An unprecedented campaign against anti-farming policies has been launched today by new NFF President David Jochinke in his first day in the role.
Speaking in Canberra at the National Farmers’ Federation National Conference, Mr Jochinke called on parliamentarians to stand up against policies which threaten to slash billions from farm production.
“Farmers have always put food on the table for Australians and clothes on our backs, but decisions are being made in Canberra that will make it harder to do.
“They’re taking away the water, land and workers needed to grow food. That means fewer farmers doing what they do and when farmers grow less, everyone pays more,” he said.
The national campaign, titled Keep Farmers Farming, will focus on key issues such as water buybacks in the Murray Darling Basin; the proposed ban of live sheep exports to the Middle East; worker shortages on farms and in the food supply chain; environment laws; transmission lines and competition policy.
Today’s campaign launch comes only weeks after a national survey of more than 1600 farmers revealed falling confidence in the farming sector and reservations about the approach of the Albanese Government.
The survey found the majority of farmers (54.3 per cent) thought the Federal Government’s policies were harming the industry, and only 31.2 per cent thought they were doing a good job for farmers.
Mr Jochinke urged farmers and consumers to unite behind the campaign and show their support by signing an open letter to the Prime Minister, contacting their local MP or making a donation to the campaign.
“In the coming months, decisions by the Federal Government threaten to shave billions off farm production. We need support to ensure we have the right policies that help keep farmers farming,” he told the audience.
Specific outcomes sought as part of the “Keep Farmers Farming” campaign include:
- Blockage of the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill, which lifts the cap on water buybacks in the Murray Darling Basin;
- Abandonment of plans to ban live sheep exports to the Middle East;
- A shake-up of Australia’s competition laws to secure a fair deal for consumers and farmers;
- A dedicated visa pathway for agricultural workers;
- A mandatory code of conduct for transmission projects; and
- Balanced reform of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) to maintain productive land use.
For more information, head to keepfarmersfarming.org.au.
To read the new President’s address in full, click here.