This year, the coronavirus pandemic has prevented NSW Farmers from undertaking several standard practices. However, it hasn't slowed down our advocacy work.
As such, the NSW Farmers' Executive Council met virtually last Thursday to discuss members' issues, resulting in multiple policies being added to our books.
The meeting included robust discussion on agriculture's role in an economy-wide aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.
NSW Farmers supports this aspiration, subject to rolling five-yearly reviews of the technological and economic pathways available to achieving it.
The effort toward carbon neutrality must be shared across all industries, and agriculture must not face unnecessary regulatory impediments in order to reach the goal.
We have also formalised our opposition to the Narrabri Gas Project.
The project has been a significant issue facing members over recent months, and our opposition to it is based on the general view among members that it poses unacceptable risk to water sources, soil and air quality - and thus to local food and fibre production and to rural communities in western New South Wales.
NSW Farmers is also requesting the extinguishment of the 11 expired and inactive petroleum exploration licences.
NSW Farmers has affirmed a commitment to exploring the alternative protein space, particularly through research and development.
This is with the aim of seeing traditional and alternative proteins operating in a complementary rather than competitive manner.
The alternative protein space presents new opportunities for farmers to diversify their operations to meet growing demand for protein over coming decades.
Finally, NSW Farmers supports the rigorous review of all foreign investment in Australia.
While the Foreign Investment Review Board carries out a review of investments valued above $60 million, there is no monitoring or policing following the purchase to ensure conditions placed on the approval are complied with.
NSW Farmers is requesting the establishment and resourcing of an independent unit within government, which has legislated authority to police compliance.
- Annabel Johnson, NSW Farmers Head of Policy & Advocacy.