Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the Great South Coast Region is again number one in Victoria and number two in Australia for farm gate output in 2015/16.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said the data backs up what’s been said about the region for a long time and highlights just how important agriculture is to the local, state and federal economies.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood of our region and they need to be congratulated for the huge contribution they make. Without them and their hard work the economy wouldn’t be in such a strong position.” Mrs Britnell said.
The figures, which are calculated by National Resource Management Boundaries, show the regions output growth rate is up 8 per cent per annum over the period 2011/12 to 2015/16.
Comparatively, Australia’s farm output is growing at 5.5 per cent and Victoria as a whole state sits at 5.05 per cent over the same period.
The region continues to grow in importance to the state – with the region’s share of Victoria’s farm gate output expanding from 13.9 per cent to 16.6 per cent over the past four years.
“These figures can’t be denied, but imagine what our outputs could be if we had better road and rail connections to markets and reliable and affordable energy supply,” Mrs Britnell said.
“There are no more excuses – we are batting well above our average and I urge both the state and federal governments to look closely at these figures and to deliver key infrastructure upgrades to help our region strengthen its contribution to the economy.
“For many years I have fought for farmers to get the recognition they deserve – that hasn’t changed and I’ll continue to be a strong voice for agriculture to ensure we aren’t forgotten.”