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National Farmers’ Federation Weekly Wrap


Record number of Australians celebrate AgDay

Last Friday Australia celebrated National Agriculture Day (AgDay). A record number of 150 events were registered this year with people putting their unique spin on an Aussie classic, the lamington, as part of the AgDay Bake Off. Almost 100 schools registered for Farmer Time, an initiative connecting students with farmers live from the paddock, dairy and header. Prime Minister Scott Morrison was one of many high profile Australians who shared the AgDay message.

Milestone biodiversity report released

On Monday, the NFF, in collaboration with AFI, released the Recognising On-farm Biodiversity Management Report that outlines the contribution and input of more than 500 farmers and subject matter experts on the topic of biodiversity.

Fees slashed for agriculture tertiary courses

Last week, Minister for Education Dan Tehan and Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud announced that Australian students will enjoy a 59% reduction in costs to study agriculture and encouraged Australians to consider a career in agriculture.

Time to act on water reform

Ahead of Basin ministers meeting today, the NFF called on MinCo to act on the many recommendations for water reform before them.

To view the map, click here.


Report sets agriculture up for a sustainable future

This week, a report released by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in collaboration with the Australian Farm Institute (AFI), outlined the thoughts and input of more than 500 farmers and leading environmental experts on how to transform the relationship between agriculture and environmental management and enhancement.

Recognising On-farm Biodiversity Management is the first report delivered under Phase 1 of the Federal Government’s Australian Farm Biodiversity Scheme.

The report, and research project more broadly, identifies critical success factors needed to implement consistent frameworks for managing the relationship between farmers and biodiversity.

The NFF has long been of the view that as environmental stewards and managers of over 50% of Australia’s landscape, farmers should be appropriately remunerated for the work they do in sustainably maintaining the land.

From managing soil to protecting waterways and looking after biodiversity, farmers are at the forefront of our evolving landscape.

Despite this, little action has been taken by Government and private industry to engage farmers on a framework that encompasses an overarching approach to recognition and remuneration for this work.

In the Report, AFI Executive Director Richard Heath noted that during the consultation process farmers rightfully identified the complexity, cost and difficult nature of participating in multiple programs as barriers to getting involved in current stewardship programs. This also included market-based initiatives.

The report found that bests results were likely to come from an overarching framework that connected current and future programs, providing farmers with choice.

Another key finding of the report was the absolute need for robust data and a consistent method by which to benchmark that data.

Without the solid foundation of data, baselines are unlikely to be established and systems to incentivise sustainability, as a result, will not succeed.

The report comes at a crucial time, where many farmers are in the process of rebuilding and beginning the recovery process following years of intense drought.

Improved sustainability approaches and outcomes are an important part in bolstering farmers’ resilience to drought as well as other pressures associated with farming.

With the report and Phase 1 of the Federal Government’s Australian Farm Biodiversity Scheme now delivered, the NFF is focussing on developing a framework for Australian agriculture sustainability as part of the Government’s $34 million Agricultural Stewardship package.

Quote of the week 

"I Expect the States to step up to their responsibilities,

and I want to see the conversation at the ministerial Council focus on what

 can be delivered in the timeframes defined by the Basin Plan."


  • November 30, 2020

10 things to know from QFF

  1. QFF has congratulated the Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group for receiving the Best Agricultural Energy Efficiency Project Award sponsored by QFF at the Energy Efficiency Council’s National Energy Efficiency Awards 2020. Read the media statement HERE.
  2. Many stressful decisions are made in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. But an interruption also serves as an opportunity to make changes to practices, products or improve business strategies. Read QFF’s Queensland Country Life column HERE.
  3. The 2019-20 year has been another positive year for QFF as we continued to effectively advocate for sectorwide issues and secure positive outcomes despite unprecedented challenges. We think our record speaks for itself, read our 2019-20 Annual Report HERE.
  4. QFF industry member Growcom has welcomed the release by the major supermarkets of their very first annual reports on ethical sourcing required under the Modern Slavery Act 2018. Read the media statement HERE.
  5. Cotton Australia and the National Farmers’ Federation are encouraging all cropping farmers to play their part in preventing off-target spray drift damage by mapping their fields in SataCrop this season. SataCrop is an all-of-agriculture online mapping platform for growers to use. Read more HERE.
  6. CANEGROWERS Maryborough says the announcement from MSF Sugar that it will stop operating the Maryborough Mill and instead arrange for contracted sugarcane to be crushed elsewhere ends six months of uncertainty and speculation for growers. More HERE.
  7. The Australian Government is encouraging applications from farming groups, research organisations and other eligible industry bodies for grants to support projects that enhance traceability in the agricultural produce supply chain. Apply HERE.
  8. Applications for the 2021 AgriFutures Australia Horizon Scholarship Program are now open. The scholarship gives university students entering their final two years of study, support to help them broaden their horizons and accelerate their careers. More information and apply HERE.
  9. Food Innovation Australia Ltd has identified 19 Growth Opportunities and developed Roadmaps, which if pursued could unlock over $200B for food and agribusiness on a value-add basis by 2030. They are now seeking feedback from stakeholders. Have your say HERE.
  10. This Saturday, 5 December 2020 is World Soil Day which aims to raise awareness of the importance of the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources. For more information and to participate, click HERE.
  • November 30, 2020

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


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