Greens sustainable agriculture expert pips Hanson

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 13th April 2011

The Greens today celebrated the victory of their number three candidate Jeremy Buckingham over former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson in the NSW Upper House.

The Greens today took a third place in the NSW Upper House, with Jeremy Buckingham, an Orange City Councillor, stone mason and sustainable agriculture expert, was declared elected along with sitting MP David Shoebridge and Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham. They join Upper House MPs John Kaye and Cate Faehrmann who were not up for election and Jamie Parker who wrested the lower house seat of Balmain off Labor.

“It is a great honour to be elected and to be able to contribute to the debate over the future of this state’s food production,” said Buckingham

“The challenges of rebuilding self-sufficiency while protecting the soils and limiting water usage will be one of the defining themes of the next thirty years.

“I look forward to contributing to the new vision needed to secure the food supply.”

Among Buckingham’s 7-point plan for revitalising regional NSW are plans to safeguard prime food-producing land for future generations and ensure water security for the environment and agriculture.

“High quality farming land is a finite, limited and precious resource, which The Greens want to protect,” said the party’s plan.

Listed objectives include:

<li>Prohibit new coal mines or mining exploration on prime agricultural land;</li>
<li>Oppose ongoing reductions in biosecurity safeguards in the name of free trade;</li>
<li>Protect agriculture and horticulture adjacent to major populations from over-development.</li>

“Australia is a net importer of fruit and vegetables and with onset of climate change and peak oil it is vitally important that the Murray Darling Basin continues to produce high quality, local food for Australia. The Greens believe the Murray Darling Basin, which produces 40% of our agricultural production, will remain the food bowl of Australia and that water buybacks must ensure that Basin communities can continue and expand their role in providing food security for Australia,” reads the plan.

“The Greens will work towards a Murray Darling Basin Plan that delivers sustainable agriculture, communities and river systems through buy backs from willing sellers and investment in irrigation efficiency. The Greens do not want to see the assets and investments of farmers stranded and acknowledge the efforts of agricultural producers to use water wisely.”