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.
Time to celebrate on National AgDay - Friday 20 November
Next Friday is National Agriculture Day. AgDay is a chance for people all over the nation to come together and celebrate our farmers and all that is good about Australian agriculture. With more than 150 events planned, 2020 promises to be the best and biggest AgDay yet! Check out our new online store featuring the ‘I Love Farmers’ merchandise collection.
Government on notice to do more on biosecurity
This week, a Canberra man was recognised for his detection of grain's no.1 enemy, the khapra beetle, in the packaging of a new fridge. The NFF has renewed calls for the Government to do more to protect Australia's $60 billion agriculture sector from damaging pests and diseases.
"It's crucial we keep a level head," Simson on China
In an opinion piece for Farmonline, NFF President Fiona Simson said Australia must work hard to put relations with China on an even keel while simultaneously developing a strategy to widen and deepen export opportunities in the region and further afield.
Hotter, drier and more extreme: New climate report out today
The sixth biannual 'State of The Climate 2020' report predicts a continued decrease in cool season rainfall across southern and eastern Australia, likely leading to more drought and more intense, short duration heavy rainfall events.
Agriculture sector welcomes new shadow spokesperson
On Tuesday, Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP announced his resignation from the opposition front bench with the Hon. Ed Husic MP taking on the role of shadow agriculture spokesperson. The NFF congratulated Mr Husic on his appointment and recognised Mr Fitzgibbon for his contribution.
Weekly insight
Australia’s timber industry in focus
Last week, China suspended Victorian timber log exports due to alleged phytosanitary concerns. The disruption is in addition to the recent suspension of log exports from Queensland. The industry is working with Government officials to resolve the challenge. Australia’s forest and wood production exports has enjoyed a steady rise over the past few years…
Source: ABARES, 2020
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New class action legislation and the Australian Farmers' Fighting Fund

The Federal Government has introduced new laws which will require class action litigation to be managed and regulated as financial products.

The government claims the change is justified because the litigation funders who finance these legal claims actions – on the basis that they receive 25% - 30% commission on any win — are very often ‘fly by night’ operators based overseas, who reap huge profit while bearing little risk and do not properly inform the class members of the risk they face in joining these proceedings.

Unfortunately, one unforeseen consequence of this change is the AFFF will be required to obtain a financial services license, and any class actions it supports will need to be registered with ASIC as managed investment schemes.

This is a frustrating development.

As an exclusively Australian, not-for-profit charitable trust, the AFFF is solely driven and legally bound to act only in the best interest of Australian farmers. It has no profit motive and will now have to spend time and money — which should be spent representing the interests of Australian farmers — on legal fees and managing red tape intended to control risk in financial markets.  In short, the AFFF does not run the sort of operation which the changes are meant to regulate, but those changes will frustrate the AFFF’s capacity to support Australian farming.

The AFFF have approached the Treasurer about granting the AFFF an exemption to this process. Discussions are ongoing.
Quote of the week
“We really do have to love Australian farmers, they are the salt of the earth. Not just for what they put on our tables, but for the incredible contribution they
make to our economy.

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

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