The NSW Nationals have taken a strong stand for farmers, announcing a powerful new Independent Agriculture Commissioner to protect the Right To Farm.

An increase in the number of anti-farming activists, combined with increasing urbanisation of traditionally rural areas, has put more and more pressure on farmers across the State. The NSW Nationals take the Right To Farm very seriously, and are actively working to protect agriculture.

Agriculture underpins many communities outside of the major cities, and its performance has a direct impact far beyond the farm gate. As our farmers battle one of the worst droughts on record, the last thing we want is for them to have to worry about fending off nuisance claims from activists, new ‘tree change’ neighbours and ad-hoc rule changes by local councils.

The Agriculture Commissioner will have all the necessary legislative or regulatory tools to protect the Right to Farm and the Nationals in Government will work with key stakeholders including NSW Farmers and Local Government NSW to develop these tools and implement changes.

The Commissioner will work with the Chief Planner to strengthen standard planning and zoning instruments and review local strategic plans to protect Right to Farm principles, in recognition of the contribution farming makes to local jobs and the broader economy.

Three key areas will be priority:

  1. reforming planning and zoning to strengthen the platform for farmers in land-use conflicts,
  2. supporting the dairy sector and
  3. addressing the recent attack on the industry by ‘Aussie Farms’ group.

For the dairy industry, the Nationals in Government will do all we can in NSW to support the increasing challenges dairy farmers face in the processing and retail sector, including the adoption of a mandatory code of conduct.

History shows that Labor cannot be trusted to stand up for farmers. Labor has opposed each piece of farmer-friendly legislation put forward by the Nationals in Government, including the Biosecurity bills and the Crown Lands Management Bill.

The NSW Nationals will continue to support farmers, fishers and foresters when their rights are being questioned – we are standing up for farmers.