Farm Guide VIC : 2012-13
8 Victorian Farmers Federation 2012 Achievements VFF Achievements: • The VFF has announced changed tractor licensing conditions for tractor use on road. Now all car license holders will be able to drive a tractor of any size towing an implement down the road.This means better productivity and improved access to experience for apprentices. • We are still very concerned about the cost impost through electricity under the carbon tax however, the VFF along with other farming groups has been able to secure the continuation of the diesel fuel rebate which is a considerable win. Substantial funds have also been made available through research and biodiversity funds for the land sector. • We have been successful in getting a commitment from the State Government to remove the Fire Services Property Levy and replace it with a more broad based funding system for fre services. A new funding system is currently being developed and the VFF will remain infuential in its design. • The VFF has been successful in reducing the land tax chargeable on land within the urban growth zone. Previously land in the urban growth zone that was not owned by the farmer would be subject to land tax. This has meant a savings of many thousands of dollars for affected landholders. • The VFF has had success in recent years in impacting local government budgets to change the farm burden of municipal rates. We have been active with local branch members to represent to local government on the reason to adopt farm rate differentials and municipal charges. This has led to a saving of 10-45 per cent on rates bills in some shires. • After successful negotiations with VicRoads in achieving changes to the operating conditions for silage carts, the VFF has also been able to ensure that silage carts, as defned as an agricultural trailer, do not have to be registered. We continue to discuss the proper operating conditions for boomsprays. • We have negotiated a workable scheme to allow for the registration of non-ADR compliant farm bikes that were previously unable to be registered, therefore unlawful if used on the road. • Secured a commitment for funding from the State Government to replace shared boundary fencing in the event of a bush fre. This is a $2/metre value that could deliver thousands of dollars of savings for farmers. • Secured the ability of irrigators to access summer high fow events from winter fll licenses. This means irrigators with on-stream will have reduced variability of water allocations in the south. • VFF obtained commitment from the State Government that new plantation forestry developments require a permit planning process in highly developed ground water regions (in the south of the State). This provided protection for existing agricultural water users. • The VFF was a strong focus opponent to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and called for no further water buybacks by the Commonwealth Government out of the State. The VFF believes that you can't take water out of Victoria without hurting Victorians. UDV Achievements: • VFF has maintained the existing dairy licencing system underpinning industry quality assurance programs. • Has advocated the industry view of a maximum of 30 hours off feed for bobby calves transported for processing. • Coordinated the dairy industry response to the food affected farmers of northern Victoria. • VFF actively supported the national dairy industry protest of the supermarkets discounted milk strategy. • Obtained a continuation of a subsidy of up to $33,000 per farmer by the State Government to support construction of over and underpasses. Horticulture Group Achievements: • After successfully lobbying for mandatory country of origin labelling of all fresh fruit and vegetables, the VFF is now lobbying the State Government to ensure enforcement of this labelling requirement is carried out. This is important to ensure consumers can make an informed choice when purchasing fresh produce. • The VFF Horticulture Group has continued to lobby governments for access to a secure labour force including the expansion of the Pacifc Seasonal Worker Scheme and a change to the employer criteria for the Working Holiday Maker Visa. The Group is also working to ensure TAFEs and training organisations work with industry to provide training relevant to industry requirements. • The VFF Horticulture Group has ensured continued government funding and resources to manage biosecurity, including unprecedented Queensland Fruit Fly outbreaks, eradication of the Asian Bee and other industry biosecurity concerns. • The Group has lobbied for greater grants for food affected growers. With the support of its members the VFF continues to secure substantial benefts for Victorian farmers through its lobbying and advocacy work.