NSW Farmers Goulburn Branch members were thrilled to be able to hold their recent AGM face to face with a breakfast meeting at the Mercure.
A wide range of local issues were discussed and a number of motions were put forward to go to annual conference in Sydney in July. Delegates from Goulburn Branch will be Margaret Cameron, Nerida Cullen and Geoff Henderson with Ron Cullen as an alternate delegate.
One of the key issues discussed was the seasonal worker shortage which is having a huge impact on producers around the nation, especially in the horticulture sector.
Locally, farmers and shearing contractors are impacted by a shortage of shearers and shed staff. There has been some good news with the lifting of border restrictions with New Zealand and the 50 per cent payment by the NSW government to assist with quarantine costs of incoming overseas skilled workers.
Other issues discussed at our meeting included coastal harvestable water rights and the need for the Farm Management Deposit Scheme to be retained.
In other good news, NSW Farmers has had a significant win with the recent announcement by the state government that it will contribute $15 million in new funds to the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme for critical on-farm support, which the federal government will match.
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Some local producers will benefit from the promise to pay the backlog of applications. Apart from being a practical measure to assist farm businesses with drought preparedness, the scheme is beneficial to local businesses supplying and installing on-farm water infrastructure.
For more information visit www.nswfarmers.org.au or contact regional services manager Dave Banham on 0428 41 1221.