Tuesday 4 September, 2012
Cubbie: renewed calls for register
After years of speculation about its future, Australia's iconic cotton property Cubbie Station is likely to go under the hammer, with the Federal Treasurer's announcement on Friday that a Chinese consortium has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board to make the purchase.
This decision has renewed interest in the issue of foreign investment - and has renewed the NFF's calls for the development of a national land register to monitor all foreign purchases of Australian agricultural land and water.
Such a register would make it compulsory for all foreign persons or organisations that acquire or transfer an interest in agricultural land or water - including the consortium of purchasers of Cubbie Station - to report the sale. Ensuring greater transparency and accountability is the key to solving this issue, but until a national land register is in place, this cannot be achieved.
For more, read our release.
Farmers: Environmental stewards
Farmers are best known for growing crops and raising animals to provide the food and fibre needs for Australian families, but this week, it's all about the work they do on farm to look after the environment.
This week marks Landcare Week, an opportunity to recognise the role Australian farmers' play as environmental stewards and land managers.
Landcare was founded more than 20 years ago by the NFF in a joint partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation to deliver projects with positive outcomes for both the environment and agriculture. Today, Landcare is an environmental movement.
Farmers are frontline environmentalists, looking after 61 percent of Australia's valuable land resources. Farmers know that good environmental outcomes and increased agricultural production go hand in hand, which is why 94 percent of farmers undertake some form of natural resource management on their farms. For more, read our release.
More speed needed on telecomms
Following the release of the Regional Telecommunications Review in May (which highlighted the need for vastly improved telecommunications services in regional Australia), the Federal Government's response last month left some critical areas unaddressed.
While we welcome the Government's commitment to ensuring uniform wholesale prices for broadband, for people in regional areas, broadband is just one element in a range of telecommunications services that must be improved. Ensuring adequate mobile phone coverage, for instance, is one such service, with mobile black spots very frustrating for farmers.
Farming is an incredible technologically-savvy industry, yet there’s no point in farmers having mobile applications for farm management – like weed control apps, chemical label readers and GPS devices – if we simply cannot get reliable access to the telecommunications network.
It's essential that farming families, rural businesses and country communities have equal accessibility, reliability, quality and affordability in telecommunications as those in urban areas do. For more, read our release.
Congress: Policy to practicality
A reminder that registrations are now open for the NFF 2012 National Congress, to be held at the AIS Arena in Canberra on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October.
The Congress will focus on the food and fibre boom and the challenges and opportunities for Australian agriculture: from grass roots to global. Farmers, the agricultural industry and government are invited to attend to hear from farmers, leading experts and MPs about the road ahead for agriculture, and the practicalities of major policy decisions for the sector - the carbon tax, the Carbon Farming Initiative, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the issues around mining and coal seam gas.
A special discounted rate is available for farmers who are members of NFF members. For more information, or to secure your seat at the Congress table, visit the Congress website today.
The NFF AGvocate
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