Politics Sector News — 22 August 2014

Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce is visiting Gunnedah in New South Wales, and will meet some of the many farmers and graziers who come along.

He said the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip was Australia’s biggest showcase of agricultural products and machinery attracting more than 100,000 visitors – making it the largest agriculture show in the southern hemisphere.

“Since 1973, AgQuip has been showcasing the latest innovative machinery, equipment and services,” he said.

“It’s a good place to meet up with people from a range of diverse agricultural industries and swap ideas.bigstockphoto_Farmer_Moving_Sheep_4199952

“As Minister, this is one of those events I really enjoy coming along too – it gives me the opportunity to talk with Australian farmers and find out what the real issues are on-the-ground.

“While I’m at AgQuip, I’m also taking the opportunity to meet with one of our hardworking drought coordinators.

“There are five drought coordinators based in Mt Isa, Longreach, Charleville, Tamworth and Armidale who let farmers and their families know about the social support and mental health services available in drought-affected areas.

“Drought coordinators work with communities to identify their needs and facilitate communication and links between government, non-government and community based mental health and social support services in the drought-affected areas.

“So far, the coordinators between them have travelled 31,000 kms and attended more than 350 meetings.

“I know things have been tough and there are farming families in need.

“There are a range of support measures available now for farmers in need who are doing it tough.

“I encourage farmers not to self-assess, but to seek help and find out what’s available.”

This article first appeared on Get Farming Australia on 21 August 2014.

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