Farmers in NSW have every reason to feel optimistic about 2018. Despite in many ways a challenging 2017, our industry has a lot to be positive about.
Stock and crop prices remain competitive, farm dams are looking good and there’s growing global demand for our premium food products. NSW Farmers will this year continue to work closely with its members on a range of policy issues.
Concerns about planning for the inland rail, and the impact on land owners, will be a key focus for us. Through the Business, Economics and Trade Committee NSW Farmers will prioritise sustainable, reliable, efficient, affordable energy production; transparent transport regulation for heavy vehicles and freight; and equitable access to finance for primary producers.
The focus for 2018 will be ensuring that producers get the most from their industry bodies as well as research and development organisations. We will also be fighting for better extension services on the ground to ensure that producers are supported in accessing premium markets and getting paid a fair value for what they produce. Supply chain functionality will be paramount to these goals. We will be responding to the ACCC inquiry into the dairy industry and advocating for real change to support fair competition and rebalance the power across the chain.
In the environment space we will continue lobbying for the effective implementation of the native vegetation legislation, the Murray Darling Basin Plan and tenure neutral management of pests and weeds through new regional advisory committees.
Finally, we will continue to engage government to ensure reliable, equitable and cost effective access to telecommunications; improve responsiveness to rural crime to minimise financial and operational impacts for farmers; and maintain an effective and responsive emergency services sector.
- NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen