Labor's Ag Minister picking up where coalition failed by ProQuest

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Since becoming the surprise choice as Minister for Agriculture in the new Rudd government, Tony Burke has, by and large, said sensible things on all the big issues confronting agriculture. Burke set out to get an understanding of agriculture by traveling around and talking to farmers. For too long the coalition framed agricultural policy as welfare programs for failing farmers instead of pushing the industry to innovate and perform better on the world stage. Especially helpful have been the new minister's comments on genetically modified foods. On balance, his suggestion that drought payments be reformed to require preparedness for drought is also positive.

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