YOUNG CANE: Irrigation equipment in a field on the Burnett Heads Road. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
YOUNG CANE: Irrigation equipment in a field on the Burnett Heads Road. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Parties take separate paths in bid to woo farm vote

FARMERS would get standard codes for negotiating with supermarkets under Labor, or $100 million for research and development under the Coalition, under competing agriculture policies.

Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon and his counterpart John Cobb both released two key farm policies on Wednesday.

Under a re-elected Labor government, farmers would get an independent mediator to negotiate the food and grocery code of conduct, if the producers and retailers can't come to an agreement this year.

A Rudd government would also have the national foreign investment register up and running by July next year and would review the Farm Finance Package.

Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor would also develop standard contracts for produce supply to help farmers get a better deal with the supermarkets.

The Opposition has promised $100 million for 15 rural research and development corporations, in an effort to address falling funding for R+D.

Mr Cobb said the current government had paid "lip-service to agricultural R+D", while the Coalition would work to get "maximum advantage" for farming businesses.


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