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The week's news and insights from the National Farmers' Federation
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Welcome to the NFF’s Weekly Wrap, bringing you the week’s farming and political news each Friday.
And, that's a wrap on 2020!
In the final weeks of 2020, the NFF recaps the year that was: the highs, the lows and the priority issues for agriculture in 2021.
 
Bushfires compound the hardship of drought
Following years of prolonged drought, the year started with devastating bushfires that took a toll on the bush. More than 100,000 sheep perished on Kangaroo Island alone. All up it's estimated that 1.25 billion animals were lost. Most tragically, a number of farmers lost their lives. The NFF's FarmHub ensured farmers had the most up-to-date information on drought and bushfire support.
Rising to the challenges of COVID, farmers say we've #GotYourBack
The NFF and our members ensured agriculture and the supply chain were deemed an 'essential service', guaranteeing that abattoirs, saleyards, shearing sheds, wool auctions and packing sheds kept operating, and farm inputs and outputs kept moving. When border restrictions tightened, the NFF demanded that common sense prevail to ensure city-centric bureaucracy didn't impede agriculture. Visas were extended for seasonal workers and backpackers, work continues to ease horticulture's labour shortages. Farmers reassured Australians about food supply with the #GotYourBack campaign.
Drought breaking rains fill dams and hearts!
By February, rain had started to fall on drought parched Australia. Ongoing, widespread rainfall saw dams filled, soil moisture replenished and spirits lifted. A record grain harvest is forecast for NSW and the BoM predicts Australia is heading to a La Nina event.
Live export win rights the wrongs
During June, the Federal Court found favour of the Brett Cattle Company in the class action against the Commonwealth resulting from the then Labor government's shut-down of the live cattle trade to Indonesia in 2011. The landmark case was led by the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund. The Federal Government rightly decided not to appeal the case.
NFF launches plan to Get Australia Growing
In July, in a televised address to the National Press Club, NFF President Fiona Simson launched Get Australia Growing, a plan to see agriculture and the regions lead Australia's COVID-19 recovery. In September, the #BackOnTrack campaign highlighted how the everyday work of our farmers would lead Australia back to prosperity.
Agriculture commits to net carbon zero by 2050
During August, the NFF and our members affirmed support for an economy-wide aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050 with two clear caveats: there must be  identifiable and economically viable pathways to net neutrality and any associated legislation must be fair and advantageous to agricultural.
Trade tensions with China
Addressing disruptions to Australia's agricultural trade to China continues to be a focus of the NFF and its members. China accounts for 28pc of all agricultural exports. The recent challenges highlight the need for Australia to reaffirm its commitment to free trade and a rules-based trading system. This week the NFF supported the commencement of WTO action in response to the Chinese Government's anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs on Australian barley.
A note from NFF President Fiona Simson
Agriculture shines in a tough year
"Nothing could have forecast the year that has been for our nation and the world. As I cast my mind back to January, the dire situation for the bush was surreal. Now, 12 months on, as we put an arguably record grain crop in the bin, in many places the landscape and agriculture's fortunes have been completely transformed," writes NFF President Fiona Simson.
 
How nbn is supporting community connectivity in times of disaster
To help boost support offered to communities and emergency services personnel during times of disaster, nbn is rolling out a rage of important connectivity support measures including nbn™ Disaster Satellite Services, additional Road Muster Trucks, and more Portable Satellite Kits. Find out more here.
 
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Sent by the National Farmers' Federation, NFF House, 14-16 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600
 
 

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