Thursday 8 August 2013
NSW Irrigators' join NFF
The NFF is excited to welcome our newest Associate Member, NSW Irrigators' Council.
We have worked closely with NSW Irrigators' over many years, particularly on ensuring a better deal for Australian farmers and irrigators in the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
NSW Irrigators' Council represent over 12,000 water access license holders across NSW, including those who access regulated, unregulated and groundwater systems.
The addition of NSW Irrigators' to the NFF decision making table will help to further strengthen the broad representation we have across all aspects of agriculture. For more, read the NFF media release here.
Election Announced - Vote 1 Ag
On Sunday, Prime Minister the Hon. Kevin Rudd announced the Federal Election for September 7.
With the election date now confirmed, we're looking to all major political parties to demonstrate their commitment to the agriculture sector, and to offer more detail on their policies.
As NFF President Duncan Fraser said earlier this week, "All sides of Government need to remember – the future of food, fibre and agriculture is dependent on policy decisions made today. These decisions are not just important for farmers, but for the millions of Australians who eat, drink and wear what we grow every day."
We will be keeping a scorecard throughout the election, to provide an evaluation of the major policies of each party, so that we all can make an informed decision when voting.
Water Efficiency report Released
A recent report released by Dairy Australia has confirmed that on-farm water efficiency projects have better social, environmental and economic outcomes than water buybacks.
The report, which consists of an analysis of farm irrigation modernisation on dairy farms in Victoria and NSW, shows that investment in on-farm water efficiency measures has flow-on positive effects for the entire regional community, including improved business resilience and greater chance of farm succession to the next generation.
This confirms what the NFF has long believed - that water buybacks should be a last resort, and that Government should focus on investing in on-farm water efficiency programs.
For more, read the NFF media release here.
Interest Rates Hit Historic Low
The decision this Tuesday by the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates by a further 0.25 percent takes rates to the lowest they have been in 53 years.
We're pleased to see that the RBA is listening to the concerns of farmers and agribusinesses, but we now look to banks to pass the rate cut on to those who need it most.
The NFF's July Agribusiness Loan Monitor, the last of the 2012-13 financial year, was released amidst discussion of Australia's level of rural debt, which sits at approximately $60 billion. We will continue to urge banks to pass on this week's rate cut to farmers, to provide some welcome relief from the pressures of debt and financial uncertainty.
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