STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS – Barker Electorate: National Agriculture Day

Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:40): The 21st of November was our nation’s inaugural National Agriculture Day. Shockingly, a nationwide poll commissioned by the National Farmers’ Federation found 83 per cent of Australians would describe their connection with farming as distant or non-existent. The idea behind National Agriculture Day is the chance to reflect on the importance of agriculture to our nation and, quite frankly, to thank our farmers. It is a chance to reconnect all Australians with the story of agriculture.

Nostalgically, we often say that our country once rode on the sheep’s back, but the reality is that agriculture still plays a vital role in our economy today. Our farmers help feed us, clothe us and create jobs all along the supply chain. In fact, agriculture employs 1.6 million Australians. Within my electorate of Barker, agriculture is in fact the largest industry. There are 4,500 agribusinesses directly employing 11,250 people in Barker. It is no wonder that the Australian farm income surpassed $60 billion for the first time last year. Agriculture has emerged as the fastest-growing sector and the largest contributor to national growth in the financial year ending 30 June 2017. On average, an Aussie farmer will feed 400 Australians and 600 people around the world. I just wanted to say thank you.