Promoting Agriculture as a Key Public Good
Farmers are generally good citizens who seek to do the right thing. Common misperceptions of agriculture have led to an increase in unnecessary regulatory controls that only hurt productivity and do not improve environmental values.
The VFF promotes agriculture as a key public good to be supported in crown land management systems that impact on agriculture such as emergency management activities, fire and flood prevention programs, crown land licences including bee sites, good neighbour programs – including fencing, pest management and biosecurity programs.
Farmers need to continue to demonstrate all the good things that they are doing for the environment – and start asking government to match their efforts on crown land or ensure their programs and regulations not only reward the good work of the sector but focus on how they can support farming.
For instance, despite farming land being regularly impacted upon by flood and fire, emergency management systems focus on protecting towns – often at the expense of agriculture. While this might be necessary we have little confidence that emergency managers understand the consequences of their actions.
Ensuring impact on agricultural is minimal must be a key consideration in all crown land management systems. Licensing systems and changes to (for example camping on riparian land); and facilitating pollination services are just some examples where the government could easily assist agriculture through better understanding of the common good it provides and the protections it needs.
Just like the saying ‘good fences make good neighbours’, it is critical that riparian fencing remains voluntary for animal welfare and other considerations and that the crown supports replacement fencing post fires and floods – or in response to wildlife impacts.
For further information and advice about the VFF’s policy advocacy, VFF members can call the VFF Policy Team on 1300 882 833 or email [email protected].