At the outset of establishing CountryMinded, the founding members were and remain committed to establishing processes that ensure the Party is responsive to its members and avoids becoming autocratic in determining party policy.
However, it is clear that many people are curious about the likely direction of the Party’s policy platforms and are looking for some indication of the initial sentiment of the Party founders. This document is intended to provide some sense of initial policy sentiment.
The policy statements will necessarily evolve with the Party and a growing and engaged membership. The Party Federal Committee will define mechanisms for policy development in this timeframe, however the Party can immediately define key thematics based on founding values that will define Party policy pillars and guide policy rationale into the future.
CountryMinded is founded on the fundamental importance of agriculture as the key sustainable foundation of regional socioeconomic and political stability, both domestically and abroad for current and future generations.
At the most basic level agriculture underpins society because it allows people to specialise in professions without needing to produce or forage for their own food. The modern world sees just two percent of the population providing food for the entire population globally.
In the absence of strong and independent political advocacy, the populist democratic principles on which our Country is founded can easily fail to recognise and regard the importance of the agricultural enterprise which is primarily found in rural and regional Australia.
CountryMinded is founded on a single key value proposition:
The stability and longevity of society has always and will always depend on the sustainability of the agricultural enterprise that supports it, thereby making all societies agricultural by definition.
There are a number of qualifying statements that must also shape CountryMinded policy:
- If you eat then you are dependent on and part of the agricultural value matrix.
- The conservation of productive agricultural lands is essential. The preservation of ground and surface water resources is likewise essential.
- The promotion of a viable agricultural industry is essential to retain the best and brightest minds in the enterprise in line with the industry’s domestic and international significance.
- Agricultural resources must be developed and utilised as efficiently as possible to underpin national and regional political stability.
- Agricultural trade is an essential global social imperative making Australian agriculture globally significant.
- Infrastructure investments that prioritise the opportunity for sustainable agricultural development and trade are essential to the long term stability of our society.
- The timeframe for policy impact assessment must incorporate outcomes for the current generation as well as consideration of the notion of intergenerational outcomes for future generations of Australians.
- Agricultural enterprise is not limited to production, but incorporates the entire pre and post farm value chain. In this context though, the entire value matrix’s prosperity is contingent on a prosperous production sector.
- Appropriate policy for the purpose of the agricultural sector will ultimately create opportunities for other sectors of economy, specifically in relation to small business sector and more broadly to sectors unfairly exposed to biased international competitive pressure.
- In the context of the global social imperative of agricultural trade, the notion of free and unfettered trade in global agricultural markets will be increasingly difficult to achieve. Therefore so called free trade agreements are unlikely to provide significant counter to foreign protectionism and declining terms of trade. Alternative strategies for underpinning agricultural enterprise viability must be implemented.
- Notwithstanding the notion that the human reliance on food makes all societies beholden to and borne from agriculture, CountryMinded recognises the social and economic importance of other sectors of the economy and seeks to implement policies that provide mutual benefits to those sectors also.