Australian farmers unite on new farm access code

17 May 2024

Representatives from Australia’s peak farming bodies have backed the adoption of the Farm Access Code of Conduct this week, marking a significant step forward in ensuring the respectful treatment of farmers across the nation.

Initially developed by TasFarmers and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), the Code will undergo a review for its effectiveness in 12 months.

Ian Sauer President of TasFarmers said, “The adoption of the farm access code nationally is a major milestone. It was developed through a partnership between TasFarmers and the VFF, driven by the grassroots needs of our members”.

"Farmer groups who met this week as part of the The National Farmers Federation (NFF) members group will play a crucial role in working closely with the Australian Government and infrastructure developers to ensure widespread adoption and adherence to the Code.”

"We expect state farming organisations to advocate for the Code within their states, ensuring all governments and infrastructure developers adopt these standards - which essentially reflect good manners," Mr Sauer said.

VFF President Emma Germano said the Albanese Government’s plans for minerals exploration and the acceleration of renewable energy development on farmland would see land use conflict explode.

“We need a strong code of conduct that is shared between farmers, governments and infrastructure developers to protect the rights of farmers and regional communities.”

“With the Commonwealth Government’s plans to turbocharge renewable energy, transmission, minerals exploration developments, it is vital that we take action now to ensure farmers and food production are not trampled in the process.”

NFF president David Jochinke stated the NFF are supportive of renewable energy and infrastructure development. However, they would not tolerate farmers being treated badly.

"This Code establishes a baseline of respect and courtesy that should be standard in our industry.

"We believe there should be no barriers to the adoption of the code as it is founded on politeness, courtesy, and common decency," Mr Jochinke said.

The NFF encourages all stakeholders to embrace this initiative, paving the way for a respectful and collaborative approach to infrastructure development.