News and Views

First female agriculture minister

Image: Minister for Agriculture - Bridget McKenzie and the Governor General.
Minister for Agriculture - Bridget McKenzie and the Governor General.

Bridget McKenzie is the new Minister for Agriculture and the first female to hold the portfolio in the Commonwealth’s history.

The National Farmers’ Federation has congratulated Nationals Deputy Leader and Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie on her appointment as the Minister for Agriculture in the 46th Parliament and the first female to hold the portfolio in the Commonwealth’s history.

“Senator McKenzie has been a long-time vocal and effective advocate for regional and rural Australia,” the NFF’s first female President, Fiona Simson said.

“Women remain underrepresented in leadership roles in our industry. The significance of having a female in agriculture’s top job can’t be overstated.”

Ms Simson said the NFF had worked closely and successfully with Senator McKenzie in her former roles as Minister for Regional Telecommunications and Rural Health.

“Senator McKenzie has an in-depth understanding of the challenges, and also the phenomenal opportunities, before our regions and the policies and investments agriculture needs to reach its potential.

“We welcome Senator McKenzie’s support for industry’s goal to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.”

Ms Simson thanked outgoing Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud for the committed, passionate and pragmatic way in which he advanced the interests of farmers.

Mr Littleproud will retain the Water Resources portfolio and has also assumed responsibility for Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management.

“Under Minister Littleproud’s leadership, bipartisan support for the Murray Darling Basin Plan prevailed, $1 per litre milk came to an end and significant improvements were made to the regulations governing the export of live sheep to the Middle east,” Ms Simson said.”

We also welcomed Minister Littleproud’s commitment to a Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot and Sustainability Certification program to fiscally reward farmers for the environmental works they do everyday on behalf of all Australians.

“We look forward to the momentum continuing on these important initiatives with Minister McKenzie and to working with Minister Littleproud on seeing the continued implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“Prime Minister Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister McCormack continue to be there for our farmers during tough times.

“By endorsing our vision for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, the Federal Government has also shown its commitment to agriculture’s future success and prosperity,” Ms Simson said.

This article was first published in The Fence magazine.

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