For anyone who doesn’t yet understand the value of being a member of an advocacy body such as ours, here is but one example as to its value.

Writing submissions, although an important advocacy tool, is a lot of work. Work which relies on a team approach. Initially good quality information from those whom the changes would directly impact must be solicited. We seek this intel from our members, as by being members they have demonstrated their commitment to the future success of their industry. This intel then is collated, themes identified, research undertaken, and a submission which best reflects industry need, is written.

We are currently in a very fast paced landscape of change. It is an advocacy body’s job to not only keep up, but to make meaningful contributions which provide outcomes for the industry they represent. It would be a very brave, or very stupid, advocacy body who doesn’t directly consult their membership on such matters.

In the past week we have worked on several submissions with our members. These include the PALM scheme where we have written two submissions on government intended changes in the last eight months, and we have another one due on 17 May. This latest one has just as many ‘take your breath away’ potential impacts as the first two, which is worrying to say the least. 

Last week we also sent off our submission on Labour Hire regulations, answering the government’s 38 questions about a proposed National Scheme. We used this opportunity to make a statement about the lack of government prosecution of knowingly and wilfully illegal operators and asked the government to further investigate the exploitation of the labour system by employees, e.g. employees choosing to leave a fully compliant employer to move to a non-compliant employer to avoid paying tax.

Also last week was the governments release of the review of the Migration System Final Report. A 200-page report about the future of migration – a hugely impactful piece for horticulture. We haven’t been given a submission due date but have been told that it will likely be within the month.

Finally, due on 5 June we have the Modernising the Agricultural Levies Legislation where we will have to report on the impact of the draft excise to selected horticulture commodities including avocados, cherries, chestnuts, custard apples, ginger, lychees, mangoes, melons, olives, onions, papaya, passionfruit, pineapple and Rubus amongst many other things.

Thank you to all our members who have responded to our many requests for information we can’t work for you, without you.