An interview with Major General Michael Jeffery: The National Soils Advocate
On 18 July 2019, Major General Michael Jeffery, former Governor of Western Australia and Governor General of Australia, was re-appointed National Soils Advocate by the Prime Minister of Australia. He spoke with Geoffrey Craggs, Research Analyst, Northern Australia and Regional Development for this Future Directions International article.
- The National Soils Advocate role is to progress the national objective to protect, restore and maintain the health of the Australian agricultural landscape in order to guarantee food security and sustainable farming communities.
- The role requires wide engagement and communication with Federal and State Governments, the scientific, research and technical communities, land managers and farmers as well as the broader Australian community at all levels.
- Scientific research and development, followed by education and training for farmers, land managers and food producers will be key to future food security.
- Research conducted and published by independent and not-for-profit organisations will be important to enabling wide understanding issues.
“As the Soils Advocate, I have been tasked by the Prime Minister to increase awareness of and advocate the critical importance of conserving and improving agricultural soil and landscape conditions to: benefit the environment; enhance agricultural productivity and realise continuing economic benefits; and secure sustainable food production systems.”