Farmers damaged by short-term focus of politicians, NFF says

David Crombie
David Crombie

THE short term focus of politicians of all persuasions was hurting the future certainty of Austrailan farmers, former head of the National Farmers Federation David Crombie said today.

Talking at the NFF Congress in Canberra, Mr Crombie said the short term focus of many politicians was creating uncertainty for the business decisions many in the agriculture sector had to make.

He said uncertainty around the Murray Darling Basin Plan was even leading the agri-finance sector to delay approving loans to farmers, as they did not know what the outcomes of the plan would be.

On other agri-political issues, NFF president Jock Laurie said most people were "sick of the rubbish" that was dominating headlines and discussion in Canberra.

He said if any farmer had the chance to watch Question Time on television, they would see there were few, if any questions asked about the real policy issues affecting Australians in the regions.

"I think part of the reason is the uncertainty of minority government - the government has really been held to ransom by the crossbenchers," Mr Laurie said.

But working to improve the relationship between farmers and the political class, Mr Crombie said many achievements, however difficult, had been made.

He cited the introduction of the new live export management system as a positive, putting Australia in a leading role on animal welfare.

But Mr Laurie said there was still much concern in the farming and cattle sector about continued "campaigns against agriculture", referring to the Animals Australia campaign against the egg industry launched on Tuesday.

Mr Crombie said the biggest achievements of the NFF were working on "the things that never happened".

He said it was not just about talking to the leaders of the major parties, but talking to the ministers and shadow minister and policy advisors, because policy development was a long term issue.

Topics:  agripolitics national farmers' federation nff

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