Skip Navigation

More Information

Policy & Submissions

Member Signup

New to Ag Institute? Join Now

Online Membership Application

Policy & Submissions

AIA Policy Position Statements
AIA Submissions

AIA Policy Position Statements

Energy Policy: Energy management including its generation, procurement and use, are important for primary producers and the agricultural sector more broadly.

While energy is only one input into the farming sector, it impacts every farmer. The cost of inputs for Australian agricultural production are rising. This increasing cost base is contributing to the reduction of the country's agricultural productivity.

Read the whole policy statement here

Biotechnology and Agricultural Innovation Policy Paper:   Advances in biotechnology tools provide opportunities to improve crop and livestock productivity by breeding higher yielding, better quality and more reliable varieties (such as with drought tolerance, insect or disease resistance) that can benefit society in general through improvements in health, the economy and the environment.
Read the whole policy statement here

Biosecurity Policy Paper:  Australia’s geographic location and isolation from other agricultural production and trading countries has meant that we have been free of many of the pests and diseases which trouble other producing countries. This has given us a competitive advantage both in costs and reduced complexities of production processes and in the world market place.
Read the whole policy statement here

Agricultural Science and Innovation Policy Paper:  Advances in agriculture depend on innovation underpinned by science. These advances lead to improved productivity as well as improved outcomes of the natural resource base, animal welfare, plant and animal quarantine and health, and food safety. They also lead to the development of adaptive management approaches that ensure increased resilience for the agriculture sector in response to system changes including climate change and variability.  There are many examples of science-based improvements in agriculture and animal production systems and increasingly these are being enhanced by advances in information technology and data management that enable sophisticated monitoring and evaluation of systems that improve decision making, financial outcome and risk management.

Read the whole policy statement here

Professional Accreditation - A Chartered Agricultural Professional Scheme:  Ag Institute Australia (AIA), the body representing agricultural and natural resource management professionals, is sponsoring the development of a national accreditation scheme for professionals working in the Agricultural and the Natural Resource Management Sciences.  The scheme under development is voluntary and Chartered Agricultural Professionals (CAPs) will demonstrate that they have the professionalism, commitment, education, expertise and experience to make a difference in a client's business.

Read the whole policy statement here

Mining and co-existence on agricultural land policy statement:  Mining and agriculture have been part of the landscape in Australia for many decades.  Originally, mining had little impact on agriculture and the legislation in Australia was largely enacted when mining had a relatively small impact on the landscape.  Current legislation generally ensures the State owns the mineral resources below the surface of the land and landholders have the rights to farm the surface of the land.  This has enabled the State to secure a royalty stream from mining activities, and regulate mining activities.  Landholders usually have rights to underground water in aquifers below their farm, but most aquifers now have regulations to prevent over-exploitation.  Until recently (the last fifty years or so) mining had little impact on agriculture, but with large-scale mechanisation and the exploitation of underground resources such as coal seam gas, mining and agriculture have struggled to co-exist.

Read the whole policy statement here

Climate change- Agricultures adaptation and resilience to climatic change and variability: Global warming has been on the collective international conscience since at least the middle of the last century.  For many decades, the voices of climate and associated scientists have called for recognition of the impact of human activities on climate change, and the need for adaptative developments to a world with a significantly different climate profile.  The urgency of that call has intensified in recent decades with the Inter-government Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) publishing its international assessment reports.  These reports, issued every few years, have gathered and analysed the latest scientific research in areas related to climate change as well as climate assessments and measurements.  The clear result of increasing rapid human induced climatic changes suggests what was once thought to be a problem for future generations is a problem for our current generation and those that immediately follow…

Read the whole policy statement here

The Agricultural Research and Development Model Policy Paper:  The current R&D Corporation model was established by the PIERD Act in 1989.  (  This enables the Federal Government to collect a levy from agricultural producers.  The rate of the levy is recommended by the relevant industry body and is matched, by Government funds for R&D purposes $ for $ up to 0.5% Gross Value of Production.  This model has served Australian agriculture very well.  It has enabled Agricultural industries to fund RD&E, which benefits the industry as a whole.  However, since their establishment, agricultural RD&E has had major change and the R&D Corporations have responded variously to these changes. 

 Read the whole policy statement here

Policy Statements under development

Best Practice Agriculture

Education & Training

Medicinal Cannabis

How are policy statements and submissions developed in AIA?

In order to develop its policy positions, AIA uses a member based Special Interest Group called the Advocacy and Policy Special Interest Group (APSIG).  The role of the APSIG amongst other things, is to:

  • Identify, in collaboration with the Board, issues/topics of importance and/or relevance to the AIA that require policies to be developed;
  • Develop policies that have relevance to the AIA’s Charter and its members;
  • Propose ways of advocating AIA policies to Government at national and State levels and to link with state Divisions of AIA;
  • Undertake the development of submissions as required consistent with AIA policy positions; and
  • Report policy and advocacy activities and outcomes to members, including feature articles in the Journal.
  • Annually review all AIA policies and recommend amendments/modifications as required to the Board.

Process of Policy Development in AIA

  1. Broad member input is sought regarding priority areas/issues for development,
  2. The policy statement is drafted by APSIG for consideration by the AIA Board
  3. The policy statement is endorsed by the Board.
  4. Following approval by the Board, it is published on the AIA website
  5. APSIG considers all feedback received and revise the draft policy as required

Who are APSIG?

Turlough Guerin

Chair - A&P SIG

Dr. Turlough Guerin has 20 years’ experience in corporate environmental management and major projects in the energy, resources, communications technology and construction sectors. Companies he has worked for include First Solar, Telstra, Shell, Rio Tinto, Chevron, and Kaiser Engineers.

He is currently the Chair of the Board of Advisors at the Climate Alliance Limited, a Non-Executive Director at Bioregional Australia Foundation, and is on the Governance and Risk Committee of Australia's largest community radio station. Turlough is also the Science Editor at the Australian Institute of Agriculture, and has held several local and state government-supported community board roles.

He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. His PhD, from the University of Sydney, was on chlorinated pesticides and their fate in the environment. In his roles and on projects throughout his career, Turlough has interfaced widely with the agricultural sector and regional Australia.

Andrew Bishop

Andrew Bishop

Andrew is employed by the Tasmanian Government as that State’s Chief Plant Health Manager. He has responsibility for the operation of the plant biosecurity system in Tasmania including policy, legislative and regulatory development and plant biosecurity emergency response. Andrew also manages Tasmania’s plant biosecurity and diagnostic laboratories.

Andrew has previously worked as an agricultural research scientist in crop nutrition and crop protection (weeds, integrated pest management, organic production) and has also worked in the area of weed management policy and legislative development.

Andrew led the project that developed the Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy which was Australia’s first whole-of-government biosecurity strategy. Andrew is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Hamilton

David Hamilton

David Hamilton is a grains and cotton farmer and agricultural consultant specialising in strategies for agricultural Research Development and Extension.  Since 1974, he served in various RD&E roles with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI) ultimately as General Manager, Plant Science, before retiring from the role in 2012.

He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1973 with a BAgrSc and commenced his career in the cotton industry when he was appointed as an Extension Agronomist responsible for irrigated crop production in the St George region of Queensland.  Following an initial four years in St George, the author moved to the Emerald region in Central Queensland when cotton production was in its infancy.  After a period of study (MS in Agronomy at Texas A&M University) supported by the Australian cotton industry, he returned to Emerald to continue work as an Extension Agronomist focussed on irrigated and dryland agriculture with a special interest in cotton agronomy.
He was then appointed to various leadership roles with the QDPI at Rockhampton Toowoomba and Brisbane.

In 1992, the author was appointed to the Cotton R&D Corporation Board and served two three-year terms.  He served successively on boards of the Cotton Cooperative Research Centres form 1994 until 2012, and also served on the GRDC northern panel.  He served on various Cooperative Research Centre boards and the boards of the Emerald Agricultural College and the Dalby Agricultural College.

Since his retirement from QDPI, in addition to managing the farm business on the Darling Downs, and undertaking consultancy work he has also taken leadership roles in community organisations such as the Basin Sustainability Alliance.

Virginia Shaw

Virginia Shaw

Virginia's main experience is in business needs analysis, information technology, governance, policy, and strategy development

Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan

Dr Daniel Tan is an Associate Professor of Agronomy at the University of Sydney. He graduated from the University of Queensland with a BAppSc (Hort Tech) (Hons 1) in 1991 and a PhD in 1999. In 1993, he was a senior executive at Keppel Land International Ltd in Singapore and led the project management of the US$150 million Sedona Hotel projects in Yangon and Mandalay, Myanmar. In 2003, he accepted a lectureship in agronomy in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment (FAE). He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010 and to Associate Professor in 2015. Daniel is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture and he was nominated a Director for the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology in 2015. His specific interests within crop abiotic stress are in physiology, especially high temperature tolerance. Research outcomes (e.g. stress detection methods and markers) are used by plant breeders in their development of stress tolerant crops. His ongoing work on abiotic stress and farming systems research in wheat, chickpea, cotton and rice has been supported by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Shaun Coffey Shaun Coffey

Shaun Coffey is an agricultural scientist with a broad work experience in Australis an overseas.  He is a former Chief of Division for CSIRO Livestock Industries and CEO of Industrial Research Ltd in New Zealand. Shaun is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological  Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand.  He has current business interests in NZ, the UK, Indonesia and Australia.


Interested in Policy Development?

If you are an AIA member and interested in joining APSIG please contact your Divisional chair and arrange for a nomination to the board.  Similarly if you identify issues of policy significance where you believe AIA should have a policy position advise your Divisional Chair.  Alternatively forward your expression of interest and/or advice to




AIA Submission into Regulation in Agriculture

Appendix A - Biosecurity

Appendix B - Biotechnology


AIA Innovation in Agriculture Submission


Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper


Inquiry into industry structures and systems governing the imposition and disbursement of marketing and research and development (R&D) levies in the agricultural sector


Response on Draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan


Senate Inquiry R&D Levies Oct 2014


From the National President, Mike Stephens
The Ag Institute submission prepared for the Senate Inquiry into agricultural tertiary education paints a bleak future for the sector unless there is some drastic action this time round.

The striking point made in the submission, ably compiled by national board member and immediate past president Geoff Thomas, is that all the talk in the world is just so much hot air.

This crisis has been years in the making and a string of previous inquiries have sounded alarm bells which have been largely ignored. Will it be any different this time?

While history suggests not, we can but hope that the excellent points brought out in our concise submission and all the other contributions to this inquiry don’t get pigeonholed away and forgotten.

That will be the challenge for the Institute and its members as the Senate Inquiry enters the public hearings stage – to galvanise some action before it is too late.

You can download here:

AIAST Submission to the Inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling Plan in Regional Australia (27 January 2010)

The AIAST National President, Mr Geoff Thomas, recently presented the House of Representatives Standign Committee on Regional Australia Inquiry with the AIAST's response into the impact of the Murray-Darling Plan in regional Australia.

The response outlines issues including:

  • Flaws in the release process, including suggestions for future processes;
  • The cost of 'doing nothing';
  • Socio-economic factors;
  • Irrigation infrastructure and on-farm use;
  • Research, development and extension;
  • Rural adjustment;
  • The role of government in adjustment, and;
  • Environmental water (e-water).

Read the Full AIAST Submission pdf here.

AIAST Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Australian Research and Development Corporation

The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) as the peak body representing agricultural professionals and natural resource managers in Australia strongly supports the current Research Corporation Model and the joint industry/Commonwealth funding formula. This view is based on the strength joint contributions to generate both private and public good outcomes.

AIAST recognises the proven importance of research, development and extension in the growth in productivity of the sector, not only in terms of its benefit to the economy but the critical role agriculture does and will continue to play in the health of the economy, managing natural resources, adjusting to climate change, sustaining rural communities, and in Australia playing its part in feeding a rapidly growing world population.

AIAST is therefore very concerned with the recent cuts by governments to RD&E investment, especially given that the industry and private sectors do not have the capacity to fill the gaps.

Please read the full AIAST Submission pdf
Please read the AIAST Response to the Productivity Commission Draft Report pdf

AIAST Submision for the Inquiry into the Role of Government in Assisting Farmers to Adapt to the Impact of Climate Change.

The AIAST has provided the following submission for the Inquiry into the Role of Government in Assisting Farmers Adapt to the Impact of Climate Change. To view the submission click here .

AIAST Position on the Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative.

Recently the Excellence in Reserach for Australia (ERA) Initiative was launched and the AIAST has submitted comments to this review. To view the Institutes position click on the below link.

AIAST ERA Submission pdf.

AIAST Submission to the Quarantine and Biosecurity Review.

The AIAST provided a submission to the Quarantine and Biosecurity Review on the 21 April 2008. Click on the link to view the submission - AIAST Quarantine and Biosecurity Submission .

AIAST Submission to the Innovation Review.

The AIAST provided a submission to the Innovation Review on the 16 April 2008. AIAST Innovation Review Submission pdf.

Please click on the below links to view AIAST GM Submissions;

FASTS Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies.

The Federation has 56 member societies with its main purpose to:

  • Act as a voice for the scientific community to government and bureaucracy
  • Articulate and promote policy issues
  • Communicate issues to stakeholders

The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology has been a member of FASTS since 2001. The Institute is the only member of the Agricultural and Food Science cluster.