Symes new ag minister

By Country News

Benalla-born Jaclyn Symes has been sworn in as Victoria’s new agriculture minister, following confirmation of her election to the upper house.

Ms Symes is a former student of Benalla College and a qualified lawyer who has worked as a union industrial officer and as a political adviser.

She was sworn in as a minister last week.

Ms Symes said as a country member she was pleased to be given the agriculture portfolio.

Among her priorities for the sector is the development of emerging technologies and innovation, enchancement of exports, particularly in the wine sector, and improving transport services.

In the short term she will turn her attention to drought response and will be visiting East Gippsland this week to meet with farmers.

She said she was looking forward to meeting with primary producers to hear their concerns.

Ms Symes was elected to parliament in 2014.

She lives near Broadford with her husband Gerard and their two children.

Former agriculture minister Jaala Pulford, who was the first female agriculture minister, has been moved to the roads and TAC portfolio and also has responsibility for Fishing and Boating.