GFC leads to tourism and training downturn
By Lisa Herbert – Thursday, 03/01/2013
The tough times faced by the European economy is rubbing off on farmers who dabble in tourism and training.
Tim Skerrett runs sheep, cattle and horses east of Tamworth, but his main bread and butter comes from a rural training school which attracts many overseas clients who are keen to find work in rural Australia.
But, with up to seventy percent of the Leconfield Jackeroo and Jillaroo Training School clients coming from overseas, Mr Skerrett says his biggest obstacle has been the European economic downturn.
“A lot of people who come here have to save money before they can come to Australia.
The high Australian dollar is making it hard. It’s very expensive for these guys to come and do this sort of activity.
It is a difficult economic time for this sort of thing at the moment.”
It’s not only back packers willing to the give life on the farm a go. Brisbane property developer Jay Emmerton is keen for a tree change one day.
“The idea is to get the money first and then come out here and be a farmer because I understand that farming doesn’t necessarily pay well. It’s not about the money, it’s about the lifestyle.”
Meanwhile in Queensland the three main Australian Agricultural College Campuses have been left out in the cold by the LNP government. Whilst the Labor Party despised rural training colleges and put every obstacle in their way to prevent them from remaining viable, the LNP has cut their funding to render them useless to the rural sector. Some campuses are set to be sold and staff have already been retrenched.
The average age of farmers is 53 so it’s not hard to work out the fate of food producers, who within the next 15 years will have disappeared with no prospect of trained family members to follow on in their footsteps.
Rural kids have so much more to do outside farming after being raised with their parents not only fighting the elements and the hard toil that comes with the job, they witnessed the daily battle with Government and those Ratbag Greens who have an agenda to close family farming in Australia. Their plot is working just fine to agenda, so why would our farm youth return home to THAT ! !