Home' National Farmers Federation : Annual Review 2008-2009 Contents 120 NATION AL FARMERS' FEDERATION ANNUAL R EVIEW 2008-09
In December we joined forces with the
Tasmanian Cricket Association to dedicate the
PKF Tasmanian Tigers' Ford Ranger Cup match
against the XXXX Queensland Bulls to drought-
stricken farmers. Of course, it rained the day
Tasmania's farmers contribute about $1 billion
annually to the Tasmanian economy and are
committed to limiting their carbon emissions
into the atmosphere. Already, agriculture's
emissions nationally have reduced by 40 per
cent since 1990.
The danger we face is that we will have to
reduce our production because of higher costs
attributable to climate change responses while
at the same time facing increased competition
from developing countries that don't share our
commitment to saving the planet. If Tasmanian
agriculture is to respond to, and survive, the
challenges of climate change we will need
resources and we will need to have specific
research conducted. Tasmanian agriculture
operates in a global market and it is essential
that equity prevails. We cannot reduce our
emissions and increase our sequestration of
carbon on the basis of doing it at any cost.
We have trade competitors. Some are in
developing nations that are unlikely to make
their responses to climate change at the same
time as Australia.
Acting general manager Chris Oldfield, who
took over from Bruce Williams in April, is
overseeing an association-wide reorganisation
to streamline the way the TFGA carries out
its business. This is in line with the strategic
planning process it undertook in 2007.
The impetus to the new structure is the strong
desire of Directors to return the TFGA to its
former position of prominence in Tasmania as
a powerful political lobbying force on behalf
of farmers to the three levels of government.
To achieve this goal, we have needed to
significantly restructure the organisation,
ensure that we have the right people in the
right jobs and, most importantly, communicate
clearly to members what we are trying to
accomplish on their behalf. A major part of this
program has been to establish a relationship
with government and media that is based on
mutual respect and acknowledgement of the
role that each party is required to perform.
Whilst it is easy to put these aims into words,
delivering on the undertakings is a difficult and
Among the new appointments that have been
made during the year are:
• Tony Clarke to the new position of manager
of membership services.
• Nick Flittner to the new position of manager
of drought and climate change.
• Catherine Murdoch, policy manager, with
responsibility for policy development across
the whole agricultural sector.
• Nick Steel, the TFGA’s new commodities
The good news on the shipping front was
the extension of the Tasmanian Freight
Equalisation Scheme to include intrastate sea
freight shipped between King Island and the
main island of Tasmania and Flinders Island and
the main island, beginning on 1 July 2008. The
TFGA lobbied hard for this outcome. It will see
equitable treatment of the primary industries
with respect to intrastate trade and specifically
access to production inputs and the markets or
The not so good news is that we have a
continuing problem on Flinders Island. The
livestock carrier Matthew Flinders III, which plies
between Lady Barron and Bridport, was off the
run for months, leaving thousands of sheep
and cattle stranded on the island. We need a
long-term commitment to a reliable shipping
service and have welcomed the Tasmanian
Government's commitment to undertake a
comprehensive review of this shipping service
over the next year.
A particular area of concern is the medical
profession's lack of enthusiasm to work in
Tasmanian rural practices, preferring to work
in the city, 9-5, Monday-Friday, in corporatised
medical practices. We have particular problems
in places like Campbell Town and Oatlands,
where the long-time resident doctors see no
successors, while, in other places; there are
about 20 rural GP vacancies at any one time.
It seems not many doctors, town or country,
want to set up in private practice. They are not
TASMANIAN FARMERS A ND GRAZIERS ASSOCIATION
We differentiate ourselves in the market because of the quality
of our wool. It is our major marketing tool, our point of difference.
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