The VFF provides response and expert advice to a range of government inquiries and proposed legislative changes as part of ongoing advocacy work on behalf of farmers in Victoria. Policy and advocacy usually fall into one of 13 themes. These are: 

  • Right to farm
  • Telecommunications
  • Rural rates
  • Onshore gas
  • Fire services property levy
  • Water
  • Energy and power
  • Native animals
  • Native vegetation
  • Road and rail
  • Talent and foreign investment
  • Foreign ownership
  • Seasonal workers and an ethical workforce

The following series of submissions relate to work carried out in 2017 (see below to download):

Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries
Draft Wimmera Mallee Water Resource Plan
Inquiry into the Management, Governance and Use of the Environmental Water

August 2017

Draft Wimmera Mallee Water Resource Plan
The Victorian Government has prepared a draft Water Resource Plan for the Wimmera-Mallee as part of our implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The draft plan outlines how we are meeting our Basin Plan requirements for the region, including an explanation of the region’s water resources, and our existing water management framework. The water Resource Plan is due for release in mid-2018.

Recommendations made by the VFF in relation to managing farm runoff are: 

  • Decisions regarding the future management of runoff dams should not be made without robust evidence as to the potential implications for their residing system
  • Any transitions away from the existing policy must be cost neutral for new and existing runoff dam holders
  • Cost free stock and domestic water is a key property right for agricultural businesses, any changes to current policy should further entrench stock and domestic water reliability without adding additional cost

Inquiry into the Management, Governance and Use of the Environmental Water
Chaired by Josh Bull, MP, the Victorian Government Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee is seeking community and water user input into blackwater events, water management such as carryover, barriers to water efficiency and the impact of fees and charges. The government will report back by June 2018.

Key points raised by the VFF in its submission include:

  • We are supportive of carryover for all entitlement holders
  • Carryover provides critical flexibility to irrigators and environmental water holders
  • Changes to environmental carryover rules should only occur when the environment is receiving an inequitable benefit at the expense of irrigators
  • There is inequity in entitlement charges in the Goulburn and Murray system 
  • Collaboration and preparation are key to managing future blackwater events.