Tuesday 22 January 2013
Reprioritising AG on the agenda
Welcome to the first edition of the NFF AGvocate for 2013: a year in which the NFF will be working to reprioritise agriculture in the national agenda.
This year the NFF will launch the NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, campaign for agriculture to be considered a priority in the Federal Budget and develop a strong platform for the industry in the lead up to the Federal Election.
If 2012, the Australian Year of the Farmer, was Australia's opportunity to celebrate the important role and contribution of Australian agriculture to our society, our economy and our environment, then 2013 is the year to focus on seizing the opportunities, and overcoming the challenges, ahead.
With only two weeks remaining until the first Federal Parliamentary sitting week of the year, let's get to it!
2013: Our policy focus
This year, the NFF will continue to advocate on behalf of farmers on the major issues affecting agriculture: ensuring the development of the foreign investment register, seeking opportunities for farmers in the Carbon Farming Initiative and ensuring a fair review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, to name but a few.
Providing the united voice for farmers and fighting for our farmers' future is what the NFF does best, and our focus this year will be on ensuring positive outcomes for farmers around drought reform, biosecurity, mining, coal seam gas and land use change, trade, natural resource management, telecommunications, infrastructure, research and development, the National Food Plan, carbon, the environment, and education, training and labour.
Blueprint for Aust Agriculture
Next month, the NFF will launch the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture. The Blueprint has brought together almost 4,000 people from the agricultural sector and the supply chain across all Australian states and territories over the past 16 months to identify the issues and challenges facing the sector, and to develop solutions for a strong and sustainable future.
Following the launch on 14 February, the Blueprint will be available via the Blueprint webpage and while this is an important milestone, it will not be the end of the road for the Blueprint!
The Blueprint document will provide a starting point for the discussion of the key issues and for collaborative action on those issues that are shared across agriculture and its supply chain. A series of forums will be held, beginning with one in the first half of this year, to drive the Blueprint forward.
Farmers battle blazes
Hot, dry conditions and roaring bushfires continue to affect farmers across many parts of Australia. The continuing heat has affected some horticulture crops, while bushfires have caused significant damage and loss to farmland, livestock and infrastructure.
Farmers across TAS, NSW and VIC have been most affected by the fires, which began in TAS three weeks ago. More than 600,000 hectares have been burnt, and some 21,000 stock (including sheep and cattle) lost. In TAS alone, the damage bill to farmers is expected to top $8.2 million.
Federal and State Government assistance has been made available to affected farmers and rural communities through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Those affected by the fires in 51 NSW, five VIC and four TAS local government areas are able to access the assistance - for more information, visit the Federal Government's Disaster Assist website.
In addition, the state farming organisations in the respective states have been providing on the ground support to affected farmers. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) is coordinating the response for farmers in TAS, with donations of fodder, fencing, generators, portable yards, livestock crates, agistment, transport, fuel and volunteer time all sought. If you can assist, please call the TFGA on 1800 154 111.
For more information on the bushfires, contact the respective Rural Fire Service/Country Fire Authority, Department of Primary Industries or the state farming organisations in each state.
Our thoughts are with those affected by the fires and the incredible firefighters who volunteer their time to protect our farms and communities.
Farmers, are you firewise?
As farmers know too well, bushfires are all too common in Australia over the summer months, and can range in severity, threatening agricultural land and livestock. Bushfires can take an enormous toll on farmers and rural communities, both emotionally and financially. It is important to plan and be prepared for a bushfire.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has prepared a Farm FireWise Checklist and Action Plan which helps farmers identify the fire risks on their properties and develop and action plan to address those risks.
It also provides hints and tips about reducing fire hazards on farm, information on how to prevent bushfires from starting and advice on the right clothes to wear when fighting a bush fire.
To view more information or download the Farm FireWise Checklist and Action Plan, click here.
Farmers' CEO joins CEO Cookoff
As CEO of the NFF, Matt Linnegar knows all about the farmers who grow our food and fibre. He's even been known to whip up a mean salami. But does Matt know his soup from his soufflé?
On Monday 11 February, Matt's cooking skills will be put to the test in the Qantas and OzHarvest CEO Cookoff - helping to provide much-needed food to Sydney's homeless and to raise money for OzHarvest.
You can support Matt in his fundraising efforts by donating today. Your donation is tax deductable and will go directly to those in need. Thank you!
The NFF AGvocate
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