National Farmers' Federation

Liaison Officers provide valuable service for farmers

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed a Biosecurity Liaison Officer, on secondment from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, to its team, bringing the total number of NFF Liaison Officers to three.
The Biosecurity Liaison Officer, Tim Lester, will provide a valuable service to NFF members – answering queries about biosecurity reform, and providing a point of contact for members to the Department.
“2012 is a critical year for biosecurity, with a number of high level developments and ongoing issues, including the continued roll out of the biosecurity reforms, the Government’s plan to guide reforms into Australia’s quarantine system and the development of draft legislation for the Quarantine Act,” NFF President Jock Laurie said.
“Tim’s role at NFF will ensure that the farming sector is engaged with these developments. Tim also brings with him strong experience and knowledge in the area of animal welfare – having worked with DAFF on the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.
“Biosecurity and animal welfare are two of the farming sector’s biggest priorities – ensuring Australia remains free of animal and plant diseases and our produce maintains its reputation for being ‘clean, green, and disease-free,’ and ensuring that we are continually improving our animal welfare practices,” Mr Laurie said.
The Biosecurity Liaison Officer joins the NFF’s existing Liaison Officer positions – an Environmental Liaison Officer on secondment from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and an Immigration Liaison Officer on secondment from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
“The Liaison Officer positions exist to provide a direct point of contact for farmers to the relevant Government departments. Our Environment Liaison Officer, Jol Taber, has been with the NFF for two years, helping farmers understand their rights and responsibilities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
“Our Immigration Liaison Officer, the newly appointed Satinder Pasricha, helps farmers gain access to programs including temporary and permanent visa options for skilled workers to fill their skilled work positions. Satinder provides immigration related information about employer responsibilities when employing overseas workers. Satinder can also help members understand the NFF-supported program, the Pacific Seasonal Workers Scheme.
“All our Liaison Officers have farming backgrounds and understand the complexities of running farms and rural businesses. We encourage all farmers and industry bodies with concerns or questions in the areas of biosecurity, quarantine, animal welfare, environmental law and immigration to contact the relevant Liaison Officer by calling the NFF on 02 6269 5666,” Mr Laurie said.

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