Key Achievements

Updated August 2020

Building vibrant regions

Decentralisation offers opportunities to create vibrant and sustainable regional communities. Regional NSW should not be sold merely as a lifestyle opportunity – jobs, infrastructure and essential services need to be prioritised to build sustainable communities.

  • Achieved $1.87 million from the Federal Government to develop a new vaccine for Q Fever, and for NSW Health to deliver Q fever awareness campaigns.
  • Advocated for new Commonwealth funding for the Regional Connectivity Program, the Alternate Voice Trials Pilot Program, and highlighted critical areas for improvement under Rounds 5 and 5A of the Black Spot Program.
  • Achieved improvements in the cost and reliability of regional electricity through the IPART review of electricity standards and the NSW Government Energy Security Target & Safeguard.
  • Improved responsiveness of Essential Energy to improve communication about private pole requirements and access requirements for maintenance and vegetation management.
  • Successful in gaining 2 year funding for the Australian Government Kids to Farms program to increased awareness by primary school students of local food and fibre production.
  • Secured a new concessional AgriStarter loan for young farmers through the RIC, along with improved access to drought loans through changes to the eligibility requirements.
  • Significantly influenced the program design of the Farm Business Resilience Program under the Future Drought Fund to ensure business and financial coaching and mentoring support for participants.
  • Gained commitment from the NSW Government for a Youth in Agriculture strategy and actively engaged in the design and delivery of over 50 events through the NSW DPI Young Farmer Business Program

Securing Agriculture’s Future

Farming needs a decision framework that explicitly recognises the social, economic and environmental value of farming to the NSW community and the wider Australian economic and prioritises productive rural land for agricultural purposes.

  • Secured a $150 million support package for the mouse plague, including $95 million for rebates to farmers.
  • Achieved additional State and Commonwealth funding for the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme, with $30 million now available for farmers in NSW.
  • Secured $75,000 grants for flood recovery following the March 2021 floods.
  • Advocated for farm businesses to access $1500 rebates for NSW and local government fees and charges, effective until June 2022.
  • Successfully advocated for an Agriculture Commissioner to champion farmer focused land use planning reforms.
  • Successfully advocated for the Right to Farm Bill, which by connecting with on-farm biosecurity requirements has created stronger trespass laws, penalties, and protections for farmers.
  • Led national advocacy to establish an agricultural worker permit to ensure minimal disruption to critical farm and processing work during the COVID-19 internal border closures of 2020.
  • Provided direct input into the design of NSW regulations regarding the use and storage of firearms to ensure they are fit for purpose and recognise the tool of trade requirements for farmers.

Creating fair and competitive supply chains

By making supply chains more equitable, we can create healthy competitive norms and culture within markets, and equip farmers to challenge power imbalances within food supply chains.

  • Achieved an ACCC inquiry into Perishable Agricultural Goods Supply Chains, which has highlighted the power inequities for farmers in fresh food supply chains.
  • Secured a national commitment to make unfair contract terms unlawful and for stronger penalties to apply for their use, which is particularly beneficial to poultry meat growers.
  • Achieved the implementation of the mandatory Dairy Industry Code of Conduct, which seeks to hold processors accountable in their contractual dealings with dairy farmers.
  • Achieved significant support for the oyster industry including waivers of fees and charges, increased aquaculture lease length from 15 to 30 years and low interest loans for oyster growers under the Seafood Innovation Fund.

Driving premium products and value-adding

The world-class food and fibre produced in NSW is underpinned by strong biosecurity systems, research and development, and value chain innovation.

  • Secured increased investment in agricultural research and development with over $50 million under the World Class Food and Fibre program.
  • Successfully advocated for an enhanced biosecurity system including increased funding and stronger biosecurity laws at the borders to reduce biosecurity threats.
  • Achieved $37.5 million in funding to double the length of the Wild Dog Exclusion Fence and secured funding to continue the Western Division Wild Dog Coordinator position.
  • Achieved extension to September 2021 of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), which has addressed rising freight costs following COVID-19 border closures.
  • Successfully advocated for sector-specific supply chain grants to progress recovery from the Black Summer bushfires in the horticulture, dairy and oyster industries.

Building vibrant regions

Decentralisation offers opportunities to create vibrant and sustainable regional communities. Regional NSW should not be sold merely as a lifestyle opportunity – jobs, infrastructure and essential services need to be prioritised to build sustainable communities.

  • Achieved $1.87 million from the Federal Government to develop a new vaccine for Q Fever, and for NSW Health to deliver Q fever awareness campaigns.
  • Advocated for new Commonwealth funding for the Regional Connectivity Program, the Alternate Voice Trials Pilot Program, and highlighted critical areas for improvement under Rounds 5 and 5A of the Black Spot Program.
  • Achieved improvements in the cost and reliability of regional electricity through the IPART review of electricity standards and the NSW Government Energy Security Target & Safeguard.
  • Improved responsiveness of Essential Energy to improve communication about private pole requirements and access requirements for maintenance and vegetation management.
  • Successful in gaining 2 year funding for the Australian Government Kids to Farms program to increased awareness by primary school students of local food and fibre production.
  • Secured a new concessional AgriStarter loan for young farmers through the RIC, along with improved access to drought loans through changes to the eligibility requirements.
  • Significantly influenced the program design of the Farm Business Resilience Program under the Future Drought Fund to ensure business and financial coaching and mentoring support for participants.
  • Gained commitment from the NSW Government for a Youth in Agriculture strategy and actively engaged in the design and delivery of over 50 events through the NSW DPI Young Farmer Business Program.

Achieving water and environmental reform

Complex, restrictive laws for the protection of the environment continue to hamper best outcomes for farm productivity and the environment. As managers of a substantial portion of Australia’s land mass, farmers are key stakeholders in environmental legislation and policy that governs water sharing and the protection of native flora and fauna..

  • Achieved reforms of the native vegetation legislation to balance farm productivity and biodiversity protection.
  • Successfully advocated for the changes to the Koala SEPP 2019 to be removed from rural and that the maps be deleted.
  • Achieved a review into increasing Harvestable Rights in coastal catchments.
  • Successfully advocated for the removal of buybacks of water entitlements from farmers as a form of water recovery, including removal of recovery of 450gl in the MDB through on farm efficiency measures.
  • Implemented water policies through membership of the Healthy Floodplain Review Committee and the recommendations to the Department on Floodplain licensing.
  • Secured a government commitment to tenure neutral pest and weeds management.
  • Successfully advocated for the removal of game licencing requirements for managing deer.