Members Statement: Bellarine Electorate Farming

21 February 2023

It was with great pleasure that I recently met with a number of farmers on the Bellarine Peninsula, touring each of their properties to discuss the local concerns and views around agriculture.

This was initiated by the Bellarine branch of the Victorian Farmers Federation, and I take the opportunity to thank Fiona Conroy and Graeme Brown for organising this tour. With a proud farming background myself I really enjoyed meeting each of the farmers and fully appreciate the importance of farming in our regions like the Bellarine Peninsula.

The meetings were very informative and provided me with a really good understanding of the issues specific to the Bellarine.

Of course farming on the Bellarine is very different now in 2023 to what it has been in the past. Farming diversification was highlighted at the properties that I visited, from grazing Angus cattle and superfine merinos to grain cropping and the hydroponic production of fresh tomatoes – and on our last stop visiting the wineries on the Bellarine.

Numerous issues were raised, including recycled water, the movement of stock and machinery, the protecting of our farmland, the ever-increasing agribusiness costs and climate action, issues that the Andrews government is certainly proud to be proactively taking action on.

Many thanks to Fiona and Graeme as the hosts, Don and Janet McDonald, Sandhya Trewari and her family, Nick Norgard and Grant Hines.

I appreciate them meeting with me and I look forward to working with them well into the future.