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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2015
YEARBOOK2015 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 70 Aside from meetings, other ways the Livestock group is reaching producers is by lobbying government on behalf of livestock members (including in the lead up to the recent state election), regional dinners and online surveys. The VFF Livestock Group will continue to undertake these activities in 2015 and 2016. The group has run three highly successful livestock policy dinners over the past 12 months. VFF Livestock Group remains committed to engaging with members and the wider farming community and these sessions provide an opportunity for people to let us know what issues are affecting their business. A recent survey undertaken by the Livestock Group asked members what were the most important issues. The top ten issues from this survey were: • Council rates • Right to farm issues • Better protection against animal activists trespass • Reduce government red tape • Increase livestock production value • Biosecurity • More R&D and less marketing from MLA/AWI • Cost of production • Better roads The VFF Livestock Project Officers Our dedicated extension staff deliver information to producers on livestock diseases and biosecurity. This year the Livestock Project Officers (LPOs) Jacinta Pretty and Kate Henne delivered workshops across the state for all producers on topics such as; Pestivirus, Theileriosis and Vibriosis. August saw LPOs launching their Red Meat Road Show series at Dunkeld’s Mount Sturgeon Woolshed. The ‘pilot’ event was well received with over 70 guests from around the area in attendance. The program was structured for both sheep and beef producers with concurrent sessions and joint sessions running throughout the day. Red Meat Senate Inquiry At the beginning of 2015 The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group and members saw themselves rallying against the boycott of meat processors at the Wodonga saleyards on the post-sale weighing of cattle. With a meeting hosted at Barnawartha Town Hall with around 300 members in attendance, this was the catalyst for a senate inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing. Members were called on to make a submission to the Regional Affairs and Transport Committee to inquire into the impacts of red-meat processor consolidation on the competition and farmer returns. Following the hearings in Roma, Canberra and Albury-Wodonga the VFF continue to lobby against this issue. NLIS Cattle Tags A massive drop in Tag pricing for Victorian cattle farmers was achieved this year thanks to the VFF and the Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee. Farmers can pay from at least .85 cents per tag to $1.25. This is a huge achievement. ChAFTA ChAFTA will unlock significant opportunities for Australia. China is Australia’s largest export market for both goods and services, accounting for nearly a third of Australia’s total exports, and a growing source of foreign investment. There is a huge demand for safe, high quality Australian food and fibre and will provide market opportunities for farmers. There will be opportunities for investment on farm, in jobs, in new technology and importantly in local communities. It has taken 10 years to negotiate and it needs to be passed through parliament so farm businesses can take advantage of a double tariff cut. Australia’s beef and sheep farmers will gain from the phased abolition of tariffs ranging from 12-25 per cent. As China is Victoria’s biggest export partner it is essential that this deal is ratifyied this year to take advantage of the financial benefits. Victorian Farmers' Federation The last 12 months have seen the Livestock group meet with around 2,000 producers face-to-face on key policy issues.