[10 November/ Farmers Weekly]

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said significant changes would be made to the Ministry for Primary Industries after the Government declared the super ministry, created by the previous National government in 2012, was not fit for purpose. The Labour-led Government have decided to separate aspects of the primary sector into special-purpose bodies. The Forestry Service would be re-established and food safety, fisheries and biosecurity were also getting their own entities. Appointing a primary sector council and a chief agricultural adviser were two critical priorities for Mr O’Connor, who believes the changes will enhance the role and importance of these areas. Mr O’Connor acknowledged the significance of working to put agriculture in a better position to tackle both current and future challenges such as synthetic proteins, genetic modification and climate change.