The Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program (AMFP) is a non-partisan program aiming to provide parliamentarians with a better understanding of life in the Australian Manufacturing and Farming sectors.
The program was launched by Victorian Senator John Madigan, Senator Nick Xenophon from South Australia and the Hon Bob Katter from Queensland.
Dubbed "the three amigos" by Bob Katter at the launch in Senator Madigan's home town of Ballarat in December, 2011, all 3 parliamentarians emphasized the importance of the Manufacturing and Farming sectors to the Australian economy.
The AMFP was the brain child of Senator Madigan. As one of the Blue-collar workers to enter Australian federal parliament, the blacksmith-turned-senator was concerned about the ever widening gap between the manufacturing and farming industries and their elected representatives.
Rather than being simply another photo opportunity for politicians on a factory floor, Senators and Members of Parliament who participate in this program will be completely involved in an industry for periods ranging from several days to a couple of weeks.
Because no one knows an industry like those who work in it, every industry that hosts a participating parliamentarian will determine its own agenda and set the itinerary in a manner that it determines will best educate the parliamentarian in the issues affecting them on a daily basis.
Participating MP's & Senators will spend time with the communities and workers of each industry and will actively participate in the work they undertake every day. They will follow the products they help produce whether on the farm or in the factory from its beginnings to the end use.