately and well into the future.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes welcomed the decision of the Agricultural Ministers’ Forum to commit to the national climate change work program, which will provide certainty to the agriculture and business sectors while supporting producers to build resilience against changing conditions.
Victoria led the development of the program, which focuses on four priorities:
- Delivering information and tools to improve on-farm decisions and risk management
- Driving research and innovation to support adaptation and mitigation technology
- Strengthening market opportunities and farming business models to build resilience
- Preparing for increasing biosecurity risks as the risk of pests, diseases and weeds changes.
A new Climate Change Task Group will oversee the delivery of the program, regularly reporting to the Agriculture Senior Officials’ Committee and Ministers on its progress.
Farmers across Australia know too well the challenges caused by climate change. While they are good at adapting to difficult seasonal conditions, they need further support to thrive for decades, not years, to come.
Adapting to climate change makes good business sense, creating jobs for Australians and unlocking new investment opportunities.
With some Victorian farmers facing their fourth seasons of drought, the Andrews Labor Government provided an additional $31 million package of targeted support earlier this month, giving farmers and communities impacted by drought and dry conditions the support they need.
Climate change doesn’t respect state boundaries. It is time for all Australian governments to work together to make sure Australia’s rich and valuable agriculture industry can thrive well into the future.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“As climate change becomes an increasing threat to our agriculture sector, we are proud to be leading this national work and letting Australian producers know that their governments are backing them.”
“The science on climate change is clear and we’ll work with farmers and their communities to manage the risks it poses to our agriculture sector.”