Labor politicians tour Costa Tomato Farm and Guyra Flower Farm

Water security, safer roads and policies that support local industry – that’s what Guyra wants from their new federal member.

PASSIONATE BUSINESS: New England by-election candidate David Ewings with Guyra Flower Farm owner Christine Gellie and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon on Wednesday. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

PASSIONATE BUSINESS: New England by-election candidate David Ewings with Guyra Flower Farm owner Christine Gellie and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon on Wednesday. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

Local Flower Farm owner Christine Gellie spoke with New England by-election candidate David Ewings and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon on Wednesday, to see what a Labor government could offer a regional business.

“The limiting factor in our business is water security,” Mrs Gellie said.

“With a recycling water system being set up we could reach into bulb production which would diversify our flower business.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said Armidale Regional Council had also flagged the importance of a pipeline to town from Malpas Dam.

“Council is obviously very keen to have the resources they require, including water,” Mr Fitzgibbon told The Argus.

“Labor’s approach on these issues is very, very simple.

“If there’s a well-made case for an economic project we will back it.

“As a general proposition we want existing and new entities like Costa to grow and flourish and we think there’s an important role for government as an enabler of that.”

Mr Ewings said energy was also a crucial element, especially for large-scale industry like the Costa Tomato Farm.

“It’s fantastic to see what they do and one thing they raised was energy,” he said.

“I think to grow our industries in regions we need a good energy policy and obviously for the government that’s been an absolute disaster.

“A total vacuum of any sort of positive action towards either new generation or meeting our Paris agreement obligations for climate change.

“Our policy is 50 per cent renewables by 2030 to manage transition properly from traditional generation to new generation so that those companies can grow and get their energy costs lower.”