Monthly Archives: November 2018

Letters to the editor

SWORN IN: The National Farmers Federation has welcomed the new Malcolm Turnbull ministry that was sworn in this week. New ministry is crucialTHENational Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the appointment of the new Turnbull Ministry, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulland Deputy Leader Barnaby Joyce.
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The NFF has developed strong relationships with the Coalition over the past three years, and we look forward to our continuing engagement with a renewed focus on creating opportunity and growth the agricultural sector.

We particularly welcome back Barnaby Joyce as Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, as well as his assistant ministers Anne Ruston and Luke Hartsuyker.

We look forward to continuing to work with Mr Joyce and his team to drive key outcomes for farmers and the wider sector.

We acknowledge the reappointment of many ministers to their respective portfolios, ensuring continuity of knowledge and expertise in areas of critical importance to the agricultural sector.

Key appointments of note include Steve Ciobo as Trade Minister, Julie Bishop as Foreign Affairs Minister, Scott Morrison as Treasurer, Mitch Fifield as Communications Minister; Nigel Scullion as Minister for Indigenous Affairs; Darren Chester as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; and Angus Taylor as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.

We also welcome back Michaelia Cash as Minister for Employment; Peter Dutton as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Fiona Nash with her expanded portfolio responsibilities of Regional Development, Regional Communications, Local Government and the Territories – portfolios that play a major role in ensuring a sustainable farm workforce.

We congratulate Ministers and Assistant Ministers moving into new portfolio areas including Josh Frydenberg as Minister for the Environment and Energy; Kelly O’Dwyer as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services; Matt Canavan as the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia; Greg Hunt as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Karen Andrews as Minister for Vocational Education and Skills; andMichael McCormack as Small Business Minister.

The NFF had five key priority areas leading into the Federal Election – and these remain our five key policy platforms now. We believe there is a vital need to: build a stronger workforce; supercharge farm business; invest in innovation and technology; lead the global marketplace; and balance farming and the environment.

Overall, keeping agriculture on the national agenda remains our key focus and we will continue to advocate that.

Brent Finlay

NFF president

Musicians given boostMUSICIANS wanting to promote and showcase their talents to overseas producers or develop contacts that could open the door to an international music career are invited to apply for NSW government funding.

Opportunity Development Grants Program can help local musicians and their managers develop the business and networking skills required to make it onto the world stage.

Musicians can apply for funding to help them land major tour support slots, take advantage of a unique performance opportunity or attend workshops that develop the professional skills necessary to operate at an international level.

This funding can be used to bring musicians to the attention of notable producers, presenters and industry professionals with overseas connections.

Musicians can apply for up to $850 for each person named in an application, to a maximum total of $5500 per group.

Round twoapplications opened on Monday and close onSeptember 6.

Full application details are available at梧桐夜网musicnsw南京夜网.

Adrian Piccoli

Member for Murray

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Call for rethink on yards

Brendan Abbey, spokesman for the consortium that wants to build a private regional saleyards at Mortlake.
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WARRNAMBOOL City Council (WCC) might need to rethink its forthcominginvestment in the Warrnambool saleyards, the proponent for a private regional saleyards at Mortlake says.

Brendan Abbey said he expected his private regional saleyards would attract between 30-40 per cent of the cattle throughput currently handled by the Warrnambool saleyards.

His comments follow WCC’s announcement last week that it was giving its long-term support to the Warrnambool saleyards at theirCaramut Road location.

The council’sdeclaration of long-term support for the Warrnambool saleyards follows two previous moves by the council to divest itself of the facility, the most recent in 2014.

The council’sefforts to divest itself of the saleyardswere abandoned following community opposition, including that from the Warrnambool Stock Agents Association.

Theassociation’s president Anthony Mahony said funding had been secured to install roofing over the Warrnambool saleyards’dirt yards.

He said an above ground watering system and a new compressor for the scales had also been recently installed at the saleyards.

Corangamite Shire Council this month also declared its support for its Camperdown saleyards, announcing it would invest this financial year in two capital projects at the saleyards worth about $10,000.

Corangamite shire had also previously explored the possibility of divesting itself of the Camperdown saleyards in favour of a private regional facility in the shire but no progress appears to have been made on that issue.

Mr Abbey said WCC’s declaration of support for the Warrnambool saleyards would not alter his consortium’s plans to build a $15 million regional saleyards at Mortlake.

“It’s still full steam ahead,” he said.

Mr Abbey said his consortium had gained support from stock agents in Hamilton, Camperdown, Colac, Geelong and Ballarat whosaid they would send livestock to its regional facility at Mortlake.

All of the saleyards in the south-west are operated by local government but Mr Abbey said his consortiumhad not asked any south-west councils to support the venture.

He said theconsortium aimed to have itsregional saleyards built by the end of next year and put through between 150,000-200,000 cattle a year.

Mr Abbey said it hadbought a 69 hectare (170 acres)siteat the corner of the Hamilton Highway and Connewarren Lane in Mortlake for the facility and was negotiating on another 36ha (90 acres) on which to build a quarantine facility for cattle for live exports.

The plan for the quarantine facility was for it to handlethe cattle sold at the regional saleyards for live export markets, he said.

Mr Abbey’s consortium, which comprises five Yass farming families and a solicitor, will next month open its $15 million regional South Eastern Livestock Exchange at Yass that will sell both sheep and cattle.

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Reforms cause concern for Bega

TAFE Illawarra is no more, with individual institutes dismantled and placed under the control of one streamlined provider.
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TAFE Illawarra is no more, withindividual institutes dismantled and placed under the control of onestreamlined provider.

Minister for Skills John Barilaro announced on Wednesday last weekthe state’s 10 TAFE institutes would become one overarching, multi-campus operation –part of “once-in-a-generationreforms”ofthe sector.

The change comes into effect immediately but it is unclear how TAFEIllawarra will be effected.

As part of the change a new digital education headquarters will be created in regional NSW to deliver more online and in-workplace training in a move the government says will expand TAFE’s reach and reverse the huge recent decline in enrolments.

TAFE Illawarra Bega campus Teachers Federation representative David Grainger is concerned the push towards online learning could have a negative affect on students and could also mean job losses at the local campus.

“The Bega campus is a fantastic resource and I would hate to see it downsized and for students to suffer,” he said.

Mr Grainger’s concerns lay in thatevery person learns differently and he believesstreamlining the approach could make TAFE more difficult for people who learn best with hands-on demonstrations and face-to-face discussions.

NSW Teachers Federation representative for Bega’s TAFE campus David Grainger at a “Stop TAFE cuts” forum in 2014.

“There are other parts to learning including access to a counsellor or a careers advisorand being able to go to a library and be assisted by a trained librarian,” he said.

“These other services can mean the difference between success and failure for many local students.”

The announcement last week did not go into detail on how it will be implemented and Mr Grainger said this is the main problem as he is “more worried about what wasn’t announced”.

Mr Barilaroassured the News Weekly on Tuesday, July 18, that there wereno plans in placetoclosethe TAFE Illawarra Bega campus.

“Where there is a TAFE today, there will be a TAFE in the future,” Mr Barilaro said.

“TAFE is not leaving town.”

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NSW Farmers: unanimous opposition to backpacker tax

NSW Farmers delegateshave votedunanimously to oppose the Federal Government’s 32.5 per cent backpacker tax hike and seek a new solution.
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A lively policy debate played outat the Association’s annual conference in Sydney this afternoon, with delegates’frustrations ringing clear overthe government’s stance.

Producers reeled whengovernment announcedin its 2015/16 budgetthat it would abolish the $18,200tax-free threshold on backpackers and set a flat tax rate of 32.5 per cent.

Farmers fearimpacts to seasonallabour supply and wastage ofunpicked fruit and vegetables, which the conference heard would “create a crisis” in the industry.

Today’sconference motion, put forward by the Association’s Bathurst branch and supported unanimously, called for renewed efforts to seek a“reasonable, measured”solution.

“I don’ think we can afford to lose this valuable workforce,” said Bathurst delegate David McKay

“I can tell you we will lose people to NZ – where they have a 10 per centtax rate.”

Delegates rejected anamendmentfora flat rate tax of 15 per cent with notax-free threshold – which isthe practice in the shearing industry.

An amendmentfor zero tax was also rejected.

Under current 417 working holiday visa conditions, backpackers are eligible for a tax-free threshold of $18,200 then pay a rate of 19pc up to $37,000 and 32.5pc up to $80,000.

In Maygovernment said it woulddefer the tax for six months until January 1 2017.

It’s estimated the average working holiday maker earns about $15,000 while in Australia.

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