Monday, May 27, 2024

Agriculture ministers reaffirm common ground

Biosecurity, sustainable agriculture, disaster recovery and climate cooperation were front of mind during a joint meeting of the Australian and New Zealand agriculture ministers yesterday.

Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, Damien O’Connor, met with the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt in Brisbane on Sunday.

The meeting occurred as part of Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ official visit to Australia.

Minister Watt said he was pleased to be able to meet with Minister O’Connor on home turf.

“New Zealand is one of our oldest friends, and despite our sporting differences there are few countries as close as ours,” Minister Watt said.

“And that certainly shows in our priorities and our shared goals.

“Together, we are building up a clear sense of where we want to be in the future and how we can manage any challenges to come.

“Our countries are working together to address growing biosecurity risks in our region, and we are mutually committed to seeing this improve across the Indo-Pacific.”

Minister Watt said the agricultural sectors in both countries “have good stories to tell” on sustainable practices that can help tackle global food security challenges.

“We are keen to promote sustainable agriculture both at home and on the global stage,” he said.

“I’m also glad to see the development of our research partnership.

“Both of our countries are working together on research, innovation and application of climate-smart agriculture.

“And we want to build better relationships with our Indo-Pacific neighbours on climate action and food security.

“We have expertise we can share in things like agri-trade, biosecurity, climate adaptation and resilience.

“The relationship between Australia and New Zealand is unique.

“We have been strong allies for over a century and have enjoyed closer economic relations now for forty years.

“I have no doubt this will continue long into the future, and I’m glad to have played my part here today.”

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