Inland rail inquiry divides NSW Farmers

Inland rail inquiry divides NSW farmers


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Hundreds of producers will head to Sydney this week to debate key issues for the NSW Farmers' conference.

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A rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane that promises to slash freight costs has NSW farmers divided.

On one side of the tracks there is the Coolah/Cassilis branch who will be pitching a motion to NSW Farmers conference next week proposing the association cease its mission for an inquiry into inland rail and not use funds to finance participation.

This is despite the association's strong stance in the lead up to the federal election pushing for an independent inquiry.

On the other side of the tracks there are those from Junee and Croppa Creek/North Star branches who want the association to pursue an independent inquiry.

If the Coolah/Cassilis motion is successful, then the association would have to reverse the position it has held for around four years.

"It will be up to the conference to decide on where the association heads from here," NSW Farmers' president James Jackson said.

Water will be another big issue debated where the Berrigran/Jerilderie branch is proposing a motion that the building of new dams incorporated pumped hydro be supported.

"There has been a push back on dams. There are a number who want more water storage and there are some who want the value of their own water to increase," Mr Jackson said.

Farmers will also discuss the right to farm with the Narrabri branch proposing that the government ensure the Ag Commissioner, proposed under the Coalition's Right to Farm election platform, reviews and improves the planning processes undertaken by the Department of Planning and Industry.

Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers would be establishing its own right to farm task force to ensure its response was comprehensive.

Tambar Springs branch has a motion that Australian agricultural assets that have been aggregated and then subsequently offered for sale, be offered in pre-aggregated form.

"Australians are unable to compete equally with low and no tax entities that pass the parcel of land, water and other assets among similar structured owners avoiding most of our Australian taxes and resulting in an unfair advantage," branch secretary Xavier Martin said.

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