State and federal agriculture ministers to descend on Moree for AgMin meeting

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is hoping to see three key outcomes come out of the AgMin meeting in Moree next week.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is hoping to see three key outcomes come out of the AgMin meeting in Moree next week.

As agriculture ministers from right across the country prepare to head to Moree for the special AgMin meeting to discuss the ongoing drought, there are a number of outcomes Northern Tablelands MP and NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall is wanting to come from it.

Mr Marshall called for the meeting that will bring together agriculture ministers from every state and territory as well as the federal agriculture minister and drought minister.

"From my perspective, I requested that this meeting be held in Moree rather than a capital city because I wanted to have the opportunity to show my ministerial colleagues an example of a community and farmers that are in the midst of the very worst drought in history, but also to make sure that it's not just a gabfest, that we actually get some serious outcomes," Mr Marshall said.

He is going into the meeting wanting to see three main outcomes that will have positive impacts right across drought-stricken NSW.

"I want to see the drought support that's being offered at a state and federal government level be better streamlined and more easily accessible and being delivered through one central location rather than through a state government agency and then a federal government agency via Centrelink," he said.

"We need to have that streamlined to make the assistance as easy as possible."

Mr Marshall also wants discussions about the drought recovery program and how the governments are going to support the agriculture sector get back on its feet.

"My objective would be to get the states and the commonwealth to agree on a set of programs and jointly fund them and deliver them together rather than federal government doing its thing and state government doing its thing, because often when that happens it confuses people," he said.

"It's too complex, too much paperwork and there are different criteria for how you are eligible to access that assistance."

The third outcome Mr Marshall is hoping to see is a commitment from the commonwealth and states to establish a farm income protection scheme for farmers to protect themselves against the next inevitable drought.

"It works very successfully in other countries around the world but we don't have such an insurance product that's available for farmers at the moment," he said.

"I want to see a product available to all farmers of all sizes no matter what they're growing throughout Australia and that's critical, I think, to build additional resilience in our sector for the next inevitable drought.

"Whether that's in NSW, or Western Australia, or South Australia, it's inevitable. We're going to have more of these and we've got to learn from this and do better next time.

"I'm confident there will be some robust discussion. Whether or not we achieve those outcomes is really up to the meeting, but that's what I'm going into the meeting really determined to get out of it."

The AgMin meeting will take place in Moree next Tuesday, December 10.