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Forum Continues Conversation with Australian Agri-Finance Sector

27 June 2012

AUSTRALIA - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Parliamentary Secretary, Sid Sidebottom, yesterday (26 June) met with members of the government’s Agricultural Finance Forum for the exchange of industry and government views on major public policy issues.

Minister Ludwig said the Agricultural Finance Forum provides an important mechanism to improve communication between the rural sector, government and financial institutions.

“I have arranged for the Agricultural Finance Forum to meet regularly to help ensure a good understanding exists between agribusiness, the agri–finance sector and the government on agricultural issues and government policies,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Australia’s agricultural industries are critical to Australia’s economy and it’s vital that we all work together to build a sustainable future.

“I encourage the agri–finance sector to work with agricultural producers and the government in a flexible and collaborative manner.”

The latest Agricultural Finance Forum builds on the government’s commitment to hold regular discussions on agricultural policy issues with agri–finance stakeholders to coincide with the release of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) agricultural commodities reports.

Mr Sidebottom said the meeting allowed the finance industry to have a dialogue with government about a range of issues.

“Given our highly variable climatic conditions, ABARES’ rural forecasts are a useful resource for many stakeholders, including the agri–finance sector,” Mr Sidebottom said.

“Today’s meeting provides members with an opportunity to discuss the rural forecasts and other agricultural policy challenges.”

The Agricultural Finance Forum aims to enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture by fostering strong relationships between the agri–finance sector and Australian agribusiness and progressing matters of mutual interest.

The Agricultural Finance Forum comprises representatives from major rural lenders and others in the agri–finance sector, including accountants, the National Farmers’ Federation and the National Rural Advisory Council.

TheCropSite News Desk

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