With David Jochinke elected as President and Brett Hosking appointed as Vice President, the VFF is looking to the future, where an ever-evolving digital world will present a whole new set of challenges.
Over 200 farmers attended the 2016 VFF Conference at the Rydges Hotel in Melbourne, discussing topical issues and enjoying the wealth of knowledge presented from a range of inspiring speakers. Premier Daniel Andrews chose the conference to announce the State Government’s $6 million quad bike safety rebate scheme.
A guided tour of the Port of Melbourne, with Ports Minister Luke Donnellan, a keynote address from Southern Gin Cotton General Manager Kate O’Callaghan and a panel discussion on investment opportunities were just some of the highlights.
The organisation celebrated its achievements at a special dinner for outgoing VFF President, Peter Tuohey and two longstanding horticulture members – Michael McCormack and Bob McDonald – earned life memberships.
The range of resolutions debated at the conference included motions to:
Ensure equal standing of economic, social and environmental outcomes in the delivery of the Murray Darling Basin Plan
Advocate for Wimmera-Mallee channel easements to be removed without cost to the customer
Support co-investment in Australian family farms from Australian super funds
Review the legislation establishing Infrastructure Victoria
Defend the diesel fuel rebate for primary producers
Upgrade load capacity on Victorian rail networks to 23 tonnes per axle
Lobby for increased capacity on our roads to support the increased use of B-triple trucks and road-trains
Acknowledge the support of ex-Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, in the opposition to union control of the CFA and volunteers
Cap any increase to the fire services levy payment per property to the consumer price index
Develop a policy to investigate and encourage renewable energy options and energy saving devices in agriculture
Acknowledge agricultural democracy and supporting Australian small and medium farm enterprises
Encourage State and Federal government funding for shelter belts and wildlife corridors
Seek government funds for programs to manage the impacts of koalas in the South West of Victoria.