1 December, 2020 at 10am (AEDT)






Cam Klose
[email protected]

Join us for the launch of Foot off the Gas: How a gas-led recovery will impact Australian farmers.

This briefing paper explores the impacts of gas extraction on rural Australia’s natural capital, economy and social capital. It finds that increasing gas production in Australia creates obstacles to the agriculture sector’s economic viability, social cohesion, environmental stewardship and ability to meet sustainability goals.

Wendy Cohen, CEO of Farmers for Climate Action, will launch the briefing paper. Wendy will be joined by Richard Heath, Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute, and Niall Blair, former leader of the New South Wales National Party.

The report was written by the Australian Farm Institute, commissioned by Farmers for Climate Action and Australian Conservation Foundation.


Richard Heath

Richard is the Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute (AFI). The AFI is an independent policy research organisation whose objective is to enhance the economic and social well-being of farmers and the agricultural sector in Australia by conducting highly credible public policy research and promoting the outcomes to policy-makers and the wider community.

Previous to this role Richard was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management at the University of Sydney and before that was involved in a large family farming business in North West NSW. Richard is a director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation and sits on the Advisory Committee for CSIRO Agriculture and Food. He is a Nuffield scholar and was a director of Nuffield Australia.

Niall Blair

The Hon. Niall Blair has more than 20 years’ experience in Government and key private sectors, including risk management and agribusiness, and is currently working with Charles Sturt University as a strategic professor of food sustainability

He is an active participant in the food supply sector through his positions as Chairman of Elf Farm Supplies Pty ltd and a non-executive director of White Prince Mushrooms Pty ltd.

He served in the NSW Parliament for nearly nine years and during his tenure he was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council as well as Minister for Primary Industries, Water, Lands, Trade and Industry. It was in these roles that he delivered significant reform across water, fisheries and agricultural research and innovation sectors. He also played a critical role in developing new and emerging trade markets with a particular focus on ASEAN countries.

Wendy Cohen

Wendy is the CEO of Farmers for Climate Action.

Wendy grew up in various towns in across rural NSW. After graduating from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Wendy started her career in media and public relations which took her to Sydney and London and back, working with some extraordinary storytellers and creative talent along the way.

In 2002 she took up the role as CEO of Equestrian NSW and thus started her journey as a leader of membership and advocacy organisations. In 2007 equine influenza hit Australia and Wendy spearheaded the NSW response to the crisis, championing members and horse-related businesses throughout the state as the industry struggled to cope with the financial and social impact EI had on the industry. She managed the distribution of over $25 million of relief funds to those affected during the six-month-long lockdown of equestrian activity. Most recently Wendy was CEO of Country Education Foundation of Australia where she fought for better outcomes for rural and regional education and supported country students in their transition from high school into university, TAFE, training and jobs.

Watch the recording

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