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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
42 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 In NSW, our members range from broadacre, wool and grain producers, to more specialised producers in the horticulture, dairy, egg, poultry, pork, oyster and goat industries. NSW Farmers Sheepmeat Committee is an integral part of the overall livestock representation within the Association. It is comprised of eight elected sheepmeat producers from across NSW, representing a variety of farming operations and experience within the industry. The Sheepmeat Committee helps drive the policy and priorities of the Association, pursuing issues important to members. NSW Farmers has joined a coalition of industry associations and peak bodies in defending the current mob-based NLIS system. NSW Farmers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Government. Included within this agreement was a commitment for continued support of the current mob-based system. The Sheepmeat Committee has been active in supporting the development of an eNVD option as one means to achieve continued improvement in traceability. Competition and farm gate prices were a focus in 2015, with NSW Farmers joining industry in successfully lobbying for a Senate inquiry into the effect of consolidation of the red meat sector. NSW Farmers held forums across NSW to consult with red meat producing members on how they had been impacted by consolidation, and used this evidence to form the basis of their submission. The findings from the inquiry are expected to be handed down in March, and as such competition policy continues to be a cross- commodity priority for the committee in 2016. The NSW Biosecurity Act was passed this year, combining 14 pieces of legislation to streamline the state-wide approach to biosecurity. Significantly, it also introduced the concept of “shared responsibility”, making biosecurity everyone’s duty. NSW Farmers’ Sheepmeat Committee has been involved in initial, informal consultation with DPI on the Act itself. The Committee has provided formal feedback on discussion papers addressing specific sheep-related biosecurity threats such as footrot, sheep lice and OJ D. Industry and public consultation on the resulting draft regulations and regulatory impact statement will begin in late 2016, with the Act expected to commence in 2017. The Sheepmeat Committee has also engaged in key sheep health and welfare issues. We continue to push for better disease management outcomes through the Sheep Health Statement and better producer education. NSW Farmers has been campaigning for greater education for producers around ovine brucellosis, to reduce the prevalence of the disease through greater awareness and increased use of the existing accreditation schemes. Human health is not forgotten either, with the Association passing policy in 2015 lobbying for the Q fever vaccine to be placed on the federal Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. By 2020, the NSW Department of Primary Industries is seeking to increase the value of our primary industries by 30%. This presents us with some opportunities to engage with government in regard to research and development in the agricultural sector, as well as their support for better infrastructure and government services in regional areas. NSW Farmers will be continuing to play a strong advocacy role to deliver strong outcomes for our members in all of these areas. Committee Priorities for 2015-16 • N LIS which is affordable and meets national traceability standards • An animal welfare approach which is proactive, industry led, places animal welfare in the wider context of health and productivity and maintains the live export trade • Improved industry awareness and uptake of effective sheep health and biosecurity practices • Improved market access for export and domestic sales of sheepmeat • A reduction in predation of sheep by vertebrate pests Ian Cargill Chair, Sheepmeat Committee The NSW Farmers’ Association is one of the largest state farmer organisations representing the interests of its members. NSW Farmers