Land Management Committee Members
Chair - Gerald Leach
Artur Muchow (FTLA delegate)
About the Committee
The Land Management Committee provides policy support to the VFF on a range of resource management issues. Native vegetation, strategic and statutory planning, mining and coal seam gas, pest and weeds, public land management and crown licenses and leases are the Committee's key focus areas.
The Land Management Committee lobbies on behalf of members on a variety of issues, with the Committee most recently focused on those listed below:
- Increasing the flexibility and reducing the costs of native vegetation clearing regulations.
- Ensuring Rural Land Use Planning and Rural Zoning reduce unnecessary permit requirements and preserve high value agriculture land.
- Strengthening the rights of farmers under Victoria’s minerals legislation – and ensuring these rights are protected during mining developments.
- Improving the management of pests and weeds on roadsides and other public land.
- Removing barriers to effective wild dog control, and seeking the application of national best practice control techniques in Victoria.
Mining and Gas Taskforce Nominations
THE Victorian Farmers Federation is calling for nominations to the Gippsland Mining and Gas Taskforce.
Pest and Weed Control
The role of the Taskforce will be to:
o Provide advice and feedback to the VFF Land Management Committee on mining and gas issues in Gippsland.
o Complement the activities of the VFF Land Management Committee in relation to mining.
o Help inform further development of the VFF’s mining policy, and additional resources for landholders.
o Assist farmers with understanding their rights under mining and gas legislation.
o Help facilitate community consultation on mining activities.
o Provide a local liaison with mining companies and industry regulators.
The Taskforce will help to further develop the VFF’s existing policy, which is focussed on strengthening farmers’ rights in the face of mining and gas developments on their land.
Terms of Reference
Vigilance in pest and weed control is imperative for the food and fibre sector. Sustained funding for pest and animal control is an important and worthwhile investment and the VFF supports the State Government 3-year funding commitment to roadside pest and weed control.
With regard to wild dogs, the VFF calls, as a matter of urgency, on the State Agriculture Minister and Federal Environment Minister to negotiate an agreement on allowing aerial baiting in Victoria. Active aerial baiting already occurs in New South Wales and Victorian farmers cannot understand why the same rules don’t apply in their state. Also, Victoria’s Wild Dog Advisory group is calling for Government support in allowing on-site injection of fresh meat baits with 1080, which is identified as national best practice.
Victorian Farmers Federation Policy on Bushfire Management
CLICK HERE for the VFF Bushfire Management Policy
In Victoria there are a range of State, regional and local agencies responsible for fire prevention, response and recovery.
The farming sector has long played a part in fuel load reduction, fire suppression and recovering from devastating impacts on property and livestock. Amongst the farming community there is a breadth of local knowledge and resources willing to be engaged.
During the 2012-2013 bushfire season, separate grass and bushfires affected up to 200,000 hectares of the State. There was a loss of 2,400 livestock and 1,300 kilometres of fencing was lost.
The VFF want to see reduced delays in providing aid to animals affected during a bushfire, this includes allowing DEPI, Vets, and farmers access past roadblocks sooner.
The most recent bushfire season highlighted the need for improvement in fuel breaks and containment lines on public land, early response to fire, public communication, traffic management points and road reopening resources and processes. Planned burns and fuel breaks do not adequately protect farming properties with farmers reporting that they feel their open paddocks are used as fire breaks.
Farmers hold significant concerns that red tape and insufficient resources prevent adequate back-burning and fuel management on both public and private land.
Further, in recovery from bushfires, farmers have raised issues over the lack of support from government in reinstating land and fencing damaged in providing fire access points and building fuel breaks. Constructing containment lines on sensitive landscapes can have ongoing impact on recovery and productivity of the farming land for a number of seasons.
The VFF believes that discrepancies in public messaging can contribute to poor fire response, traffic and evacuation management. Currently, the public rely on a broad range of sources of information and not one complete source of information.
The VFF has consulted extensively among VFF members and Policy Committees to develop recommendations to address these issues and seek continued improvement in the way bushfire is managed.
Land Use Planning Workshops
In March 2012 the VFF hosted land use planning forums in Warragul, Lilydale, and Shepparton. There was a wide breadth of issues and potential solutions raised at the meetings, including:
- loss of land value and development rights due to planning rules
- increasing costs of local government rates
- loss of productive land due to urbanisation
- limitations on green wedge land uses
- lack of agricultural land use knowledge within councils
The report from the Land Use Planning Forums is available here.