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10 things to know from QFF

  1. QFF has partnered with Airbnb to sow the seeds of opportunity and grow the state’s emerging agritourism sector through world-class farm stays and exciting new farm experiences. Read the media release HERE and learn more about Queensland farm stays on Airbnb HERE.
  2. Participation in carbon markets can provide farmers with additional revenue streams, diversified agricultural businesses, and greater resilience through the certainty of long-term purchase contracts. However, there are barriers. Read QFF’s Queensland Country Life column HERE.
  3. The QFF Energy Savers program has been helping farmers identify energy savings on farm which also reduce carbon emissions. Through their experiences, they’ve put together an article detailing the work farmers are undertaking to increase their profitability and sustainability as well as the steps others can take to reduce their carbon emissions. More HERE.
  4. Are you a farmer growing or producing food, fibre or foliage in Queensland? The Grown in Queensland initiative has been launched to assist consumers to identify and purchase your produce. For more information and to get involved, click HERE.
  5. Nominations are now open for Cotton Australia’s Australian Cotton Industry Awards for 2021, which recognise the resilience of the industry and innovation throughout the cotton supply chain. Individuals and teams can nominate others, or themselves HERE. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 26th March 2021.
  6. What Australian consumers have learned through the pandemic, is the real value of our domestic industries and the importance of our ongoing food security. It is up to processors and retailers to follow suit and pay accordingly. Read more from QFF industry member Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation HERE.
  7. Regional businesses can now apply for $500,000 in funding grants through the Queensland Government’s Go Global Export Program which aims to help businesses overcome exporting barriers break into new markets. More information and apply HERE.
  8. On 26 February 2021 Australia regained freedom from high pathogenicity avian influenza. The outbreaks in Victoria were successfully eradicated and ongoing surveillance shows no further evidence of this disease in Australian poultry. More information HERE.
  9. ABARES and the CSIRO have analysed how five megatrends shaping Australia’s food and fibre industries in coming decades will present both great opportunities and challenges for farmers, government and the economy. Read the report HERE.
  10. The Department of Resources is hosting a free Online Resource Community Info Session on Thursday, 18 March 2021 from 2-3.30pm regarding resource activities in Mt Isa and the North West Minerals Province. For more information and to register, click HERE.
  • March 1, 2021

National Farmers’ Federation Weekly Wrap

Headlines

Regionalisation Agenda launched

On Tuesday at the National Press Club, the NFF launched its Regionalisation Agenda. The Agenda's key asks include a commitment by government to 20 place-based developments and for regional Australia to be a standing priority of National Cabinet.


Capital drought could put $100b goal at risk

AgriFutures'Capital requirements of Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector report revealed the sector will need to find an additional $8.7 billion in new investment this decade. The NFF is calling for reform to address the identified barriers to investment in agriculture.

Agriculture continues to supercharge nation's economy: ABARES

The farm sector remains a standout performer and contributor to Australia’s economy, according to ABARES' most recent Insights report noting the gross value of agriculture, fisheries and forestry production reached $67 billion in 2019/20.

The bush yet again the poor cousin in latest high priority infrastructure list

Disappointingly, Infrastructure Australia's 2021 High Priority Projects’ list does not include one regional project. The NFF says action is needed to match the Government's positive messaging on regional development.


Briefing

Now is the time to invest in agriculture

Capital – the debt and equity used to purchase and upgrade assets – drives productivity improvements. It allows farm businesses to invest in machinery, software, land and countless other assets which drive down input costs and increase output levels.

To put it very simply, the industry’s growth depends on it being able to increase its capital stock. Of course, this growth depends on other factors, like access to high-value export markets and low transport costs, but adequate capital is the most fundamental.

It is therefore worthwhile asking what level of capital the industry needs to reach its ambitious goal of $100 billion by 2030. The answer, according to a recent AgriFutures report - Capital requirements of Australia's agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors -, is that the industry needs an annual increase in net productive capital of $8.7 billion.

To put this into perspective, the current annual amount is just $1.2 billion. It shows that radical action is needed for the industry to meet its goal.

The industry’s debt is at its limit – having increased 88 per cent in the past 20 years – and the lion’s share of any new capital must therefore be in the form of equity finance.

Luckily, the AgriFuture's report makes a number of original and perceptive recommendations as to how the sector could attract new sources of equity to help fill the current investment shortfall.

Like much good policy work, there is a role for both industry and government to help the industry get its house in order. The first step is data. Access to quality, timely information and industry performance benchmarks to a standard required by institutional investors has been cited as a key barrier to investment in the sector.

ABARES and the Australian Bureau of Statistics are well placed to make the necessary reforms here.

Certain business practices, inadvertently, deter investors. For example, the focus on production at the enterprise scale, versus the creation of asset value. The lack of succession plans is also a major issue.

To put the matter simply, a farm business geared towards continuously growing its value with arrangements in place for seamless intergenerational transfer will have a much easier time attracting investment.

The emergence of natural capital markets also has the potential to open up new pools of capital for the sector. The Australian Government’s Agriculture Stewardship Package is currently working to achieve this very goal by creating a market that investors can confidently use to meet sustainable development goals and improve environmental outcomes.


It is no exaggeration to say that the industry is facing a capital drought - now is the time to start preparing.

Quote of the week:

"COVID-19 has been an absolute disruptive force, 
the NFF’s Regionalisation Agenda urges government and
industry to work together to capitalise on the disruption 
and ensure the bush can deliver for all Australians:
economically, socially and culturally."
-NFF CEO Tony Mahar
  • March 1, 2021

Paradise Dam

Paradise Dam

Click here to view the Economic Costs of Inaction on Paradise Dam Report.

Click here to view the Supplementary Report: Economic Costs of Inaction on Paradise Dam Report.


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  • June 19, 2020

Dr Peter Ridd: Institute for Policy Science Quality Control: Application to Great Barrier Reef Science

Institute for Policy Science Quality Control: Application to Great Barrier Reef Science.

Dr Peter Ridd
Independent Scientist
34 Mango Avenue, Mundingburra, Townsville
peterridd@yahoo.com.au

 

Executive Summary

The Problem: Some of the science upon which governments base expensive decisions is not as reliable as it needs to be. This problem is particularly acute for the science of the Great Barrier Reef where it is likely that some of the funds to save the reef will not be spent on the most urgent environmental problems. It is also possible that some legislation that is based on questionable science will result in little environmental benefit but will cause significant costs to industry.

The Solution:

Set aside 1% of the recently announced $500 million “Reef Rescue” funds to set up an “Institute of Policy Science Quality Control” that would do truly independent checks on GBR Science.

Allocate 5% of the $2 billion per year funding for the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council to checking, testing, and replicating “Policy-Science”

To read the full article click here.

  • November 26, 2018