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  • Rikki Lambert

Prime Minister 'terrorising farmers and regional communities': Nationals leader

David Littleproud with candidate Jade Benham in Mildura on Wednesday

A former agriculture minister told Flow listeners on Wednesday that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was 'terrorising' farmers and regional communities at the same time he was saying they could help feed the world.

The deputy leader of the opposition, David Littleproud, said whilst visiting Mildura in northwestern Victoria responded to the PM's comments at the G20 summit in Bali that Australian agricultural exports could ease rising food insecurity:

"He says that we are going to feed the world. Let me just give him a little education on Australian agriculture. We're a powerhouse but we can only feed 80 million people - we are not going to feed the world.
"For him to grandstand on the international stage about what Australia can do and yet domestically when he comes back, he is doing Australian farmers over - whether that be, returning back to water buybacks, taking water out of the consumptive pool away from farmers to even produce food for not only Australians but the world. And then to couple that with a nasty policy of paying for this water out of this consumptive pool by taking away our future with dams is just abhorrent."

The Nationals leader is referring to redirecting money pledged by the former Coalition government for dam construction towards measures potentially including buying farm water for environmental purposes in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below:

Mr Littleproud also cited the abandonment of agriculture visa instituted by the Morrison-Joyce government as further evidence the government didn't understand regional Australia:

"He's not even giving Australian farmers the tools they need to feed the world or even come close. He's saying one thing on the international stage while he's doing us over here domestically.
"He shouldn't be using Australian farmers as a prop to boost his reputation internationally. He should be fair dinkum about it, he's terrorising Australian farmers and regional communities. If farmers don't have the tools then they don't spend the money locally and our regional communities hurt because of it - it's hypocrisy at the highest level and it shows his lack of understanding of Australian agriculture and the impacts his policies are having on regional Australia."

The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for comment.


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