National Farmers' Federation

Prime Agricultural Land

 Policy Position 

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) recognises the importance of prime agricultural land. The long-term success of the agricultural industry will be dependent on continued access to land and water resources and requires a long-term strategy centred on the productivity of our food and fibre systems. Prime agricultural land is a crucial consideration in this process. 

Prime agricultural land is an invaluable, natural resource that provides the capacity for Australia to meet increasing global demand for food and fibre. It also provides significant environmental and social outcomes. The NFF recognise s that prime agricultural land is complex because: land conditions are not static, it is influenced by both soil quality and proximity to water resources, access to infrastructure, and future technology and innovation. It cannot simply be defined by cadastral or other boundaries. 

A prime agricultural land policy must not be prescriptive, but would provide a strategic pathway/set of principles for Governments to manoeuvre around inherent difficulties of land use conflicts and the need to produce food and fibre for a growing population. While protecting land is important, decisions made by individuals on the best use of their land must not be compromised and must not stifle future innovation. The NFF believes that a prime agricultural land policy should not be limited to ‘protecting’ land per se, but rather to provide a framework/set of principles to maintain or improve long-term land productivity that would safeguard Australia’s capacity to produce food and fibre. 

The NFF has separately prepared a set of guidelines — industry engagement guidelines for on-farm activities as an addendum to this policy, to facilitate best practices for industry to respectfully engage farmers for potential on-farm activities. 

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