Tuesday 26 June, 2012
NFF win on foreign investment
The Federal Government has announced that a working group will be established to consult on the development of a foreign ownership register - two months after the NFF and our members called for a register to be created.
The announcement shows the Government is listening to the industry's concerns on foreign ownership in Australian agriculture.
While the NFF has long maintained that foreign investment has traditionally been very positive for the Australian agricultural sector, we, and our members, remained concerned about any changes to the motivations behind investment – particularly motivations that are about ensuring other countries have sufficient food. The NFF will be working closely with the Government's working group. For more, read our release.
Five banks pass on cuts
After two RBA interest rate cuts in two months and repeated calls from the farm sector to reduce agribusiness loan rates, five financial lenders have passed on some cuts to their agribusiness customers, the NFF's June Agribusiness Loan Monitor has found.
The June Monitor shows that four banks, ANZ, Bank West, Bendigo Bank and Suncorp, have reduced both their term loan and overdraft rates by between 0.06 percent and 0.37 percent this month, while one bank, Westpac, has reduced its overdraft rate by 0.50 percent.
Step closer to trade agreement
The NFF has welcomed the news that Mexico and Canada have joined the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Adding the weight of these countries to the collective TPP is positive news for the Australian farming sector and a step forward on international trade issues - good news in an area that for too long has had very little positive to say.
Talk's good, now time for action
The NFF has welcomed the comments from the Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, from the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Mexico regarding the need to improve agriculture and food production.
Speaking at the launch of a joint foreign aid program for agriculture in Los Cabos, the Prime Minister said that agriculture needs “better agricultural productivity, more open trade, greater investment, innovation, research and development.”
NFF President Jock Laurie said the comments are as applicable to Australian agriculture as they are to global agriculture and called on the Government to support Australian farmers through policies that enable growth in our domestic agricultural sector. For more, read our release.
No new body: just work with us
After a week when the NFF has achieved a win on foreign investment, represented Australian agriculture at the Rio+20 Forum and called on the Prime Minister to deliver policies to ensure a strong and sustainable agricultural sector, we have questioned why a Senate Inquiry would recommend establishing a new body for agriculture.
The Senate Inquiry into agricultural education reported last week and made a recommendation regarding setting up a new agricultural body to represent farmers and agribusinesses in establishing policy.
The NFF has been very clear that our mandate is to represent farmers and the broader farm sector - and that we already have a powerful reputation, a strong and established relationship with Government and have achieved major outcomes for our sector. We believe the suggestion that yet another body be formed is completely counterproductive to Australian agriculture - instead, we call for greater collaboration between organisations by getting behind the known, trusted and respected NFF. For more, read our release.
Coming up at NFF.
> New time for Tasmanian Blueprint forum
> Blueprint webinars: have your say online!
> World Sustainable Agriculture Congress, Singapore
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