Farmers across Australia want their advocacy efforts to be streamlined and strengthened through a more unified model of representation, a report on farm representation released today has found.
The report, Newgate Review into the Future of Farm Sector Representation was released at the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) National Congress in Canberra.
The report is based on exhaustive research of grass roots farmers and is the start of a broader process on how the agriculture sector should adapt to optimize farmer representation.
NFF President Brent Finlay said the report recommended that the agricultural sector unify, reduce duplication and adapt to changes in the modern agricultural environment.
“The challenge now is for the farm sector to act on the review’s recommendations, determine what transition to a more unified model might look like and identify a realistic timeframe and process for implementing change,” Mr Finlay said.
“Between now and March next year, NFF and its 30 member organisations will systematically explore and discuss how we can adopt a more unified model of representation.
“It’s about working together for the long term benefit of the farm sector and ensuring the community, media and government understand and value the importance of our contribution to the Australian economy.
“We said from the beginning this won’t be another report to sit on the shelf gathering dust. The momentum is building and we’re going to keep pushing for change – our farmers deserve the best possible representation going into the future.
“We’ve established working groups to ensure wide consultation in our sector and this process will ensure everyone has an opportunity to engage and have their say. We will be as inclusive and transparent as possible.
“Engagement is not about critiquing the report’s recommendations, it’s about working together to produce better options and outcomes. Hard decisions will need to be made by every part of the sector, but as a sector we should have no illusions, the status quo is not an option – change is on its way,” Mr Finlay said.
The full report of the Newgate Review can be found here. A website has been established for farm sector stakeholders to read the findings of the Newgate Review and learn more about how they can engage with the working groups.
Between November this year and March 2015, working groups established through the review process will consult with member and non-member organisations on what a new unified approach may look like.
National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is a Canberra-based advocacy group that represents Australian farmers and agriculture more broadly. Since 1979, the NFF has consistently championed the advancement of agriculture in Australia. The NFF is dedicated to generating a greater understanding of modern farming and its role and contribution to the global community.
The NFF’s members include: AgForce Queensland; Animal Medicines Australia; Australian Dairy Farmers Limited; Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Limited; Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council; Australian Pork Limited; Australian Veterinary Association; Beechworth Honey Pty Ltd; CANEGROWERS; Cattle Council of Australia; Corporate Agriculture Group; Cotton Australia Limited; Dried Fruits Australia; Future Farmers Network; Goat Industry Council of Australia; GrainCorp Limited; GrainGrowers Limited; Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association; NSW Farmers’ Association; NSW Irrigators’ Council; Pastoralists’ Association of West Darling; Primary Employers Tasmania; Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia; Ridley Corporation Limited; Ruralco Holdings Limited; Sheepmeat Council of Australia; Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association; Victorian Farmers Federation; and the Western Australia Farmers Federation.
Well said Grant Piper. I’ll second that.
Wrong. Farmers are disenchanted with the established advocacy and ‘peak’ groups. The established farmer organisations have all become too far removed from their constituency and thus farmers have voted with their feet and dollars and left all the state farmer organisations. Single-issue action groups have been much more effective in changing government and big business decisions than the neutered establishment has. eg. Not one established ‘farmer’ group tangibly or sincerely supported Peter Spencer’s fight against the Howard Governement theft of Freehold rights. Simply put, the ‘establishment’ always sides with the ‘establishment’.