November 2, 23012

The Global Foundation, a big end of town think tank, has urged farmers to triple production.

This group is either oblivious to the foreign buyout of Australian farms or believes our surviving farmers and livestock producers can somehow , with a little help from Merlin the Magician, wind up production to support the latest fad dubbed the the Asian Century.

The ALPs national food plan, according to the Foundations spokesman Steve Howard, was needed to shape the future development of agriculture, food processing and marketing to ensure Australia was in a position to feed the unfolding population and wealth explosion across Asia.

How the group proposes to facilitate such a huge expansion in farming and grazing is unknown, but it obviously has not taken into account the multitude of obstacles preventing such an outcome.

The group comprises members of some notable companies, academics and businessmen whose expertise does not necessarily lie in food production.

The foundations board is chaired by former Governor General Michael (take their guns) Jeffrey, an army officer who was first to congratulate former PM John Howard after he disarmed Australia.

Then there is billionaire Anthony Pratt of Visy Industries, Gerry Lawson of Sunrice, and of course Jock Lawrie of the hopeless NFF, Warwick White, managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil and Gary Helou, managing director of the Murray(no water) Goulburn Cooperative.

It would be a no-show without including John Durkan, manager of Coles.

These people think we can triple our production.

They have not taken into account the tumultuous events crippling farmers in the past decade or longer.

The farmers first and foremost enemy is the two party system, each of which competes against the other to place legislative strangleholds on food producers.

There is the convoluted maze of state and federal environmental laws and regulations, the predatory private banking system, which is poised to sell up hundreds of farming and grazing enterprises if and when the market is ready and the animal rights activists about to con the ABC with another welfare scam.

Then there is one of our biggest and closest markets, Indonesia, looking for every excuse it can find to ban Australian exports of live cattle and now frozen beef after PM Gillard and the intellectual pigmy, Joe Ludwig, the so-called primary industries Minister, insulted the Indonesian Government with the overnight ban of live cattle exports.

How can farmers even contemplate increasing production when they are price takers in deference to price makers.

Riverina horticulturalists are dozing out thousands of citrus trees while the laissez faire policies of the ALP and Liberals take out our producers in the name of free trade.

Yet farmers continue to support the Liberals and Nationals who on the one hand pay lip service to their constituency and wipe them out with the other.

Bob Katter has been called many things by his opposition but none has been more consistent about warning of the destructive effects of free trade.

There has to be a system developed whereby farmers can receive a fair farm gate price for their toils.

Bob has legislation in his sights and to date this is the only mechanism which will keep our producers from soon disappearing into oblivion.