By Growcom Acting CEO Richard Shannon

Congratulations are due to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his incoming Labor Government on their election at the weekend.

They took a couple of gambles along the way, sticking their necks out on a couple of policy positions of substance, but mostly adopted a small target strategy and got the job done.

While the LNP will now likely be looking inwards, reading the entrails of the election and potentially debating the future direction of their party, it will be all hands on deck for Labor in coming to grips with sailing the ship of state.

As new ministers open their briefing packs dutifully prepared by public servants while the campaign raged there will be hazards almost everywhere they look, across their portfolios, the economy and globally.

For few other ministers will this be more true than the new minister responsible for agriculture, and with it, horticulture.

In horticulture hazards abound.

We are on one side dealing with rising input costs due to COVID-19 and a war in Ukraine. On the other, soft prices exacerbate the pain.

Our supply of productive, reliable seasonal labour, singularly the most important input outside sunshine and water, remains insecure. For many growers in key Sunshine State regions, compounding rain and flood events have stretched them even more thinly.

Admittedly, some of these challenges are outside the control of the incoming Albanese Government, but there is plenty within their power to do.

Getting the settings and supports right to enable our industry to thrive will require urgent attention. Horticulture will prove an early litmus test for the new government.

And a test for a new minister, needing to rapidly acquire deep knowledge of a complex and at times confounding industry and supply chain.

As ever, Growcom on behalf of our members and the wider industry are ready and eager to get to work with the new government and minister as they warm up to the task.