Key Achievements

Updated December 2022

Unprecedented Biosecurity Funding 

The NSW and Australian governments allocated record funding to biosecurity in 2022, including $65 million from the NSW Government to go towards research for the development of synthetic mRNA vaccines for foot and mouth and lumpy skin disease – a request members endorsed at the 2022 Annual Conference.  

Farm Fire Unit Guidelines

After years of collaboration, NSW Farmers and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) jointly announced the release of Farm Fire Unit Guidelines to aid farmers in responding to bushfires. The co-development of these guidelines was in response to the Sir Ivan Dougherty Road Bushfires of 2017 and the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/2020, which exposed the need for stronger coordination between the RFS and farmers.  

Unfair Contract Terms in Chicken Meat Industry

After an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into the use of unfair contract terms in grower contracts in the chicken meat industry, major processors agreed to amend certain terms. The ACCC identified potential unfair contract terms, including broad terms that could allow processors to vary supply arrangements. 

Port of Newcastle

Expanding access to the Port of Newcastle has been a longstanding advocacy priority for NSW Farmers. In November, a bill to end a penalty on the Port of Newcastle if it exceeds a cap of 50,000 containers in a year was passed by parliament. The bill, which was introduced by independent MP Greg Piper, overturns the original Deed of Agreement between the state government and NSW Ports.  

Agritourism Changes

NSW Farmers worked closely with the NSW Government to ensure changes to planning laws would not adversely impact agritourism ventures. We conveyed several member concerns to the government while the legislative amendments were being drafted, and we were pleased to welcome the final changes, which included simplified planning rules to make it easier for landholders to run activities such as farm stays, camping, pick your own operations, roadside stalls, cellar doors.  

Horticultural Netting Program Trial

NSW Farmers successfully secured funding for the Horticultural Netting Program Trial, which subsidised up to 50 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing netting on horticultural properties. It has been a longstanding priority for the NSW Farmers’ Horticulture Committee to secure this funding, which helps horticultural businesses protect against risks such as pests. The speed with which the funding was exhausted reflects the high demand for this support.  

AgSkilled Drone Courses More Accessible

NSW Farmers had a key advocacy breakthrough when AgSkilled drone courses became available to livestock producers. Previously, the courses were only available to those in the horticulture and cropping industries.  

Small Farmer Flood Grants

After considerable advocacy, NSW Farmers secured recovery grants for small farmers, who have historically missed assistance following natural disasters. After the flooding events of March 2022, small farmers became eligible for $25,000 grants co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments, a significant increase on the $10,000 grants we secured after the 2021 flooding events. 

New Farm Forestry Codes of Practice

NSW Farmers welcomed the release of new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice, which recognise the responsible management of timber on private land and seek to remove the outdated and cumbersome regulations that have stifled land management in the past.

Study Corridor Change for Central-West REZ

After a year of local activation and sustained advocacy by NSW Farmers, led by the Merriwa Branch, the study corridor for Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) transmission lines was moved to avoid the Merriwa plateau to a route that would have a smaller impact on farmland.