Lightning Ridge landholders defend mining access claims
The AFFF supports farmers in their fight against unfair and unwarranted barriers to the development of sustainable farming practises and vibrant regional communities.
In the 1980s, farmers were concerned that union intransigence and rigidity, as exemplified by the Mudginberri dispute, threatened the future of Australian agriculture and industry productivity in general.
Mudgenberri presented the opportunity for the National Farmers' Federation (NFF), with AFFF support, to challenge and defeat the old, inward looking standards that had long passed their used by date.
However, creating new standards is an expensive proposition.
In 1985, the AFFF was formed, forged in the industrial battlefield of Mudgenberri and backed by a rally of 45,000 farmers in Canberra in July to protest the impact of high taxes and escalating interest rates on rural business.
The birth of the AFFF: 45,000 farmers converge on Parliament House, Canberra, in 1985, 'putting their hands in their pockets' for the cause.
The formation of the AFFF was the right idea at the right time in Australian history.
It won instant support from farmers and raised millions of dollars. Half the money raised was donated by non-farming businesses that supported the NFF's challenge to injustices.
Those funds are still working for Australian farmers today, fighting issues that would set disturbing precedents for farmers, regional communities and Australia as a whole.
The AFFF operates separately from the NFF. It is controlled by its own Board of Trustees, including three independent trustees.
The Trustees of the AFFF are:
To qualify for funding from the AFFF, an applicant must be a farmer facing a nationally significant and, if possible, precedent setting case.
That does not mean applications have to be about matters that are grand or even newsworthy.
In fact, much of the legal work to ensure precedents that protect farm interests are often away from the public spotlight.
Today, the AFFF is financially strong and secure.
Since 1985, it has financially backed over 100 cases, resulting in significant wins for Australian farmers.
In many cases, without AFFF support the parties involved simply would not have access to the practical support or fund pool to pursue legal avenues.
Matters pursued by the AFFF reflect the challenges facing farmers today, and over the years have involved legal battles over:
The AFFF also engages in long-term project work on competition policy and trade practices.
In tough economic times, farmers are increasingly faced with issues that threaten the farming way of life. These include limits on land and water use, unreasonable intrusion onto private property and market power imbalances that cut prices at farm gate.
Application Process & Protocols
The following guidelines have been produced to assist those wishing to apply for the AFFF funding.
Guidelines for AFFF Project Management
The following Guidelines apply to the management of AFFF projects.