Thursday 30 May 2013
Coalition's Budget response forgets farmers too
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s address to the National Press Club on the Budget last week picked up where Opposition Leader Tony Abbott left off: a promise of a better future but not one mention of farmers or agriculture.
While we certainly welcome a number of promising commitments from the Coalition in these Federal Budget replies - namely axing the carbon tax, cutting red tape and putting in place fairer and more flexible workplace laws - we're disappointed that the Coalition failed to recognise the critical role our farmers play in Australia's economy.
The lack of reference to farmers in either of the Budget speeches came as a surprise to the NFF, given the Coalition has included agricultural exports as one of its five 'national economy pillars' in its Real Solutions for all Australians plan.
It's probably even more surprising given that it was at the NFF's National Congress in October that Mr Abbott said: "it’s very important that the farm sector be supported and encouraged by government, not hindered by it."
We hope to see greater commitment from the Coalition - and the Government - to the agricultural sector in the lead up to this year's Federal Election. For more, read our release.
Industry Leaders drive Blueprint forward
Last week, some 100 key industry leaders from across the agricultural sector and its supply chain committed to work together to drive forward the sector’s Blueprint for Australian Agriculture.
Gathering in Canberra for the first time since the Blueprint was launched in February, industry leaders agreed to join forces to turn the agreed Blueprint priority goals into actions.
Of the goals identified by the Blueprint, the industry leaders selected four key goals that they wish to see action on today, to ensure the success of the Australian agriculture sector tomorrow:
The Blueprint is an initiative of the NFF, along with partners Westpac, Woolworths, Bayer and Syngenta Australia. For more, read the communiqué from last week's meeting, or visit the Blueprint webpage.
Food Plan: What does it mean for farmers?
A day after the Blueprint forum in Canberra, the Federal Government released the long-awaited plan for the future of Australia's food sector, the National Food Plan.
The Plan is designed to help Australian food businesses overcome their diverse challenges and benefit from emerging markets in Asia. It's an ambitious goal, so to ensure it remains relevant, and beneficial, to our farmers, the NFF set a series of direct challenges to the Government: things we wanted to see included in the Food Plan.
And we're pleased to note that the Government listened:
For more, read our release.
Banks pass on some rate relief
Three weeks after the RBA cut interest rates to a record low, the majority of financial lenders have passed the rate cut on to their agribusiness customers, the NFF Agribusiness Loan Monitor shows.
The May Monitor, released today, shows that five of the seven term loans tracked – from ANZ, BankSA, BankWest, NAB and Suncorp – have each had their rates cut by the full 0.25 percent. CommBank meanwhile has passed on 0.20 percent, with only Bendigo Bank making no change to their rates.
In overdrafts, five of the eight lenders – ANZ, BankSA, BankWest, NAB and Westpac – have each passed on the 0.25 percent rate cut to their agribusiness customers, with CommBank passing on 0.20 percent. Only Bendigo Bank and Suncorp failed to pass on any rate cut to their overdraft customers.
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