There aren’t many farmers in NSW who will forget 2018 in a hurry. Challenging drought conditions, some of the worst in decades, have meant farmers have had to make difficult decisions to sustain their farm businesses and remain as productive as possible.
But farmers are a resilient bunch. Despite the challenges, 2018 presented a number of wins for the ag community and I’m proud to say NSW Farmers’ Association has played a role in that.
Following the release of NSW Farmers and KPMG’s Green Paper “Think big, think fresh: A fresh food precinct at the heart of Western Sydney”, Federal, NSW and local governments announced a feasibility study into the establishment of an agri-business precinct.
Farmers are now better equipped to tackle rural crime and protect their property following the delivery of 26 police workshops across regional NSW. The Association was awarded more than $165,000 by the NSW Government to go towards the delivery of Security Assessment Workshops during Rural Crime Week 2018.
Following years of lobbying by the Association for a new dairy underpass scheme, the NSW Government announced a $3 million commitment to build underpasses and install warning signs and flashing lights to improve safety for producers and motorists.
NSW Farmers strongly lobbied NSW Government to address the crippling cost of energy for farmers, and secured a $1.5 million research and development grant to reduce energy costs on dairy farms.
NSW Farmers’ advocacy efforts also secured state funding for research to develop a more effective and cheaper Q fever vaccine.
With drought conditions remaining with us as we enter 2019, and two elections looming (the NSW and Federal elections), 2019 is set to be an even bigger year for the Association.
- NSW Farmers’ Association president James Jackson