Farm Guide VIC : 2014-15
10 VictorianFarmersFederation “Our commodity councils and staff have been hard at it keeping Victorian farmers responding to everything from the ban live exports campaign, to dairy farmers’ debt problems and regulation of fruit fly control. As I’ve travelled across the state members keep telling me what a great job we’re doing, with our campaign to reform rural rating, planning, native vegetation and a raft of other issues. I’d reckon you’d be hard pressed to find any other lobby group that’s as successful as the VFF in maintaining our profile and delivering crucial policy reforms and wins.” - V ictorian Farmers Federation President Peter Tuohey Water The efficient delivery of the $ 2 billion Goulburn-Murray Water Connections project and implementation of the Sunraysia Modernisation Project continue to dominate irrigator debate in northern Victoria. Specifically we have asked GMW to: • Ensure that modernised connections are provided to all landholders who wish to continue irrigation. • A clear outline of the process from first contact with an irrigator to connection or termination in a reconfiguration plan. • Assure the VFF that if there is a shortfall in the forecast 425 gigalitres of savings from stages 1 and 2 of the project irrigators will still gain their 75-gigalitre share of savings. The delivery of water savings has already fallen behind schedule (about a 30-gigalitre shortfall). After some delays the Commonwealth and State signed off on the Sunraysia Modernisation Project in December 2013. Under the agreement, the Federal Government supplies $103 million in funding in return for seven gigalitres of water savings for the environment. The project decommissions some channels, automates others and replaces some with low pressure pipelines. The VFF was actively involved in bringing Sunraysia members into the debate on how the funding should be allocated. That debate was crucial in ensuring the funding was fairly allocated across regions. The Murray Darling Basin Plan has been finalised and the VFF lodged a submission on the MDB Authority’s constraints management strategy. The key issue for the Water Council was that implementation of the strategy should be deferred until environmental works and measures were undertaken, which may in effect remove many of these constraints. 2014 Achievements The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is the largest state farming organisation in Australia, representing over 10,000 members who live and work on more than 6,000 farm businesses.