'We'll cut red tape': Truss

09 Feb, 2013 03:00 AM
Warren Truss.
Warren Truss.

THE Coalition will focus on cutting red tape costs for primary producers starting with the carbon tax, if they defeat Labor at the upcoming election, according to Nationals Leader Warren Truss.

Speaking to Fairfax Agricultural Media, Mr Truss said the Coalition would aim to relieve immediate financial pressures on farmers and detail more in-depth plans on how to achieve that goal, during the marathon 226-day election campaign.

His party is also committed to maximising future opportunities for Australian producers from the growing and changing food demand ratio in the Asian region

Prime Minister Julia Gillard also highlighted her government’s plans to bolster those opportunities for the farming sector, after announcing the September 14 election date during her speech at the National Press club in Canberra last week.

But those plans didn’t include axing the carbon tax introduced by her government, with support from the Greens and key Independent MPs, which has been severely criticised by farm leaders for adding to input and processing costs which are already heavily strained.

Mr Truss said abolition of the carbon tax was “obviously a very important and immediate initiative” that would help release cost pressures on farmers and rural communities.

He said the farming community was yet top realise the full impacts of the unpopular tax, with increasing transport costs due to hit the farm sector after July 1, 2014.

“We’re also committed to reducing red tape costs on the farm sector which are growing enormously along with endless, needless bureaucracy that seems to be increasing constantly.”

Mr Truss said Australia was one of only a few developed countries with the capacity to expand its farming and agricultural areas to capture future growth opportunities.

The Coalition has plans to develop and open up new production areas in northern Australia, to help provide a bigger share of that global food parcel, he said.

He also promised there would be no changes to agricultural R&D spending or major alterations to any existing programs.

“At the last election we went in with a commitment to increase R&D expenditure and certainly we regard R&D as a very high priority,” he said.

Mr Truss said although the election campaign was like a marathon, the Coalition would remain focused throughout its duration.

Mr Truss said the current polls may indicate a landslide victory for the Coalition - and spell bad news for the ALP - but the National party won’t be getting complacent.

“There’s no doubt people are sick of this Labor government and don’t believe it has performed well,” he said.

“But there’s still an obligation on us to prove that we will be better and we will deliver a government that can turn this country around and put in place sustainable policies that benefit the whole nation.

“If elected, clearly we’d come to office burdened by the legacy of this government which is a massive debt and huge interest bill that has to be paid every month.

“It will be our obligation to try and get the country’s finances back to order, while at the same time having a positive approach to building a stronger economy.

“Investing in a more productive Australia helps boost the revenue and that’s an important part of balancing the budget too.

“We will certainly continue our strong emphasis as a party on making sure rural and regional Australia and our farmers get a fair share of our nation’s growth and prosperity and a fair return from what they contribute to the nation’s overall growth and prosperity.”

Mr Truss said Australians have been “disgusted” by the parliamentary process that’s unfolded since the 2010 hung election.

He said it was “the worst parliament that I’ve been in”, since first elected as the Federal MP for the Queensland rural seat of Wide Bay in 1990.

“It’s really been two and a half years of chaos and there’s never really been any order and of course the nature of the current parliament is contributing to that chaos.

“That’s the way the Labor party has been operating for a long period of time but people are sick of it and want change.”

Mr Truss also warned rural voters to be wary of any promises made by the Greens leader Christine Milne that her party had embraced farmers and the regions, with a new agenda following Bob Brown’s resignation last year.

“The Greens always say they are going to embrace agriculture and the rural sector but they’re really only out there in the regions when there’s something to protest about,” he said.

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John Niven
9/02/2013 6:31:38 AM

Just vote Katter Australia Party
9/02/2013 7:31:22 AM

Mr Truss, The Nationals sat on the side lines while Howard locked up our native veg and regrowth to offset Australias greenhouse gas emissions. This is worse than the carbon tax in view of the nil payment for this offset. Please confirm that the Natioanls will not be complicit in further property theft, or shall we find someone else to vote for?
9/02/2013 7:42:15 PM

To quote the article,"He also promised there would be no changes to agricultural R&D spending or major alterations to any existing programs. “At the last election we went in with a commitment to increase R&D expenditure and certainly we regard R&D as a very high priority,” he said". OK, if there is no change to ag R&D spending what, has happened to the the commitment to increase R&D? You and I both know that this is valueless electioneering speak. Ag stays on the bottom of the list regardless of who takes office in September.
Bushie Bill
10/02/2013 7:09:21 AM

Your headline summary and introductory paragraph are not very accurate. The carbon tax is not paid directly by the substantial percentage of farmers, if any. Thus it cannot possibly add to "red tape". If Warren isn't aware how the carbon tax works, perhaps the old bloke should make an effort to find out. Facts are important, you know.
10/02/2013 2:31:06 PM

The coalition would win my vote if they promise to abolish the national livestock identification scam, it steals tens of millions of dollars of us farmers every year for no reason. Give the money to quarantine Australia instead of Leader and Alflex!
Chick Olsson
10/02/2013 4:56:52 PM

Any details rather than motherhood statements would be very welcome indeed. And BTW, what are you going to do for Agriculture?
11/02/2013 8:51:06 AM

Well Chick! Its no worse than what we have endured under the present regime.Just what is Ludwig and Crean doing for rural Australia?
Bushie Bill
13/02/2013 12:08:56 PM

There is no point jumping from the fat to the fire. If the Nats had any brains and courage, they would separate from the Liberals and sell themselves to the highest genuine bidder. They may find the Labor mob to be somewhat more genuine than the Liberals. Why the Nationals do not do this is hard to understand. After all, the two Independents who committed to Labor were able to extract more for RARA in this parliamentary term than the Nats have been able to achieve in a decade. What have they got to lose? Only their fear and timidity. If the pope can resign, the Nats can become independent.
john from tamworth
13/02/2013 2:39:38 PM

The Nationals should change their name back to the Country Party and with the name change make it very clear that they are focused on looking after all the people in rural australia not just farmers.This would require a clean break from the relic state farming organisations and eventually from the Liberals.Truss is not the man to do this but further down the party there will be some independent thinkers who realise that without change they are heading for oblivion.


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Take note NFF! You only represent a decreasing number o farmers yet most of the issues seriously
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It will be all about quality demanded from the consumer, until it is all about yield. That will
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I"m sorry, Gummy, that you have failed to understand. The reference which I gave you was indeed