Protecting our soil to drive farming and environmental health

The Nationals in government will deliver new investments in soil research to protect and enhance our soils, environment and help make agriculture more productive and profitable.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said that while our agricultural industry has proved its resilience time and time again, government can do more to help build resilience in our most important farming asset – the soil.

“The Nationals in government will develop a $100 million plan to better prepare Victorian soil to adapt to changing environments,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We understand how vital our farmers are to the Victorian and Gippsland economies and lifestyle and we also understand how vital good soil is to our farmers.

“That’s why we will establish a new regional Victorian collaborative research centre, VicSoil, which will bring primary producers and researchers together to better manage our most critical environmental assets.”

Mr O’Brien said the plan will see $100 million delivered over ten years to research better ways of productively and sustainably managing soil and link VicSoil with the national Soil Cooperative Research Centre to build on existing partnerships.

“It is vital that we ensure our soils remain rich and productive so that we can protect Gippsland livelihoods and guarantee Gippsland can continue to be the home of Victorian agricultural success stories. Our soils also provide a great opportunity for carbon storage and emissions reduction.

“This plan is a real solution to protect our environment as well as the productivity and profitability of our agricultural industry which currently provides around 150,000 Victorian jobs and injects more than $17.8 billion into our economy.

“I know that Gippsland farmers are keen to find innovative ways to save energy, reduce their emissions and protect our natural environment.

“The establishment of VicSoil will ensure our local farmers will have access to the latest research right here in Victoria.”

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