Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 12 June, 2012

NFF at PM's Economic Forum

NFF Vice-President Duncan Fraser will this week join with business, community and Government leaders for the Prime Minister's Economic Forum in Brisbane. Agriculture is a vitally important part of Australia's economy, with the total agricultural supply chain (including farm-gate, processing and inputs) contributing some 12 percent (or $155 billion) to Australia's GDP.

The Forum will consider Australia's economic future, with particular focus on Australia in the Asian Century; the high Australian dollar and its impact; skills and education; investment in productive infrastructure; competition and deregulation; and innovation and collaboration - all essential factors for Australia's agricultural sector.

Farmers cautious on native title changes

The NFF has responded with caution to the public announcement by the federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon regarding changes to native title legislation.

In a speech delivered in Townsville last week, Minister Roxon announced a suite of changes to the legislation including reform for indigenous Land Use Agreements, hardwiring criteria for what constitutes good faith negotiations and setting aside historical extinguishment in relation to parks and reserves where agreed between claimants and governments.

We believe that farmers have worked hard over many years to develop trust and cooperation in relation to the native title process and have always negotiated with claimants in good faith – and that the Government must show the same level of respect and trust to farmers in developing any changes.

The NFF has called on the Attorney General to provide an immediate and full briefing to the NFF – and to guarantee that the setting aside of historical extinguishment does not extend to pastoral leases. For more, read our release.

Broken record on interest rates

The NFF has once again called on the banks to pass the full interest rate cut on to farmers and agribusiness customers following the RBAs decision to cut rates 25 basis points to 3.50 percent last week.

The May NFF Agribusiness Loan Monitor had shown that only one bank passed on last month’s interest rate cut - demonstrating that the RBA cuts are not being passed on to rural customers. The June Monitor will show which banks, if any, have reduced rates when it is released next Monday 18 June. Click here to view the May Agribusiness Monitor, and here to read the NFF’s latest release on interest rates.

NFF on the world stage at Rome and Rio

The NFF is representing Australian farmers at two global forums this month: the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) General Assembly in Rome, attended by NFF President Jock Laurie last week; and the Rio+20 forum in Brazil, with NFF CEO Matt Linnegar flying out today to act as a negotiator for the WFO.

The Assembly and the Forum both provide critical opportunities for Australian farmers to have their voices heard on the international stage, to contribute to issues facing agriculture across the globe - from food security to climate change - and to ensure Australian farmers and the wider agricultural sector can be part of the solution. To read more about Jock and Matt’s work in Rome and Rio, click here.

NFF CEO joins Vinnies Sleepout

On the night NFF CEO Matt Linnegar returns from Brazil, he will be braving the chilly Canberra weather to take part in the Vinnies annual CEO Sleepout, helping to raise much-needed funds for the more than 100,000 homeless people in Australia.

On Thursday 21 June, Matt will join CEOs, senior business and community leaders (including Cattle Council of Australia CEO David Inall) to experience what it is like to be homeless for one night in winter and help the St Vincent de Paul Society to raise awareness of the real facts of homelessness. If you would like to contribute to Matt’s fundraising target, please donate here.

Coming up at NFF.

> Blueprint heads to the Apple Isle
The NFF will host a Blueprint forum in Launceston, Tasmania, on Thursday 12 July from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The forum will take place at the Launceston Country Club in conjunction with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) Conference. All are welcome to attend the free Blueprint forum. For more information, or to register, call the NFF on 02 6269 5666 or visit the Blueprint webpage.

> Blueprint webinars: have your say online!
Can't make it to the Tasmanian Blueprint forum? Missed the forums around the other States and Territories? Want to contribute further to the Blueprint in an interactive forum? Then log on to the Blueprint webinars, planned for early July. Stay tuned to the Blueprint webpage for more details.

> Save the date: NFF Congress 2012
A reminder that the NFF will host its major biennial event, the NFF National Congress 2012, in Canberra on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October. The NFF Congress is the premier event on the agricultural calendar, canvassing and debating the issues, challenges and opportunities for the Australian agricultural sector. Further information will be provided in future editions of the NFF AGvocate - stay tuned!

Image courtesy TFGA.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 18.

In this issue

NFF at PM's Economic Forum

Farmers cautious on native title changes

Broken record on interest rates

NFF on the world stage at Rome and Rio

NFF CEO joins Vinnies Sleepout

Coming up at NFF.

Blueprint heads to the Apple Isle

Blueprint webinars: have your say online!

Save the date: NFF Congress 2012

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