Agriculture & Rural Affairs

The long-term sustainability of agriculture is essential for Australia’s society, economy and environment. Many threats are facing the sector, including climate change and competition for farm land. Rural Australia faces complex agricultural, environmental and social challenges that the Greens are strongly committed to addressing.

media-releases

WA suffers further cuts to agricultural research

01 Jun 2009

Reports that the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food will phase out 200 jobs is a further blow to agriculture in the state, says Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert.

"Regional WA is copping a triple-whammy," said Senator Siewert.

"First we had regional natural resource management groups being slashed under Caring for Our Country, then we had the recent axing of Land and Water Australia and finally, significant cuts to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation."

Reports that the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food will phase out 200 jobs is a further blow to agriculture in the state, says Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert.

"Regional WA is copping a triple-whammy," said Senator Siewert.

"First we had regional natural resource management groups being slashed under Caring for Our Country, then we had the recent axing of Land and Water Australia and finally, significant cuts to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation."

estimates

Agricultural research funding

26 May 2009

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I want to pick up where Senator Colbeck left off. Besides the fact that $3 million is being cut from research at a time when it is absolutely essential that in agriculture we keep investing in research, my concern is that focusing on some of the smaller levy industries, for example, and I can see why there is incentive to do that, cuts out some of the essential research, to my mind, on new industries. Are you confident you can keep the research effort up into new industries? I also notice the report that just came out, in March, around the value that new industries are contributing to our economy-according to your report, $1 billion. That is not an insubstantial amount of money that is being generated by new rural industries. Is there a danger that research in new industries is going to be significantly affected by this move?

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I want to pick up where Senator Colbeck left off. Besides the fact that $3 million is being cut from research at a time when it is absolutely essential that in agriculture we keep investing in research, my concern is that focusing on some of the smaller levy industries, for example, and I can see why there is incentive to do that, cuts out some of the essential research, to my mind, on new industries. Are you confident you can keep the research effort up into new industries? I also notice the report that just came out, in March, around the value that new industries are contributing to our economy-according to your report, $1 billion. That is not an insubstantial amount of money that is being generated by new rural industries. Is there a danger that research in new industries is going to be significantly affected by this move?

estimates

GM canola trials

26 May 2009

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-Where would I go to find out accurately what percentage of weeding we had from GM canola? What percentage, through last year's GM crop, did we have of seeding outside the paddock?

Mr Reading-Seeds outside-

Senator SIEWERT-Seeding outside. Volunteers and contamination of other crops.

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-Where would I go to find out accurately what percentage of weeding we had from GM canola? What percentage, through last year's GM crop, did we have of seeding outside the paddock?

Mr Reading-Seeds outside-

Senator SIEWERT-Seeding outside. Volunteers and contamination of other crops.

media-releases

Axing land and water research doesn't add up - Greens

25 May 2009

The axing of Land and Water Australia (LWA) seriously undermines agricultural and natural resource management in Australia and will be opposed by the Australian Greens.

"Senate Estimates today revealed that much of the crucial research and extension work currently being carried out by LWA will not be taken over by other agencies," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

The axing of Land and Water Australia (LWA) seriously undermines agricultural and natural resource management in Australia and will be opposed by the Australian Greens.

"Senate Estimates today revealed that much of the crucial research and extension work currently being carried out by LWA will not be taken over by other agencies," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

estimates

Land & Water Australia

25 May 2009

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I have some specific questions around Land and Water Australia. I will obviously have some questions for the agency itself, but Land and Water Australia is engaged in a lot of projects in a number of partnerships. In fact, it is one of the best organisations for developing partnerships.

Senator COLBECK-Absolutely.

Senator SIEWERT-What is going to happen to those contracts that they are already part of? I understand that there are about 100 ongoing projects that they have entered into partnerships on, with research organisations, CSIRO, the ANU and industry itself. What is happening to those contracts?

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I have some specific questions around Land and Water Australia. I will obviously have some questions for the agency itself, but Land and Water Australia is engaged in a lot of projects in a number of partnerships. In fact, it is one of the best organisations for developing partnerships.

Senator COLBECK-Absolutely.

Senator SIEWERT-What is going to happen to those contracts that they are already part of? I understand that there are about 100 ongoing projects that they have entered into partnerships on, with research organisations, CSIRO, the ANU and industry itself. What is happening to those contracts?

estimates

Land & Water Australia 2

25 May 2009

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I will start with the question that I asked earlier and that is: how many projects, as
opposed to programs-I am aware of the programs you run-do Land and Water have running at the moment, either on its own or in partnership with other research organisations or industry groups?

Dr Robinson-Currently on our books we about 120 research projects, and we have given in-principle commitment to another 26.

Senator SIEWERT-'In-principle' agreement means, I presume, that you are currently negotiating those with partners.

Dr Robinson-Partners or providers, yes.

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I will start with the question that I asked earlier and that is: how many projects, as
opposed to programs-I am aware of the programs you run-do Land and Water have running at the moment, either on its own or in partnership with other research organisations or industry groups?

Dr Robinson-Currently on our books we about 120 research projects, and we have given in-principle commitment to another 26.

Senator SIEWERT-'In-principle' agreement means, I presume, that you are currently negotiating those with partners.

Dr Robinson-Partners or providers, yes.

estimates

Land & Water Australia 3

25 May 2009

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I want to go back to this issue of knowledge brokering. The issue is not just about keeping a database; it is actually about the experience that Land and Water has of networking, the expertise you have gained that way and disseminating that information. You established that role because nobody else was doing it and it was so important to keep doing it. I want to know what is going to happen to that function-the knowledge brokering. It is not just building bloody databases-sorry-it is making sure that research is actually used. It is a critical function. What is going to happen with that function?

Dr Robinson-Thank you, Senator. I would like to know too.

Senator SIEWERT-Has there been any discussion with government about picking up that critical function?

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Senator SIEWERT-I want to go back to this issue of knowledge brokering. The issue is not just about keeping a database; it is actually about the experience that Land and Water has of networking, the expertise you have gained that way and disseminating that information. You established that role because nobody else was doing it and it was so important to keep doing it. I want to know what is going to happen to that function-the knowledge brokering. It is not just building bloody databases-sorry-it is making sure that research is actually used. It is a critical function. What is going to happen with that function?

Dr Robinson-Thank you, Senator. I would like to know too.

Senator SIEWERT-Has there been any discussion with government about picking up that critical function?

media-releases

Greens oppose Barnett’s reckless road-building

15 May 2009

Australian Greens Environment Spokesperson Rachel Siewert will urge the Federal Government not to support two road proposals allocated large sums of money in the WA Budget.

Australian Greens Environment Spokesperson Rachel Siewert will urge the Federal Government not to support two road proposals allocated large sums of money in the WA Budget.

media-releases

Greens support Fair Trade Fortnight

14 May 2009

The Australian Greens have put their support behind the Fair Trade Fortnight (2-17 May), encouraging Australians to take part in events occurring around the country.

"Fair trade enables consumers to make an ethical choice when purchasing products, enabling even the simplest of transactions to have huge, global impact," said Australian Greens industrial rights spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

The Australian Greens have put their support behind the Fair Trade Fortnight (2-17 May), encouraging Australians to take part in events occurring around the country.

"Fair trade enables consumers to make an ethical choice when purchasing products, enabling even the simplest of transactions to have huge, global impact," said Australian Greens industrial rights spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

media-releases

Budget delivers no green economy for Western Australia

12 May 2009

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert today expressed deep concern that the Federal budget leaves many people behind and does not develop the new green economy.

"While the increase of $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners is a welcome step, the Government has not addressed the crisis Australia is facing in aged care. In fact, for Western Australia I am deeply concerned that beds may need to close and many older people will face deeper hardship, particularly in regional and rural areas," said Senator Siewert.

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert today expressed deep concern that the Federal budget leaves many people behind and does not develop the new green economy.

"While the increase of $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners is a welcome step, the Government has not addressed the crisis Australia is facing in aged care. In fact, for Western Australia I am deeply concerned that beds may need to close and many older people will face deeper hardship, particularly in regional and rural areas," said Senator Siewert.

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