MEDIA RELEASE 27th February 2019: Sue Higginson, Greens candidate for Lismore is joined today by Richard Di Natale, leader of the Australian Greens, in Lismore to release their Our Food and Fibre Future Plan for the North East NSW. The Plan guarantees political, financial and logistical support for farming and ecosystem expertise to grow our region’s agricultural sector.

The Plan will be launched at the Greens Campaign Office at 154 Molesworth Street, Lismore at 2.30pm today.  

Ms Higginson said “Our region is a place like no other. With good rainfall, fertile soils and our green brand and image we are positioned to lead the way in NSW as a sustainable food and fibre hub.”

As a local farmer I am passionate and driven about our region’s agricultural future. We have all the right conditions to become a sustainable agricultural hub that leads the way in innovative solutions to our climate change crisis and the challenges that modern agriculture faces in a fast changing world,” said Ms Higginson.

“The National Party is not driving our agricultural agenda in the right direction and we need to change this urgently. Here in our region the Nationals were willing to throw us under invasive coal seam gas fields and around the State they are throwing farmers under massive coal mines and prioritising corporate agribusiness, which is breaking the back of farmers across our nation.”

“Family farms are the backbone of sustainable agriculture because they are more adaptable and diverse. Our current Governments are not investing in transitioning our essential agricultural sector to sustainable and regenerative food and fibre production. Farmers are at the forefront of the impacts of climate change and we need support to build resilience in our sector so we can adapt and continue to produce. If we don’t get smart and get behind our region’s farmers we are going to miss out.”

“Our Plan commits to working with farmers to adapt and innovate our agricultural sector to meet the modern challenges we face. We will provide $120 million in low interest loans for young farmers, establish a local food fund and brand and ensure proper pricing for farm gate produce. We will protect our vital water resources and our prime agricultural land from mining and unsustainable developments.”

“Importantly, we will provide support for emerging low input agricultural industries suited to this region such as hemp, dryland rice and other high quality high value crops and horticulture.”  

“We’ve identified appropriate mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions, improve soil fertility and mitigate against the health risks of modern chemicals that have been released into our environment. We will support indigenous businesses marketing products indigenous to our unique region. And we will introduce a local first procurement policy for all government contracts in our region.”

“Our biosecurity measures will future-proof our region against invasive weeds and we will establish meaningful political oversight over our food security and agricultural sustainability. We have a commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles in our region and above all, creating real employment opportunities in a growth industry – North Eastern NSW agriculture.”

“We have seen what years of mismanagement has done to farming along the Murray Darling, we have an opportunity here in the Northern Rivers to farm right, into the future”.

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