National climate change and agriculture plan agreed

Published: 28 October 2019

Australian ministers met in Melbourne last week at the Agricultural Ministers’ Forum to endorse a Victorian-led program that will facilitate collaboration between state and commonwealth governments to meet the challenges of climate change and support the agriculture sector to adapt.

The Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes welcomed the decision of each Agriculture Minister to commit to the nationally coordinated climate change work program.

This new coordinated approach will provide certainty to both the agriculture sector and the wider business community, while also helping to support farmers and producers build resilience and be prepared to thrive under changing climate conditions.

The work program will focus on four priorities:

  • Delivering information and tools to improve on-farm decisions and risk management
  • Driving research and innovation to support adaptation and mitigation technology
  • Strengthening market opportunities and farming business models to build resilience
  • Preparing for increasing biosecurity risks as the risk of pests, diseases and weeds changes.

A newly established Climate Change Task Group will oversee the delivery of the work program and regularly report to the Agriculture Senior Officials' Committee and ministers on progress.

Across Australia farmers and producers are facing increasingly tougher conditions, with droughts, fires, floods, storms and frosts becoming more frequent and more severe. Victorian farmers are no exception with some facing their fourth seasons of drought and dry conditions.

Supporting the agriculture sector to adapt to rapidly changing climate conditions and the risks they pose to productivity is critical. It is time for all Australian governments to work together to meet the challenge of climate change, manage emissions and support resilience.

In October, the Victorian Government provided an additional $31 million package of targeted support for those farmers and their communities impacted by drought and dry conditions to get the support they need, including providing more than 4855 grants for Victorian farming businesses to improve their drought management and preparedness.

More information about support for drought affected farmers is on the Agriculture Victoria website.