To ensure governments build, maintain and invest in rural and regional communities based on their strategic importance to food security and the Australian economy and retain an efficient, effective and sustainable agriculture sector as a crucial economic, social, environmental and inter-generational asset.

There is a trend for urban communities to be increasingly disconnected from rural life and agriculture. Instead, the Australian Democrats seek to foster stronger connections in our society to the regions and sectors that underpin all aspects of wider society. Agriculture is one of the foundations of our national culture and the provision of food by agriculture is what allows people to specialise and settle into cities.

Public policy settings are failing rural communities, particularly in the face of increasing impacts of a changing climate. We stand for national recognition of the contribution of rural communities and industries to Australia’s prosperity.

The Australian Democrats will support legislation that:

  • supports farmers to innovate practices that increase profitability and productivity, reduce resource use and maintain ecosystem health
  • recognises the strategic importance of agriculture to Australia, in terms of trade and increasingly in underwriting regional political stability
  • protects agricultural landscapes and water resources for future generations
  • delivers natural resource planning which includes achievable, practical and ecologically sustainable measures for the environment, communities, agriculture and industry
  • fosters sustainable land use and provides incentives for recovery of degraded lands and conservation of biodiversity, empowering farmers to play a greater role in the development of land management policies
  • protects and restores the health of Australian soils and native ecosystems
  • reasonably mitigates production and market risks for agriculture, particularly for extreme weather-related events such as drought, flood and heat
  • builds social and financial resilience in rural and regional communities, in towns and on farms alike
  • supports the ongoing innovation and implementation of best practice to underpin animal welfare in agricultural supply chains.
  • maintains the integrity and objectivity of agricultural regulators to increase consumer confidence in the sustainability and legitimacy of agricultural industries and ultimately protect their social licence.
  • fosters greater understanding and equity between city and country dwellers
  • limits tenure for foreign investment in Australia
  • provides accurate reporting of all foreign investment in Australia
  • regulates operating compliance of foreign investment entities

These policies were ratified by the members between the 15th – 28th of April, 2019. Australian Democrats policies are always subject to review – our policy volunteers consult with stakeholders outside the party, and members are strongly encouraged to participate by giving feedback at all stages of the policy process. If you have feedback or questions about our policies, contact us.

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