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A Budget and a vision for sustainable Australian farming.

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News Release



1 February 2005 NR 09/05

The National Farmers’ Federation today called on the Federal Government to show long-term vision for an ongoing sustainable farming sector as NFF lodged its 2005-06 NFF Pre-Budget Submission.

NFF President, Mr Peter Corish said NFF had put forward a range of strategic proposals on behalf of Australian agriculture for the Government’s consideration in the lead-up to the 2005-06 Budget to be handed down in May.

“These proposals are about much more than simply extra government resources for agriculture,” Mr Corish said. “We want the Government to focus on measures which are in the long-term interests of a viable and sustainable farm sector.

“NFF requests Government, in partnership with the farming community, develop a long-term strategic vision or blueprint for Australian agriculture.

“It is a high priority for NFF to ensure that any Government funding going into the agricultural sector is being well-spent on areas which will help take farming forward as a growing industry into the 21st Century.”

Mr Corish said resource security in relation to both water and land and native vegetation remained NFF’s number one priority.

Proposals in the NFF Pre-Budget Submission include:

· improving governance frameworks through a Council of Australian Government (COAG) intergovernmental agreement on land and native vegetation similar to the National Water Initiative;

· implementation of the Rural Telecommunications Inquiry recommendations and ensuring equitable services in rural Australia into the future;

· a review of drought policy to improve drought preparedness and the timely and effective delivery of Exceptional Circumstances assistance;

· a National Environment Management Program (NEMP) to provide incentives for farmers to carry out environmental services on farms on behalf of the entire community;

· closer engagement with farmers in identifying strategic infrastructure needs under AusLink; and

· improving intergovernmental funding arrangements and minimising the scope for cost shifting.

“These proposals will have a considerable impact on the effectiveness of agricultural initiatives across all levels of governments if implemented by the Federal Government,” Mr Corish said.

“NFF is also seeking funding for proposals where farmers are providing services for the broader community at the request of governments, such as boosting fertiliser supply chain security and the provision of public-good environmental services.

“NFF strongly believes in responsible fiscal management and policies to keep interest rates low and productivity growing. NFF is also requesting that further tax simplification and tax cuts are placed back on the agenda particularly given the recent strength of the economy and boom in tax receipts,” Mr Corish concluded.

A copy of the NFF Pre-Budget Submission is available here

Contact: Mairi Barton, General Manager Public Relations, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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