Home' National Farmers Federation : Annual Review 2008-2009 Contents 68 NATIONAL FARMERS' FEDERATION ANNUAL R EVIEW 2008-09
Nearly 40 Rural Champion volunteers are now
on the books and have presented Farmer in the
Classroom talks to regional schools, and had a
strong presence at Ag-Ed/Rural Discovery Day
events and career expos across Queensland.
AgForce supports positive and realistic
approaches to bringing modern farm practices
further into line with society's understandable
expectations that food and fibre is produced
in an environmentally sustainable way.
Our continuing support of best practice
management in agriculture was evidenced in
four new projects which commenced in 2009
The Grazing and Grains Reef Rescue
Partnership aims to help broadacre industry
progress towards best-management practices
that improve water quality and ground cover
and is part of the Australian Government's $200
million Caring For Our Country initiative.
Another project which was rolled-out in 2009
is the Grains Best Management Practices
program involving grain growers across the
Mines vs agriculture
Competition between the agriculture and
resource sectors has been building in recent
years and advocating to address this has been
a major focus for AgForce.
In November 2008, AgForce welcomed
an announcement by the Queensland
Government for a single code of conduct
that spells out the obligations of mining
and exploration companies; a standard
compensation agreement, developing
multi-use corridors for power, rail, and water
pipelines when feasible and establishing a
Department of Mines and Energy office in
the Surat Basin to enforce mining codes and
These steps will address some of the issues
raised by landholders but further progress
by government departments is needed on
matters such as notification periods and bonds,
compensation levels and the development of
a government policy for the protection of
prime food-producing agricultural land.
AgForce lobbying also helped secure a
community liaison officer role within the
Department of Mines and Energy to provide
information to landholders about both their
rights and responsibilities, as well as funding
for an officer to provide free independent
legal advice for rural landholders impacted
AgForce and the Department of Mines and
Energy worked together in the last quarter
of 2008 to run Land Access Forums, to ensure
landholders had a clear idea of their rights
where mining and exploration companies are
Climate and drought
AgForce has played a major role in positioning
the Queensland, and Australian, agricultural
sector to participate in the ongoing climate
change and emissions trading debates.
We have also advocated on behalf of members
to retain Exceptional Circumstances declared
regions where needed. Through funding for a
drought co-ordinator, AgForce has been able
to assist producers practically such as through
coping with financial difficulties and impacts of
AgForce was actively involved in the Federal
Drought Review process during 2008, and
will work closely with Government in the
development of the new policies to prepare
producers for the increasing climatic variability
in the future.
Health was also on the agenda in 2008-2009,
and AgForce joined the Centre for Rural
and Remote Mental Health Queensland in
identifying strategies to maximise access to
mental health facilities in rural and remote
Strategies to reduce rural crime were also rolled
out in 2008-09, through working with the
SARCIS (Stock and Rural Crime Investigation
Squad) of Queensland Police.
AgForce, through the AgForward project,
continues to fine-tune details of how the
assessment of leasehold land and the details of
the Land Management agreements will roll out.
Flood response, relief
In responding to the north Queensland
floods from December 2008-February 2009,
AgForce stayed true to its first priority of
looking after members, and is working with the
relevant authorities to ensure their needs and
requirements are fully met.
In the aftermath of the floods, land and
infrastructure recovery strategies were
implemented to ensure members were back
on their feet as soon as possible.
AgForce's past president Peter Kenny with students
from St Margaret's Anglican Girls School who took
to the water for the 2008 Head of the River regatta
in Brisbane with the Every Family Needs A Farmer
message on their oars.
Through funding for a drought co-ordinator, AgForce has been able
to assist producers practically such as through coping with financial
difficulties and impacts of climate change.
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