To the Editor

Joe Hockey’s eloquence in delivering the budget last night was uplifting in itself, but unfortunately his vocabulary was found lacking.

As glued as I was to his every word resonating across the airwaves, I did not once hear the word ‘manufacturing’.

How could he have made such an omission of the two-party epithet?

Manufacturing under the party duopoly has all but vanished in this country and Joe was not about to resurrect it.

No mention of being unable to produce a tyre, a car, an electric motor or soon a litre of fuel or the ingress of 200,000 foreign workers to take the jobs of our demonised school leavers.

Only promises of great riches for our trading partners by opening more quarries, building more ports and pipelines, allowing the egress of billions of tonnes of iron ore, coal, bauxite and other non-renewable precious commodities.

The promised white or green or perhaps now toilet papers waffling on with the genie of northern development or becoming “the food bowl of Asia” is a tale that every smart farmer knows cannot eventuate.

Recent revelations about the parlous state of diseased and depleted northern farming soils and the impossibility of sustainably growing cereal or other food crops nearly on the equator have exposed the folly of Canberra thought bubbles.

Treasurer Joe Hockey preparing the budget that forces more unwanted interest-bearing loans on desperate farmers

The best advice Joe could take would be to take a hard look at the rapacious banking industry and to where their annual $20 billion profits go.

Rather than throw millions at desperate, drought-stricken farmers whose dying wish is not another bloody bank loan, Joe would do well to follow the resolutions of the huge ‘bank buster’ meeting held at Winton last year.

There 400 last-gasp cattle producers demanded the federal government set up the much revered Australian Reconstruction and Development Board that 30 years ago successfully restructured the farming industry by absorbing toxic bank debt and provided affordable development funds.

Joe turn up your hearing aid!

from a reader in Queensland