Indi farmers make voice heard in Canberra
A trio of Ovens Valley VFF branch farmers told politicians what needs to occur at the political level to get more profits back in the hands of producers in Parliament this week. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, invited these farmers to meet with key Government and opposition MPs and Senators.
Loretta Carroll, Jane Carney and Julian Carroll met with senior advisors to Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce; Member for Calare and former NFF president Mr John Cobb; Senator Bill Heffernan; and Member for Hunter, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, yesterday. During the meetings, the Indi delegation was encouraging support from government for recommendations from a Senate Inquiry into industry structures on grass-fed cattle levies. If introduced, the recommendations will help improve industry representation that will lead to productivity and profitability gains for farmers, according to Ms Carroll.
Ms Carroll said the access was very positive, and the trio welcomed the opportunity to discuss industry matters with Government.
“We told Government all seven recommendations should be implemented in full to improve industry representation, transparency and accountability in regards to the levy structure,” Ms Carroll said. “We also took the opportunity to express our concerns about the impact these recommendations may have to the Senate Inquiry into market consolidation in the red meat processing sector that is currently taking place.”
Ms McGowan welcomed the delegation and thanked them for their preparedness to travel to Canberra for the meetings. Ms McGowan invited them to come back in the near future to continue making representations.
“It was an opportunity to get to understand how the system works, and establish relationships with the relevant people in Canberra,” Ms McGowan said. “The politicians were generous with their time and the meetings were quite productive.”
“The report on the Senate Inquiry into industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle is currently with Government. An announcement will be made in the very near future and it’s important for farmers to provide feedback on the report and recommendations,” she said.
Farmers are urged to make a submission to the senate enquiry to the red meat processing sector. Submissions close on June 30 and information can be found here.
Ms McGowan remains committed to improving agricultural industries in Indi and believes there is room for growth and development in beef, dairy, lamb, wine and horticulture.
“Working to create a more integrated system was at the core of my election commitment in 2013,” she said.