The passing of the Farm Debt Mediation and NAIT laws last night shows the Government’s commitment to work alongside and help farmers, says Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
Federated Farmers presented to the Primary Production Select Committee on the proposed changes to NAIT legislation.
"Implementation and education on NAIT are lacking, we know a system that actually works would mitigate most of the non-compliance issues that currently exist in the NAIT system," says Federated Farmers Meat and Wool spokesperson Miles Anderson.
"We do not believe that farmers deliberately set out to be non-compliant, and our members have been very vocal of their concerns with the system".
These concerns include the usability of a system that is clunky and hard to navigate, requires technology which is expensive, and the reliance on connectivity that often fails or is nonexistent in rural areas.
"We have had lots of discussion around rural connectivity and know it is a major issue, it is continually overlooked as an integral part of this system working, we raised this concern with the select committee."
The idea of the Crown owning NAIT data is something Feds’ members vehemently disagree with. This proposal raises a red flag as to why the Crown would want ownership, when current legislation allows access to NAIT information in a transparent manner.
Federated Farmers does not support transporters being legislated into NAIT. Adding complexity to the existing NAIT system, or increasing the difficulty of the job that transporters already have, will only further undermine trust in the system.
"We see no value in transporters having to become the policeman.
"The NAIT system has recently been focused on improving usability, and we look forward to this continued approach with a healthy add-on of education and training on the ground, on farms, in the regions.
"We urge the government to enable NAIT to be implemented to achieve its purpose, support is far more effective than additional layers of complexity," Miles says.