Fighting for our farmers' future

Thursday 7 February 2013

Agriculture: The No. 1 priority

Ensuring Australian agriculture is considered a key national priority is the focus for the NFF in the lead up to this year’s Federal Budget and Federal Election.

On the day we lodged our submission to the 2013-14 Federal Budget, the Prime Minister announced that the election will take place on Saturday 14 September.

In preparing for both the budget and the election, the NFF is calling on the Government to secure the future sustainability of the ag sector by considering – and funding – sensible long-term policies.

Our 2013-14 Federal Budget submission outlines the critical areas for funding in the short-term, while the launch of the NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture will set the tone for what is required from our politicians in the 2013 Federal Election and beyond. Read our Federal Budget submission, our media release - or, for more information on the Blueprint, read on!

Blueprint launch: We love Ag!

Only one week remains until the launch of the much anticipated NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture - and on Valentine's Day no less!

And what says 'we love ag' more than launching a vision for the future of the agricultural sector, developed by the agricultural sector?

The Blueprint, which will be available from the Blueprint webpage from Thursday 14 February, brings together the key thoughts and ideas of almost 4,000 people from across agriculture and the supply chain. The Blueprint is a road map for the future direction of the sector - so from next week, it'll be on your mark, get set, go!

Bush beats city on internet speed

The Federal Government has this week announced that internet speeds for fixed line and satellite services will double - giving farmers, rural business and country communities speeds as good as or faster than ADSL2+ services currently available in the cities - and at the same wholesale price.

We've been very vocal in welcoming this news, as it's something we've long been asking the Government to deliver. We believe that everyone in the country should have comparable accessibility, reliability, quality and affordability in their telecommunications as those in urban areas do. This week's announcement shows the Government is listening.

Of course, the road to improved telecommunications doesn't end with internet - we know all too well that many farmers still have very poor mobile coverage. Having faster internet speeds and equal pricing is excellent - but if farmers can't take advantage of this because of the lack of mobile coverage, then more work obviously needs to be done, and we'll continue to work with the Government (and the Opposition) to ensure it does. For more on the announcement, read our release.

which bank for interest rates?

In their first meeting for 2013, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) this week decided to leave interest rates on hold at 3 percent. But did you know that the RBA has cut rates six times, by a total of 1.5 percent, since November 2011?

Each month, the NFF releases the Agribusiness Loan Monitor, developed by the NFF and Canstar, to compare the agribusiness loan rates of the major banks and other financial institutions. Later in February, we'll be letting you know which, if any, banks have made rate movements this month.

Until then, you can check which banks made the biggest movements against the RBA rates since November 2011, by viewing the Agribusiness Loan Monitor 2011-12 summary. Has your bank passed on the cuts?

NFF CEO swaps suit for spatula

NFF CEO Matt Linnegar will be swapping the farm for the flan pan next week when he takes on the ultimate food challenge - the Qantas and OzHarvest CEO Cookoff.

All funds raised in the Cookoff go to supporting Aussie charity OzHarvest, while the food whipped up by the CEOs will help feed Sydney's homeless.

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
Issue 31

In this issue

Agriculture: The No. 1 priority

Blueprint launch: We love Ag!

Bush beats city on internet speed

which bank for interest rates?

NFF CEO swaps suit for spatula

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