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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.


Economic Policy and Farm Business Standing Committee – Advocates for economic policies that support the farm business and the agriculture sector's competitiveness and growth. The skillset required for this Committee includes a working knowledge of economics and business, and practical understanding of ag sector transport needs and state/federal responsibilities. The Chair of the Economic Policy and Farm Business Standing Committee is Ms Sue Middleton.

Farming Systems Standing Committee – Principally concerned with reviewing regulatory impacts of public policy issues affecting on-farm practices and provides a forward thinking agenda on innovation to support profitable farm businesses. The skillset required for this Committee includes a working knowledge of policy issues affecting the Committee including biosecurity (on farm), AgVet Chemicals, animal welfare, R&D and innovation, and quality assurance programs, and an understanding of social license is also required. The Chair of the Farming Systems Standing Committee is Ms Melinee Leather.

Sustainable Development Committee – Principally concerned with advocating for the development of sensible and pragmatic policies, programs and strategies to balance farm sector development and production needs with the natural environment, and to enable our sector to demonstrate its sustainability credentials. The skillset required for this Committee includes a working knowledge of Commonwealth environmental legislation and regulation, knowledge of land management and land use pressures, and an understanding of climate policy and energy interface. The Chair of the Sustainable Development Standing Committee is Mr Angus Atkinson.

Telecommunications and Social Policy Standing Committee – Specifically focused on advocating for farmers and communities to have fair access to modern digital communications, and to advocate for policies in support of healthy farm communities. The skillset required for this Committee includes practical experience in communications connectivity issues and/or interest and some working knowledge of rural sector social policy issues. The Chair of the Telecommunications and Social Policy Standing Committee is Mr Peter Thompson.

Trade Standing Committee – Advocates for trade reform and access to markets for Australia's diverse food and fibre products. The skillset required for this Committee includes a working knowledge of trade protocols and sectoral trade priorities. The Chair of the Trade Committee is Ms Fiona Simson.

Workforce Standing Committee – Specifically focused on advocating for a productive and flexible workplace that supports diversity, participation and meets the needs of the farm sector. The skillset required for this Committee includes a working knowledge of industrial relations and farm workplace arrangements. The Chair of the Workforce Productivity Committee is Mr Tony York.


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:

Climate and Energy Taskforce – Provides specific advice on NFF engagement in the Australian Government's climate policy review and the Council of Australian Governments energy market reform processes, develops policies and advocate for reform to improve the efficiency and operation of the National Electricity Market for the benefit of Australian agriculture; and develop policies to facilitate adoption of low emissions technologies for the farm sector. The skillset required for this Taskforce includes an understanding of the interface between energy supply, reliability and affordability with climate change policies. The Chair of the Climate and Energy Taskforce is Mr Gerald Leach.

Water Taskforce – Has a specific mandate to develop and respond to issues arising out of the national debate on water, specifically driven through the Murray Darling Basin Plan and action on the Great Artesian Basin. The skillset required for this Taskforce includes specific working knowledge of water issues, and specific working knowledge of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the Great Artesian Basin. The Chair of the Water Taskforce is Mr Les Gordon.

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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