THE GEELONG region risks missing an opportunity to export food through Avalon Airport, according to a senator.
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said lack of awareness about a national food plan could leave locals excluded.
Sen McKenzie urged businesses involved in the food sector to make submissions to the Federal Government plan.
She said submissions needed to promote export opportunities through Avalon Airport.
“With the increasing protein needs of Asia, Geelong is in a great position to capitalise on that,” Sen McKenzie said.
“Immediacy of air transport is key for fruit and vegetable export, so this is a real opportunity for the region.”
One of 24 forums on the national food plan was in Geelong earlier this month.
“I prefer to see as many producers at these meetings as possible rather than just bureaucrats,” Sen McKenzie said.
“The Federal Government needs to receive real input from real people involved in the sector.
“Sometimes there has been a lack of industry views included. It’s the only way to find out what the barriers are in the current
“This is an opportunity for farmers and food processors to outline the challenges they face from government policy decisions.”
Sen McKenzie said Victoria’s agricultural sector was worth $9 billion a year as Australia’s biggest exporter of food and fibre.
“The public consultation process is an opportunity for regional industries to feed local knowledge into the future of Australian agriculture and ensure our future competitive advantage.”
Written submissions to the food plan close September 30.