TELECOMMUNICATIONS and decentralisation of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) top the agenda for Riverina farmers.
The Junee branch of NSW Farmers met this week and plan to take some of the big issues to the organisation’s state conference in July.
Branch president and Marinna farmer Martin Honner said farmers around Marrar and Wantabadgery need a phone tower urgently. Despite announcements last week of towers for the region weren’t included.
“Wantabadgery is a real black spot and Marrar has been at the forefront of people’s minds for a long time,’ he said.
“This is policy that is already on the books of NSW Farmers but it will definitely be raised at the conference in July,” he said.
“It has been suggested that we put forward a motion that highlights that the association is working on member’s behalf for these areas,” he said.
“We have stock agents and people in emergency vehicles and council employees who all say they have no coverage in these areas,” he said.
“They are highlighting the inaccuracy of people being able to effectively work in these areas.”
Meanwhile, GRDC and the plans to decentralise the corporation out of Canberra was on the agenda too.
Mr Honner said most people at the meeting wanted to see a clear plan supporting decentralisation of the GRDC but the response was that Wagga was an ideal location.
He said Wagga should be the front runner rather than locations such as Moree, Narrabri or Horsham.
“One member mentioned that there is a lot of deadwood in GRDC and some of those against the move were too entrenched in the Canberra model,” he said.
“Wagga is a great regional city and we have the EH Graham Centre here and Charles Sturt University,” Mr Honner said.
“Overall members the meeting were supportive and welcoming and said a move by GRDC to Wagga can only strengthen our area,” he said. The meeting attracted 20 members from Junee and Coolamon and there were apologies from Gundagai.
Tony Clough of “Windermere”, Wantabadgery was at the meeting and said he supported moving the GRDC to Wagga but wanted to see more business details.
“GRDC is all about science and development of grain for the farming fraternity,” he said.
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