Life in the Broad household has been one of flexibility recently, as Labor’s newly-elected MP Dr Shane Broad learns the ropes of an unplanned role.
As he was preparing to start a new five-year contract with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture in Burnie, Dr Broad got an early morning call that would change his career trajectory.
“I had no idea that Bryan Green was about to resign. I was just about to start a new five-year contract about technology in agriculture,” Dr Broad said.
“I was sworn in less than a day after being elected. I really see there’s huge opportunity in Tasmania’s agricultural industry,” he said.
The issues affecting Tasmanian agriculture are irrigation schemes and leveraging the Tasmanian brand, Dr Broad said.
“Some irrigation schemes still need to be investigated, with areas not covered yet, particularly in the North-East,” he said.
“With irrigation schemes we’re starting to see significant investment in the Midlands in higher value products, like cherries. It’s good to encourage investment on those products.
“Other opportunities are leveraging our brand and being strategic about that, and looking at taking a value-chain approach to buying and selling products and working together so we all get maximum value,” Dr Board said.
At the same time as starting his new contract, Dr Broad was also preparing to deliver an online agribusiness course, Masterclass in Horticultural Business, with students from all over the country.
“The university identified that technology is changing rapidly and Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture was hoping to carve out research and development in the space. That’s what I was doing a few weeks ago,” he said.
The agricultural scientist, who is now opposition spokesman for primary industries, grew up on a mixed cropping farm in Gawler and worked in all areas if horticulture: farming, research and government.
“I was a farmer, then studied a bachelor degree at uni, worked in the state and federal governments in strategic finance, three years with CSIRO then did a doctorate in reducing chemical use is vegetable production systems,” Dr Broad said.
“That’s why I’m excited to be offered the primary industries portfolio. I’ve only been assigned one portfolio so I can really concentrate on it,” he said.
Contact Dr Shane Broad at email@example.com