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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 agriculture out of it. Ensuring that water purchases under the Government’s water buy-back scheme are only from ‘willing sellers’ and continuing access to necessary farm chemicals, despite heightened security rules and regulations, have been significant for the day-to-day running of Australian farms. The NFF is also achieving successes through the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, delivering flexibility in workplace relations, and ensuring cost pressures – earmarked for the sector – have been nipped in the bud, as well as being directly involved in the Government’s Award modernisation changes. Naturally, the NFF continues to work on climate change adaptation and mitigation responses that benefit the farm sector, in addition to essential expansion of research and development in this area – but not at the expense of farm productivity research and development. Water pricing and essential on-farm water-saving investment, our Environmental Stewardship program and the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the Caring for Our Country package, transport infrastructure, taxation, workforce participation, education and training, Award modernisation, Genetically Modified organism policy, drought, biosecurity, international trade and public perceptions of the farm sector, are all key areas of NFF activity. We have also been actively engaged in the Beale Review of Australian biosecurity arrangements and are encouraging the Government to fund expanded activity in this important area. Some of these numerous issues and policy fronts for the NFF deliver positive, tangible results quickly, some take years and others help position our sector strategically to prepare agriculture for the opportunities and challenges to come. RHINO R WATER TANKS Zincalume or 58 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 58 As for the NFF itself, on 18 December 2008 all members agreed to change the organisation’s membership, structure and governance arrangements following an 18-month review of farm representation, backed by extensive industry consultation. NFF members made these changes to allow broader through chain representation, and provide greater clarity in the roles between national, state and industry bodies to avoid duplication. Members wanted policy development to be skills-based and underpinned by the best possible research. Financial stability was also seen to be necessary for sustained action and members also sought to bolster direct communication between the NFF and producers on both NFF and Australian Farmers’ Fighting Fund activities. It is also important to note that while the new model creates flexibility by widening the membership base, farm organisations, at all times and on all issues, retain control of the NFF. While members will continue to advocate their own state and industry causes, agriculture, as a whole, must remain unified in the face of increasing regulatory requirements and community expectations that impact on our overall competitiveness. This is especially poignant at a time when drought is creating such difficulties for so many. NFF has welcomed the ongoing engagement with, and support of, our members and we will continue with our commitment to represent their interests on these important national issues. David Crombie President National Farmers’ Federation 54,000 L to 260,000 L Colorbond 1800 632410 rhinotanks.com.au NT Manager (Steve Muntz) - 0427 632 5/5/09 8:01:11 PM 20 year Warranty D.I.Y. Kit tanks also available