Territory Stories

Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association



Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association


Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association yearbook; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Livestock -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Beef cattle -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Ranches -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

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members. So it was very pleasing to hear that an article on the importance of landlines by our own NTCA President Tom Stockwell is among the top six. Also in the technology area, Sproutx, Australias first national agtech innovation hub - backed by the National Farmers Federation and financial advisory and accounting firm Findex - has opened startup applications for its first accelerator round. The 2017 accelerator program will accept the 10 best agtech teams to further develop their product or service and test it in the market. Each startup team will receive $40,000 in capital, mentoring from industry experts, office space for six months, and the opportunity to distribute their products nationally through Sproutxs corporate partners including RuralCo. The teams will also gain access to potential follow-on and later-stage venture capital funding from the Sproutx Venture Capital Fund. Sproutx Venture Capital Fund investment manager, Artesian Venture Partners, has received strong interest from investors to participate in the fund to support and foster Australias role in agricultural innovation globally. Artesian recently announced an $85 million investment from retail industry superannuation fund Hostplus, a portion of which will be deployed into the fund. Internally, moves toward a single unified representative body have foundered somewhat, perhaps to the relief of many. There is still progress being made on the sharing of services with Victorian Farmers Federation and NSW Farmers reporting savings of $250,000/yr in the finance and HR areas. This is continuing to develop. Industrial and employment issues again featured heavily in the NFF activities. The long running backpacker tax saga came to a head in the last sitting days of federal parliament for 2016, and the successful overturning of a ruling of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and subsequent abolition of the tribunal itself have been a couple of notable victories of common sense (eventually). More recently, there have been revelations about the activities of labour hire companies, exploitation of foreign workers and a campaign by the National union of Workers (NuW) to gain a foothold in the horticultural sector. The NuW is targeting horticultural business via its Fair Food Campaign, targeting Coles and Woolworths and seeking Fair Food Agreements with the union setting wages and conditions for farm workers of their suppliers, regulation of labour hire contractors, a preferred supplier list of contractors for farmers to use and higher prices for Fair Food Farmers who have agreements with the NuW and employ workers directly or only use contractors approved by the NuW. This is basically the same approach that RSPCA used to get control of the chicken industry. The Vulnerable Workers Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 1 March. The Bill would: introduce new penalties for serious contraventions of the Fair Work Act, with penalties at 10 times existing penalties. A serious contravention is one that is deliberate and part of a systematic pattern of conduct; doubles penalties for all record keeping and pay slip breaches; makes franchisors liable for breaches of franchisees and holding companies liable for The online platform has started to prove its potential in recent NFF campaigns surrounding the backpacker tax, digital drought and defence land acquisition issues. breaches of their subsidiaries under the Fair Work Act unless they have taken reasonable steps to prevent the breach (for example by providing training, conducting audits or requiring regular reports); prevents modern awards, enterprise agreements and contracts from including terms about unreasonable deductions for the benefit of the employer or a third party, or any deductions for under 18s that are not authorised by a parent or guardian; gives the Fair Work Ombudsman new coercive powers to require anyone to make a statutory declaration about what they know in answer to FWO questions, without the right to silence and only excluding documents protected by legal privilege; prohibits false or misleading time and wages records, payslips and provision of information to FWO. The NFF has genuine concerns about the first three dot points above in particular, and at the recent members council resolved not to support the bill in its current form and to actively advocate for changes that are more targeted to the protection of migrant workers. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has developed and recently launched a Record My Hours app, which uses geo-fencing to record employees work activities and send their records to their preferred representative. The app includes GPS tracking and an in-built camera feature to assist employees build an evidence case against their employers. The app NTCA YEAR IN REVIEW 2016/17 21

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