Farm Guide VIC : 2008 - 2009
10 Victorian Farmers Federation 2008 Achievements VFF Achievements • Led the debate on the National Plan for Water Security • Lobbied the State Government to lift the moratorium on Genetically Modified (GM) Canola • Lobbied the State and Federal Governments to give the go ahead on the $1 billion Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Project. • Led the fight to save the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show • With the NFF, lobbied the Federal Government to remove the tax benefits of Managed Investment Schemes (MIS) to the non forestry sector. • Obtained from the State and Federal Governments $224 million to fast track the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline project • Lobbied the Government to invest $32 million in establishing four Technical Education Centres to help lift the uptake of students trained in agricultural and horticultural disciplines. • Lobbied the State and Federal Government to support drought affected farmers including $20,000 Federal Grants for MDB irrigators, State Water Rebates, $3,000 State On-Farm Productivity Improvement Grants, Water charge rebate, relaxation of EC criteria for interest rate subsidy and doubling of exit grants for people choosing to leave agriculture. UDV Achievements Young Farmers The UDV has initiated and helped establish dairy’s first cross-industry youth partnership to build the capacity of young dairy farmers and professionals, the Young Dairy Development Program (YDDP). Membership has grown to 600 members across the state, with networking and skills-building events held frequently. Partnerships Lead to Support The UDV’s partnerships with dairy industry bodies were highlighted in the Feed.Fibre.Future program, delivered in 2007 to help dairy and livestock farmers explore their feed options during the drought. This cross-industry collaborative project was instigated by UDV President Doug Chant, who went on to chair the Steering Committee. The UDV’s ongoing strong partnership with the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation has secured crucial support for dairy farm families. This has included funding towards VFF/UDV branch office bearer training, regional dairy drought coordinators, the VFF’s drought website (a UDV initiative), the UDV Conference and direct support for drought events and for dairy farm families. Supporting Migrants Former New Zealand dairy farmers now form 10 per cent of the dairy farming population in Victoria. The UDV has successfully assisted these members with applying for Permanent Residency and Citizenship, through three immigration forums and providing contacts in the relevant departments. The UDV has produced a guide for New Zealand farmers moving to Victoria, which is being distributed to migrants intending to shift to Victoria. Member Services The UDV ran and substantially supported almost one hundred events in 2007-08, to deliver services and information to members and create the integration and networks needed for grass roots members to have an effective voice. UDV and VFF staff also provide support to individual members on a range of issues including local government disputes, roadside permits and compensation issues. Infrastructure Over the last three years the UDV has lobbied for State Government infrastructure grants to help grow dairying in Victoria including the $4 million on farm energy upgrade project funding to upgrade dairy farm entrances. Grains Group Achievements The VFF Grains group continued to compile and publish the only Marketing Decision Table in Australia, which provides members with a comparison on the net value (cash price) of their crops from each grain pool. This $750 service is provided free to VFF members throughout the harvest season and has the potential to improve farmer incomes upwards of $40,000 per season. Under the direction of its membership and councils, the VFF pursued the right of farmers to choose farming Genetically Modified (GM) Canola. This has been an ongoing exercise over the past five years. In the last year alone, this involved upwards of 30 meetings with Ministers of Agriculture, their senior advisors and staff, as well as those from the Department of Primary Industry. With the support of members the VFF continues to secure substantial benefits through lobbying.
2009 - 2010