Home' National Farmers Federation : Annual Review 2010-2011 Contents 36 NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION ANNUAL REVIEW 2010-11
the sheer scale and complexity, most of
2011 will be taken up with processing the
tenders themselves. NFF does not expect
significant work to begin until possibly 2012.
Water for the Future Program
For some time, NFF has been advocating
for a balancing up of the purchase and
infrastructure programs under the Water for
the Future Program. At present, nearly half of
the acquisition funds have been spent, and
recently the Minister announced changes to
the format of the tender process, i.e. smaller
more frequent tenders. A major impediment,
however, continues to be the agreement
between the Commonwealth, NSW and
Victoria that caps acquisitions each year for five
years meaning that the cap can be reached
quickly. The February 2011 tender resulted in
the NSW cap being reached so acquisitions
for the remainder of the financial year will
be from Victoria and South Australia only.
The infrastructure program continues to be a
challenge. In October 2010, less than $0.5 billion
out of the $5.8 billion had been spent, although
only around $0.5 billion is notionally ‘unallocated’
This means that the actual investments are
assesses each jurisdiction’s against its
approved implementation plan. Much has
changed within the realms of the Australian
Government and yet its implementation plan
has not been updated to include the new
responsibilities such as the Water Act 2007 and
the Water for the Future program. In its January
2011 submission to the review, NFF argues
that the Commonwealth ought to update its
implementation plan and that the NWC assess
its progress based on the new responsibilities.
The Assessment is due for release in the second
half of 2011.
COAG Water Reforms
The most significant water reform at the
COAG level is implementation of a common
registry system for water entitlements.
While a website portal for hosting water
trading information is now available for
use, it is a step down from what industry is
calling for an ASX style trading platform and
environment. However, the COAG proposal
is some progress and will assist in approving
and processing permanent water trades.
At this stage, the development of the
registry system is out to tender, and given
Natural Resource Management WITH DEB KERR
WITH the re-election of the Labor Government under Prime Minister Gillard, execution of
significant reforms in the Natural Resource Management (NRM) portfolio will continue.
However, ‘minority’ government will be a
challenge for the Government and NFF expects
that bipartisan support will be required for
significant reforms such as implementation
of the legislative changes arising from the
review of the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
One of the most significant areas of work in
the NRM portfolio is the development of the
Murray-Darling Basin Plan. More information on
the Basin Plan and in particular, NFF’s activities
can be found on page 22 of this Annual Review.
During the year, NFF continued to advocate for
this well regarded and supported program to
be expanded beyond its current limit to Box
Gum Grassy Woodland Ecological Communities
in NSW and Queensland. An announcement
before the May 2011 Budget of $6.7m targeting
multiple ecological communities in NSW and SA
Over recent years, NFF has advocated to
Government to increase and expand the
funding beyond the 2010-11 financial year.
An extension of this program funding of $84.2
million over four years was announced in the
May Budget ensuring that the current goodwill
and standing of this program is not lost.
The NFF recognises the need for reform of
the various jurisdictions approach to NRM
management, in particular the issue of policy
silos (i.e. making decisions on one policy
without due regard to the perverse impacts
in other policy areas). To resolve this, NFF are
proposing a green paper process by either the
Australian Government or more rightly, by COAG
to investigate the possible policy options and
amendments going forward. Work is already
underway to lobby the Australian Government to
address this issue and the NFF has encouraged
facilitating a blueprint into the future.
2011 Biennial Assessment of the
National Water Initiative (NWI)
This year marks the release of the third
biennial assessment of the NWI, which
Richard Gardner, Deb Kerr and TFGA President David Gatenby on the Tunbridge Poppy Farm during the NFF Water
Committee tour of Tasmanian irrigation development.
Links Archive Annual Report 2009-2010 Full Issue Annual Review 2011-2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page