Woman loses seat on farmers' board

ALSTONVILLE farmer Kath Robb has failed in her bid to be re-elected to the board of directors of the NSW Farmers’ Association.

The elections were held at the association’s annual conference in Sydney this week.

Mrs Robb had served just one year on the board when she narrowly missed out on re-election.

“I have enjoyed my year on the board,” Mrs Robb said.

“I will look forward to continuing to work for the association in other ways.”

Mrs Robb will today stand for re-election to the Rural Affairs Committee, of which she has been a member for three years.

The committee develops policy on communication, health, bushfires and drought.

Also at the conference, nine delegates from the Far North Coast brought their concerns about food labelling to the table.

A motion, put up by the Far North Coast District Council directing the association to lobby the Federal Government to change the way imported foods are labelled, was passed by conference delegates yesterday.

The motion suggested imported food products should be labelled to meet the same standards of food traceability that already applied to equivalent Australian produce.

“You can go into a supermarket now and think a product is Australian because it says ‘made in Australia’,” Mrs Robb said.

“But it can include ingredients which are made overseas.”

Mrs Robb said consumers had the right to know exactly where their food was coming from, and current labelling regulations did not adequately do this.

Another issue raised at the conference was contained in a motion put up to investigate the ‘validity’ of people who live in areas not affected bylocusts, but were required to pay the Pest Insect Special Purpose Levy. The motion failed to get up.

Alstonville farmer Gavin Robb told delegates the levy was unpopular with some farmers on the Far North Coast because the region was not considered a locust area.

However, Mr Robb conceded local farmers could potentially suffer the effects of alocust plague with an increase in grain costs if farmers inother parts of the State suffered crop losses.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally this week announed an $18.5 million war chest for fighting this season’s expected locust plague, which is predicted to be one of the worst in the State’s history.

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