THE past 10 years of NSWFarmers is a good story to tell – a big and positive turnaround in finances, says the association’s treasurer, Peter Wilson, Trangie.
“Member funds have gradually built back up and the balance between property and shares is better,” he said.
“We are about 75 per cent back into property and finances have turned around.
“I think the efficiency in the way the association is run, the quality of policy staff, and the way we are being taken more notice of these days are all positives directors, staff and members can be proud of.”
The association treasurer for the past two years and board member since 2012, Mr Wilson feels it a timely matter of nominating for vice-president position as that position is normally the chair of the board’s Corporate Governance Committee, an important role he believes he can fulfil.
“We’ll have a new president and a new CEO. but first we’ve got to select a new CEO, and then bed him or her down,” he said.
“I felt I could be a bit more useful as vice-president in helping the new president to do those things, and if Derek Schoen is elected treasurer, he’s got continuity on the board as well. And I think that is valuable.”
With his wife, Robyn, and son, Nat, Mr Wilson runs an aggregation of three mixed-farming properties based on “Yarraman”, growing wool with a Haddon Rig-based self-replacing Merino flock with older ewes joined to White Suffolk rams for terminal cross prime lamb production.
As well, they trade cattle and grow grain. Daughter Clara and daughter-in-law Kate are also involved in the cattle trading and have recently contracted with Nat to buy and additional property.
Mr Wilson is also the current chair of the association’s Business Economics and Trade (BEAT) Committee and has an economics degree and law degree. He became an executive councillor in 2010 and prior to that was a member of the constitutional review and the BEAT committees.
He said his “driving force” was to ensure what beaurucrats and politicians deal out to was to farmers’ advantage.
“We have turned around membership numbers which are now on an upward trajectory, we have put through constitutional changes that have simplified the branch structure and done away with district councils and regional councils, which often made potential members’ eye glaze over when you talk about all these layers of this and that.
“It’s now a lot simpler.”
One thing Mr Wilson wants to see is more local member involvement.
“I want to see the situation where every farmer thinks they should be a member – “I need to sign up”.
Important to farmers is the diesel fuel rebate.
“As a member of the Off Road Fuel Users Alliance, which includes fishing and mining industries, ferry operators, farmers and anybody who uses fuel off-road and gets a rebate, the association has to constantly remind beaurucrats and politicians of the reasons behind this rebate.
“It’s because the excise on fuel originally was to fund roads, and we get back that excise paid on fuel we are not using on roads.
“Every year it one temptation for saving lists on government budgets and we keep reminding them this is not a subsidy, but a refund of a road-user charge that we haven’t incurred.”