Media Release - Ministerial Appointments - Thursday, 6 February 2020

Media Release - Ministerial Appointments - Thursday, 6 February 2020 Main Image

By Joel Fitzgibbon

I congratulate both David Littleproud and Keith Pitt on their ministerial appointments. It was a mistake to remove David Littleproud from the agriculture portfolio and Labor welcomes his re-appointment.
David Littleproud was denied the portfolio following the 2019 election because he diverged too far from the National Party playbook and its failed populism and pork-barrelling guidance. His challenge this time will be to take the Prime Minister and his colleagues with him on a reform journey to turn around the flat-lining productivity and poor profitability in the food and fibre sector.
The Morrison Government has no national plan for the agriculture sector and no coherent national plan for the ongoing drought. Despite some welcome rain, the drought is very much still with us. David Littleproud’s first act should be to stop cutting farming families off Farm Household Allowance.
Labor will work with David Littleproud on any reform agenda in pursuit of sustainable profitability in the agriculture sector. The Government can’t keep claiming the National Farmers Federation’s plan as its own. In the face of challenges from drought, bushfires, biosecurity threats, trade wars, and the Coronavirus, the sector deserves better. 
Former Minister McKenzie promised she’d address the shortcomings of the agriculture, research and innovation frameworks. Sadly she failed to deliver. David Littleproud must now do so.
As in agriculture, Labor will seek to work with new resources Minister Keith Pitt to grow sustainable profitability and jobs in the resources sector, which delivers so much economic wealth to Australia’s economy.