House debates

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Regional Australia

1:59 pm

Photo of Anne WebsterAnne Webster (Mallee, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

We often talk about the resilience of regional communities. I know this firsthand when I hear from farmers who have not sown a crop for years due to drought. These farmers trade with stoicism and many are champions of adaptation, whether to the environment, markets, or technology. They have evolved their business models to meet emerging challenges and have prospered. The COVID-19 crisis offers regional communities an opportunity to reset and reconsider the way we do business and live our lives. One way is to value-add to primary industry through manufacturing. Building our manufacturing capabilities must become a focus if we are to see growth and recovery on the other side, paving a way for greater self-reliance on Australian supply chains. Too much of our raw product is shipped overseas and returned as retail product. Through technology, robotics and automation, we can cost-effectively produce quality goods that are desired around the globe. While we remain committed to building international trade relationships, diversification is prudent.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The time for members' statements has concluded.