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.
Top End mangos to benefit from Vanuatuan worker pilot
This week, the
Federal Government announced a pilot programme to bring Vanuatu citizens into the Northern Territory (NT) to assist with mango harvest as the sector faces a significant labour shortage due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The NFF welcomed the plan and credited the Northern Territory Farmers Association, Northern Territory Government and Federal Government for their bipartisan approach towards supporting farmers in the Top End.
Funding for new Q Fever vaccine
On Wednesday, the NFF joined with the Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton at an announcement of  $1.87 million in Government funding for a new and improved Q Fever vaccine. A potential advantage of the improved vaccine is the need for a single treatment and the doing away with the requirement to be tested before immunisation. This will go a long way in making the vaccine less expensive and more accessible to farmers and their families.
COVID-19 Resources
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across Victoria and some parts of New South Wales, there have been several important changes related to
border restrictions and general health restrictions and requirements. Explore resources related to state government assistance, JobKeeper information, employment opportunities in agriculture, mental health support and border control information on FarmHub.
Federal Court rules Backpacker Tax valid
Yesterday, the Federal Court ruled the so-called Backpacker Tax valid after it was found to be a ‘form of discrimination based on nationality’ in October last year. That decision could have seen up to 75,000 backpackers reimbursed by the ATO, however, justices Davies, Derrington and Steward yesterday agreed that Ms Addy should not have been considered as a resident for tax purposes.
Victorian abattoirs reduce production
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, metropolitan Melbourne has moved to Stage 4 restrictions and regional Victoria, Stage 3 restrictions. As part of the restrictions, Victorian meat plants are required to reduce production by a third from midnight this Sunday.

Weekly insight
EMI takes a dive as COVID-19 takes its toll on wool market
Wool growers are hurting as the wider impact of the COVID-19 pandemic bites. This week the market was down 40% compared to this time last year, with the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) falling 128 cents a kilogram. Growers are are also nervous about a shearer shortage as the spring shearing season approaches. The Shearing Contractors Association estimates up to 430,000 sheep won't be shorn on time this year, without access to the usual visiting New Zealand shearing troupe. This is despite the Australian sheep flock being the lowest since 1904.  
Source: Nutrien Wool, 2020
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Looking back on more than three decades of Landcare

This week, August 3 – 9 is Landcare Week 2020, a week dedicated to celebrating the National Landcare Programme established by the Hawke Government in 1989.

In 1989, National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) CEO Rick Farley worked with Phillip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation to lobby the Hawke Government into committing to the emerging movement and usher in an era of sustainability and natural resource management.

Landcare officially became a national programme on 20 July 1989 when the Coalition Government announced its ‘Decade of Landcare Plan’ and committed $320 million to fund the National Landcare Programme.

Bob Hawke’s address to launch Landcare, known as his ‘Wentworth address’, was delivered on the banks of the Murray River and remains relevant to Australia’s agriculture sector even today.

His calls for solutions to be found through co-operation at all levels of government and community groups and a need for a proper mix of political commitment and community support still resonate today.

In 2020, the NFF is leading a progressive agenda to ensure biodiversity assets are protected in concert with growing agricultural production.

The NFF is working with the community, industry and government on transitioning the interaction between biodiversity conservation and agriculture from an either-or approach to a complementary and fully-integrated process.

The NFF wants to see farmers fiscally rewarded for the biodiversity benefits they deliver every day on behalf of all Australians.

Quote of the week
"I’m excited by the potential of this new generation vaccine, being developed by an Australian research partnership."

Sent by the National Farmers' Federation, NFF House, 14-16 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600

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