The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party have called on all parties in the by-election to get behind their proposal to streamline the export of cherries from Young.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Cootamundra by-election candidate Matthew Stadtmiller said the cherry industry deserves State Government backing.
“Young is known as the cherry capital of Australia, but if we actually back the industry Young has the chance to become the cherry capital of the world,” he said.
“I want to see an export clearance hub established in our region to improve the export of local produce.
More than 15,000 tonnes of cherries are produced by Australia every year, and 30 percent of that is sent overseas.
“With a burgeoning Chinese and Southeast Asian market for Australian cherries, Young has the chance to not just be the cherry capital of Australia, but the world.”
National Party candidate Stephanie Cooke said the Nationals are always willing to look at viable proposals put forward by organisations that benefit regional communities.
“But thought bubbles for political points are just that, so until we see some formal structure around this concept it is just a thought bubble,” she said.
But Mr Stadtmiller said it doesn’t make sense that a farmer needs to send their products to the city to export overseas.
“This just makes our products more expensive. Why can’t we have the customs clearing and air freight facilities locally? ” he said.
“We need to take the politics out of big, long-term ideas if they’re actually able to get off the ground, and I’m calling on other candidates in this by-election to put politics aside and get behind this idea.
“I freely admit that I cannot get this project off the ground on my own – no one candidate can. However, if we unite behind one proposal, we can all do something for the region that will benefit everybody.
“This by-election is a unique opportunity to have the State and Federal Government take a look at our area.”