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Saturday, March 11, 2006

$8 MILLION FOR CLEAN GREEN AND CLEVER PRIMARY INDUSTRY

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

Biosecurity, Data logging and Small Vineyards Championed along with Quality Assurance
The Tasmanian Greens today launched their Agricultural policy and an $8 million agricultural package which sets Tasmania up to create a sustainable and secure future for all primary industry into the 21st Century. A $3 million flagship data logging project to map soils, micro-climates and current crop regimes to provide an accurate picture of Tasmania’s current situation and identify existing and emerging crop opportunities by matching specific location capability with specific production opportunities heads up the package.

Greens Opposition spokesperson for primary Industry Kim Booth MHA said that the Greens package for Tasmanian agriculture also includes $1.5 million to develop an integrated quarantine and biosecurity framework as well as funding to restablish and promote Tasmania’s HGP Free Blue Label beef programme and a special 3 point industry development package to assist small vineyards in the state.

“The Greens vision is to see Tasmania’s clean, green primary industries develop as the bedrock for a Food and Nutrition industry that will ensure career paths are developed in primary industries for young Tasmanians as well as enabling producers to make a decent living whilst staying on the land.” Mr Booth said.

“Our policy reflects the realities of a global market which demands verifiable, authentic certification of produce and this includes not only things like the chemical residue levels in food but also the growing conditions and environmental sustainability of production methods.”

“There’s no reason why Tasmania can’t be a world leader in this area.”

“Our 3 point small vineyards development package ensures that we consolidate our global market share whilst ensuring the industry gets the assistance and security of funding that will allow it to strategically plan and grow.”

“To this end we would readopt the State Cellar Door Rebate Scheme (SCDRS) and provide part funding for an Industry Development Officer as well as guaranteeing surety of funding within the DED and making a dedicated wine industry liaison officer available within that department.”

“Our policy also highlights the development of a Clean, Green Agricultural Unit within DPIWE as we are dedicated to enhancing of Tasmania’s brand Clean and Green brand whilst assisting producers into the ‘clever’ phase of marketing and production.”

“Our $200 million a year red meat industry gets it’s authentic label back with proper promotion as well as on ground inspectors to ensure retailers and exporters are selling world class product.”

“”There is also $500 000 for an expert team in vegetable marketing to identify pathways through the current crisis as well as pursue national and international markets for our producers.”

“And an initiative which I think would be a great boost to our primary producers is our $75, 000 a year International Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship which based on the Churchill fellowship scheme would see young Tasmanians selected to study internationally with a built in component of structured knowledge sharing within Tasmania on their return.”

“This package keeps the faith with our traditional industries whilst laying a pathway for careers in the sunrise agricultural industries and I am very proud to launch it today.

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