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.