Barnaby Joyce abolished the COAG process for drought reform with now more than 5 years of policy development being wasted.
The then Abbott Government abolished the Standing Committee on Primary Industries in December 2013.
The then Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce said he would meet with his fellow ministers on an ad hoc basis, which has been once a year. Joyce said the decision to streamline the councils was a cost-saving measure but couldn't say exactly how much the government saved by scrapping SCoPI.
Prior to the Council being abolished it sought to pursue and monitor priority issues of national significance affecting Australia’s primary production sectors which required a sustained and collaborative effort across jurisdictions.
A Shorten Labor Government will restore the CoAG process for drought reform and dispatch Australia’s agriculture-based Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to help farmers build defences against the impacts of an increasingly variable climate such as protracted drought, severe storms, frost, pests and diseases.
Labor will ask the Council of RDCs to lead the development of an Agricultural Climate Response Plan (ACRP) to dramatically increase the uptake of drought mitigation, best practice and sustainable farming methods. Many farmers are already building resilience and adopting best land management practices which help them defend against drought and we need to help others do the same.