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Committees & Taskforces

About our Committees and Taskforces

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) structure includes several Committees and Taskforces, to provide high-level detail and advice on a range of policies and issues significant to Australian agriculture.

Advice from the Committees and Taskforces, coordinated by NFF Policy Managers, is conveyed to the NFF Members' Council. The Members' Council gives careful consideration to this advice in forming NFF policy.

The recently-rejuvenated Committee and Taskforce structures better align with the NFF strategic plan and more effectively drive policy development in line with NFF Members' priorities.

Committees are responsible for providing input to developing and refining ongoing policy issues. Taskforces investigate policy options in relation to specific issues or instances and/or over defined timeframes.

Committee or Taskforce membership

Committee or Taskforce membership is open to representatives from each NFF Member. Every member organisation has an opportunity to put forward two representatives for each committee. Committee and Taskforce chairs are elected annually by the NFF Members' Council. The Committees and Taskforces charged with major portfolio responsibility are listed below.

More information

Contact the NFF for inquiries relating to any of the Committee or Taskforce topics or membership.

Committees

Competitiveness Committee – Aimed at improving farm sector competitiveness and profitability, with a particular focus on policy recommendations that reduce regulatory burden, seek changes to tax and competition law to farmers, provide fair and proper access to finance, and deliver planning and investment in infrastructure. The Chair of the Competitiveness Committee is Mr Dan Cooper.

Innovation Committee – Focused on emerging issues and forward-looking opportunities for the farm sector, through policy recommendations into improving investment in innovation, research, development and extension, delivering fair access to communications, and identifying emerging opportunities and technologies. The Chair of the Innovation Committee is Ms Amy Fay.

Trade Committee – Provides key advice and recommendations for NFF policy on international trade and market access issues, including World Trade Organisation negotiations and free trade agreements, and facilitates industry action to improve the likelihood of positive trade deals. The Chair of the Trade Committee is Mrs Fiona Simson.

Natural Resource Management Committee – Principally concerned with the sustainable management of Australia's valuable natural resources, the Committee provides advice and policy recommendations regarding farmers engagement with environmental stewardship, the federal environmental law and the development of sustainability indicators. The Chair of the Natural Resource Management Committee is Mr Gerald Leach.

Workforce Productivity Committee – Specifically focused on closing the demand and skills gap in agriculture, ensuring agriculture is part of the national school curriculum, overseeing the expansion of the Seasonal Workers Program and addressing the many challenges facing labour within agriculture. The Chair of the People and Workforce Committee is Mr Charles Armstrong.

Agriculture and Community Committee – This newly formed Committee is designed to provide key input into the development of a proactive industry community engagement strategy and provide advice regarding community trust and understanding of agriculture and farm sectoral responses to emerging issues. The Chair of the Agriculture and Community Committee is Mr Lyndon Mulligan.

Taskforces

As the need arises, the NFF appoints Taskforces to undertake investigation of policy options in relation to specific issues. The NFF's current active taskforces are:

Drought Taskforce - Provides key advice and recommendations for NFF policy on federal drought policy and programs, including the Farm Finance package, drought preparation and in-drought support measures, welfare safety nets and other issues. The Chair of the Drought Taskfroce is Mr Mark King.

Biosecurity Taskforce – Provides oversight of quarantine and biosecurity issues and recommends policies to safeguard Australia from pests and diseases that could damage domestic farm production and Australia's international reputation as a source of clean, reliable and safe food and fibre. The Taskforce is specifically focused on federal biosecurity policy and programs, incursion management, cost-sharing and other issues affecting the federal/state coordination of plants and animals. The Chair of the Biosecurity Taskforce is Mr Ron Cullen.

Water Taskforce – Provides key advice and recommendations on federal water policy, the implementation of the water reform agenda, and other issues affecting the water market and management. The Chair of the Water Taskforce is Mr Les Gordon.

Animal Welfare Taskforce – Focused on policy recommendations regarding federal animal welfare policy and programs, encouraging cross-industry coordination, managing activism and developing proactive industry programs based on real improvements. The Chair of the Animal Welfare Taskforce is Mr Chris Groves.

AgVet Chemicals Taskforce – Oversees the policy development and management of this important area of farm production, including providing advice on federal policy, improving access to and use of AgVet Chemicals, ensuring choice and access to latest technology and reducing costs of compliance and regulatory burdens across the sector. The Chair of the AgVet Chemicals Taskforce is Mr Reg Kidd.

Infrastructure Taskforce – Develops policy and responds strategically to infrastructure and transport issues which affect the agricultural supply chain. The Taskforce will consider a broad range of infrastructure types, including transport, freight, energy, water, communications and community. The Chair of the Infrastructure Taskforce is Mr John Eastburn.

NFF Members' Council meeting in 2015.
NFF Members' Council meeting in 2015.

External Committees

Through its membership of various external committees, the NFF provides input to the development, implementation and review of the policies and issues that guide and govern Australian farm practice.

The NFF is represented on the following committees:

  • Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia Ltd;
  • Agsafe Board;
  • AgStewardship Australia Board;
  • Animal Welfare Taskforces
  • Australian Animal Welfare Communications Working Group;
  • Australian Animal Welfare Strategy Advisory Group;
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Small Business Advisory Committee;
  • Australian Institute of Agriculture and Science Technology Agricultural Education Special Interest Group;
  • Australian Landcare Council;
  • Australian Regional Agriculture and Mining Skills Project;
  • ATO Commissioner’s Small Business Consultative Group;
  • ATO Fuel Schemes Advisory Group;
  • ATO Primary Production Industry Partnerships;
  • Cairns Group Farm Leaders;
  • Committee on Industrial Legislation;
  • Department of Climate Change Emissions Trading System Industry Roundtable;
  • Department of Climate Change Land Based Sector Consultative Group;
  • Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts On-Farm Infrastructure Projects Committee;
  • Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Stakeholder Consultative Committee for the Water Entitlement Purchase Program;
  • Farmsafe Australia;
  • Institute of Trade Skills Excellence;
  • Institute of Trade Skills Excellence Rural Industry Reference Group;
  • Land and Water Australia, Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Research and Development Program Management Committee;
  • Livestock and Production Animals Working Group;
  • National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare;
  • National Consultative Panel for Specific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme;
  • National Employers’ Occupational Health and Safety Consultative Forum;
  • National Industry Reference Group Trade Training Centres Program;
  • National Industry Skills Committee;
  • National Natural Resource Management Roundtable;
  • National Quality Council;
  • National Small Business Forum;
  • National Transport Commission Industry Advisory Group;
  • National Water Commission Stakeholder Reference Group;
  • National Water Commission Cumulative Impacts of Mining Project Steering Committee;
  • National Workplace Relations Consultative Council;
  • Pastoral Award Negotiating Industry Committee;
  • Primary Industries Education Foundation;
  • Primary Industries Ministerial Committee Private Forestry Consultative Committee;
  • Produce and Grocery Industry Code Administration Committee;
  • Quarantine and Export Advisory Council;
  • Regional Employers Alliance Project;
  • RIRDC Farm Health and Safety Advisory Committee;
  • RIRDC Global Competition Commission;
  • Rural Education Forum Council;
  • Rural Skills Australia;
  • Rural Skills Australia Pathfinders Projects Steering Committee;
  • Shipping Advisory Group;
  • Small Business Coalition; and
  • Stewardship Working Group;
  • World Farmers Organisation.

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