Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 25 October, 2011

Strong future for live exports

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry last week released the findings of the Independent Review of Australia’s Livestock Export Trade and the Government's response.

Speaking at the press conference at Parliament House on Friday with Minister Ludwig and the Review's author, Bill Farmer, NFF President Jock Laurie said the Government's commitment to work with the Australian livestock industry to improve animal welfare standards in overseas markets would secure the long-term sustainability of the trade.

The Minister's media statement and the recommendations from the Bill Farmer Review can be found here, and you can read the full NFF response on behalf of the livestock industry here.

Carbon tax passes lower house

In the past fortnight, one of the major policy issues that NFF has been working on - the carbon tax - passed Parliament's Lower House. The Clean Energy Future legislation will now be debated in the Senate.

The NFF will continue to lobby on areas of concern for our members, particularly the inclusion of food and fibre processing under the carbon tax - the increased costs of which are expected to be passed back to farmers. The NFF will also continue to work to ensure that farmers have access to information about carbon and the programs directed at the agricultural sector.

Read more about the NFF's position on the carbon tax here.

Korea free trade agreement

International trade is back in the headlines, with the Minister for Trade last week proposing a new approach to multi-lateral trade negotiations in the wake of the Doha stalemate.

At the same time, Australia's pending free trade agreement with Korea is now reaching a critical stage, with the need for an agreement to be reached in order to both grow our market and sure up our existing foothold.

Korea is one of our biggest export markets for beef, dairy, sugar and cotton, however the US and the EU have both recently ratified agreements with Korea (the US bill alone could slash Australian exports to Korea by 12 percent). The pressure is now on: Australia's deal with Korea must be finalised to prevent our farmers being disadvantaged.

The NFF continues to work with the Government on this issue. Read more about the Australia-Korea free trade agreement here.

Heads of State

In the past week, the NFF has had the great honour of meeting with Australia's heads of state - Her Royal Highness, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, and the Prime Minister, the Honorable Julia Gillard.

Farming's "first family", NFF's Jock Laurie and his wife Lyn, were guests at the Queen's official reception at Parliament House on Friday, along with CEO Matt Linnegar and his wife Regina. Earlier that day, Jock and Matt also met with the Prime Minister at Parliament House to discuss the critical national issues facing farmers, including drought reform, carbon tax and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

And, on Saturday 15 October, NFF jointly hosted the Governor-General at Adaminaby with NSW Farmers' to celebrate International Rural Women's Day. 30 women from the Cooma-Monaro and Snowy Mountains regions joined Her Excellency for afternoon tea in the grounds of "Hazelwood".

Coming up at NFF

> Hunter Valley tour for Taskforce
The NFF Mining and Coal Seam Gas Taskforce will visit properties in the Hunter Valley affected by mining developments this week. The Taskforce will undertake a tour of the local area on Thursday 27 October, including a visit to a Singleton thoroughbred horse stud, the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association and the BHP operations at Mt Arthur, before meeting to discuss policy issues on Friday.

> Members' Council
The NFF Members' Council will meet in Canberra on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November. Members' Council is the major consultative forum for the NFF, and meets three times a year to discuss and debate NFF policy. Members' Council is made up of representatives of all NFF members, including state farming organisations, commodity councils and associate members.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 2.

In this issue

Strong future for live exports

Carbon tax passes lower house

Korea free trade agreement

Heads of State

Coming up at NFF

Hunter Valley tour for Taskforce

Members' Council

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