Category Archives: Farming
from ABC Rural
International travel restrictions are not only costing Queensland’s horticulture industry millions, they are also impacting the mental health of fruit and vegetable growers, a new report has revealed.
- Crop losses from labour shortages have more than doubled in the last month, costing farmers more than $43 million
- Nearly 25 per cent of growers report a decline in mental health and physical health
- Two-thirds of growers report financial stress and some are at risk of foreclosure
Crop losses from the labour shortage have more than doubled in the last month, now totalling more than $43 million, according to the National Farmer’s Federation’s Lost Crop register.
Now, a new analysis by peak body Growcom has found 25 per cent of growers are reporting an associated decline in mental health, with 75 per cent experiencing financial stress.
On Queensland’s Scenic Rim, vegetable grower Mitch Brimblecombe knows the situation well. Still dealing with drought, he now faces another challenge.
“We were about to walk into a field, and I rang my labour contractor and said, ‘Right we need a few extra people,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I’ve got no one.'”
With international borders shut, the backpacker workforce that Australia’s fruit and vegetable industry rely on to pick their produce has disappeared.
So too has millions of dollars in income for farmers.
“There’s a lot of growers who haven’t registered or thought about their crop losses because they don’t want to think about it,” Mr Brimblecombe said.
“But that $43 million — [it] could be double that to be honest.”
Growcom have been processing the other information reported by growers on the Lost Crop Register.
“In many cases farmers are harvesting crops themselves, all through the night in some instances, it’s taking a toll on their physical health,” said Growcom’s Richard Shannon.
The Growcom analysis also found a number of growers reporting they were at risk of foreclosure.
“Watching their produce go to waste, that in many cases they’ve been looking after for 12 months or more — it’s their livelihoods that are at stake here,” Mr Shannon said.
Mr Brimblecombe said that the COVID-induced worker shortage was having a compounding effect.
“Certainly having all those factors come into it,” he said.
“You’ve got drought, bad prices, no labour to harvest your crop — it all takes a toll.”
The ‘quarantine bottleneck’
Industry advocates say they want federal and state governments to increase incentives and expand quarantine.
“The Federal Government will tell us that there is 20,000 or so Pacific Islanders with a job offer and visa to enter Australia and do this work, but the bottleneck is quarantine,” Mr Shannon said.
A spokesman for the Queensland government said that it continues to offer $1,500 payments to people who take up jobs in agriculture, that’s on top of up to $6,000 the Federal Government is offering to help with relocation costs.
But as of this week, just 93 people had applied for the Queensland scheme.
Mr Shannon acknowledges that the pandemic has highlighted the over-reliance on backpacker labour.
He said now was an opportunity to look at long-term labour supply.
One idea being floated is an industry-specific visa that would allow people to come and work during harvest, then return home.
“That’s an idea and a program that’s worked really well with Pacific Island nations,” Mr Shannon said.
More people seeking help
Dr Kirsten Hunter has been practising as a clinical psychologist in regional Queensland for 20 years, based in Toowoomba.
“There can be a culture in the agricultural world of not reaching out for psychological support,” Dr Hunter said.
“Of course the suicide risk amongst the male rural population is a bit scary, very scary.”
North Queensland farmers now will have to apply to a government-appointed rehabilitation commissioner to plough their paddocks or risk a heavy fine.
The Queensland Labor Party with support from the Liberal National Party enacted legislation on August 14 in State Parliament to appoint a mining rehabilitation commissioner including new requirements for farmers in the six Great Barrier Reef catchment areas.
In typical communist style farmers wishing to plough their paddocks will be subject to the whim of a commissioner. who does not need to have any formal qualifications under the new legislation.
Leader of Katters Australian Party Robbie Katter who opposed the laws, said the LNP, but in particular the Member for Burdekin, Dale Last, a former senior police officer, had again betrayed farmers.
“Mr Last has been very vocal in his attacks on Labor in the past but this week proved his loyalties lie only with his party and not the people,” Mr Katter said.
“He should have shown the convictions of Colin Boyce, LNP Member for Callide, who crossed the floor and voted against his own party’s support for a new mining rehabilitation commissioner.
“Farming used to be an essential service by providing clean and green food and fibre for Australians, but the LNP has thrown the baby out with the bathwater and the population could starve for all they care.
“The consequences of this could be dire and could hold up development for years.”
KAP Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto said Mr Boyce’s courageous move in the House this week was significant.
“I believe Mr Boyce’s move has signalled that LNP policy no longer truly represents the values of the bush and this is why he crossed the floor,” he said.
“By voting for that legislation, the LNP and Labor have endorsed the appointing of a commissioner who will dictate not only how mining businesses operate but will also enforce last year’s amendments to the Environmental Protection Act that introduced draconian regulations on farmers in the six reef catchment areas.
“There wasn’t even a skillset specified for this person, who might very well come from a green lobby group. The LNP and Labor seem content with creating a legislative hitman answerable only to the Environment Minister and no-one else.
“They will have immense power to work against mining and agriculture in Queensland.
“The LNP continually says they back farmers and here they are voting with Labor. This was a perfect
opportunity to do the right thing and vote against Labor’s legislation that will only hurt farmers,”
“It took the crossbench to call for a division in parliament to trigger one of the LNP’s own members
to cross the floor in a strong show of support for the agricultural sector.
“Backing Queensland agriculture isn’t about creating a bunch of one-liners and wearing a green
shirt at a rally. You actually need to back words with actions.
“The KAP talks the talk and walks the walk. We have drafted a bill to repeal Labor’s destructive reef
legislation and to date the LNP have refused to say whether they will support it.”
A $1.9 billion road and rail package will boost the Queensland economy and drive more jobs, while getting people home sooner and safer.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hailed the historic deal which fast-tracks spending on a host of road and rail projects all over the State.
The Morrison Government will bring forward nearly $650 million in funding and provide more than $680 million in new funding, with the Palaszczuk Government committing $606 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the Government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management.
“We want these road and rail projects delivered as quickly as possible so Queenslanders can benefit from better infrastructure, but importantly we want to boost the economy now.
“We will bring forward more than $440 million in federal funding on top of the nearly $3.8 billion we will spend across the state over the next 18 months,” the Prime Minister said.
“By bringing forward these important road projects we will drive jobs, boost the economy and make Queensland roads and highways safer, while reducing travel times so people can be with their families instead of being stuck in traffic.
“We will bring forward funding for a total of 20 projects right throughout Queensland, including key upgrades on the M1, Bruce, Warrego and Cunningham Highways, and the North Coast Rail Line.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the agreement means jobs.
“I have always said we work best when we work together,” the Premier said.
“We have called for a better deal for Queensland and the Prime Minister has listened.
“We’re getting projects off drawing boards to create more jobs in more industries and deliver the things that make people’s lives better.”
Both governments have reached an agreement on $9.3 billion Inland Rail project, paving the way for the delivery of the project in Queensland.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals Government is focused on job growth and strengthening the economy.
“The Government’s record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline is delivering projects people want and need, while providing employment opportunities and economic growth across Australia, in particular in regional communities supporting local jobs,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Inland Rail project is a critical investment for Queensland and is projected to create 7,200 construction jobs and a more than $7 billion boost to the state economy.
“We’re also bringing forward funding and delivery for key projects to benefit not only road freight but improve safety for locals and tourists such as the Rockhampton and Mackay ring roads.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said details of the projects included in the deal will be released shortly.
“This is a massive win for Queensland,” the Minister said.
“The Gold Coast’s northern suburbs are growing quickly so we need to start upgrades on the M1 at exits 41 and 49.
“Queensland’s money for those projects was already locked in, so now we can get on with them.
“We delivered a record $23 billion over four years for road and transport in this year’s state budget.
“This deal boosts that record investment and will strengthen the pipeline of work coming online.”
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new package followed a significant funding boost for Queensland at the most recent Budget.
“Since coming to Government we have committed more than $25.7 billion towards infrastructure in Queensland and this new package will now see around $10.5 billion delivered across the state over the next four years,” Minister Tudge said.
“These commitments build on an already strong track record of investment by the Morrison Government in Queensland through projects like the Gold Coast Light Rail which will contribute to our SEQ City Deal.”
Harry Palmer and Mike Holt review “Failure of Government and our right to be rid of them” …. Complacency with an entrenched two party political belief is our only option keeps these destructive bastards in power. Time is running out to redeem your freedom and a voice in your parliament as the Liberal-Labor juggernaut continues it’s unrestrained dictatorship that can be quelled by you the people TODAY. Harry & Mike discuss this with information you may not know or choose not to know. It’s time to put a stop to this unaccountable power house in Canberra before we are overrun by other powers who are manipulating these marionettes the voters keep in office.
EHP calls tenders to bulldoze huge dam wall near Cooktown; 30,000 tonnes of potential sediment runoff
The fallout from the 2016 acquisition of Springvale Station at Lakeland continues after the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection called for tenders to demolish a 1200 megalitre irrigation dam on the property.
Last year the EPH was caught out when a neighbour complained of long silt plumes found in the permanent East Normanby River after the department began siphoning water from the $400,000 dam into the river.
The river eventually drains into Princess Charlotte Bay and onto the Great Barrier Reef.
The water was left to run across 150 metres of soil between the dam bank and the river, gouging one metre channels in the earth creating many hundreds of tonnes of sediment which flowed into the river.
A local engineer estimated the wall would contain 30,000 cubic metres of compacted earth, when removed could eventually end up in the river system.
The hydrologist who designed the dam for the previous owners said the dam wall was sound and in no way would have breached after heavy rain events.
The EHP Minister at the time, Stephen Miles, claimed the design of the dam’s construction was unknown and therefore considered the wall “unsafe.”
Refuting the Minister’s assertion, the hydrologist, Geoff Benjamin, of Mareeba, said the wall remained intact and sound after 300 mm fell in one night, before the wall construction was finally completed.
“The dam was designed with an effective spillway and fish-way, however construction work was forced to cease due to early wet-season rains,” Mr Benjamin said.
“Although I did not visit the site when work ceased, I believe that the embankment height was about 1 to 1.5 m below the intended final design elevation.
“At this elevation a natural depression on the eastern side provides a broad, natural spillway so that the embankment would not be compromised in the event of intense storm run-off; which is in fact, exactly what occurred when Cyclone Etta, I think, passed straight over the property in January 2014, reportedly dropping about 300 mm of rain over-night!
“The statement about ‘unacceptable safety risk’ would therefore seem totally baseless. Unfortunately such uninformed, alarmist comments seem to be what we’ve come to expect from this particular Minister.”
Defending the decision to demolish the valuable water asset, home to innumerable birdlife and other aquatic wildlife, the EHP claimed the design was unknown, which has been ridiculed by Mr Benjamin.
“Likewise the assertion that ‘the status of its design and capacity is unknown’ is inaccurate, since I provided details of the design to one of the Minister’s departmental officers not long after EHP acquired the Springvale property,” Mr Benjamin said.
The EHP claimed it acquired Springvale to prevent sediment runoff into the Great Barrier Reef catchment, however the Chief Scientist for Queensland, Dr Geoff Garrett, told a meeting of landowners at Lakeland prior to the property purchase there was no measurable sediment runoff from the Upper Normanby catchment.
Minister Miles ignored this advice and continued with the purchase, wasting $7 million of taxpayers funds and removed 4000 head of cattle from the local economy.
The property is being divided into yet more unnecessary national park with the balance being given to an indigenous group.
Tenders to decommission the dam were called on January 24 and will close on March 5, 2018.
This compelling movie should be viewed by every Australian. As Australia is the 52nd state of the US, it is only a matter of time before these standoffs occur here. The Commonwealth of Australia is registered with the New York stock exchange, regulated by US corporation law. The Queensland Corporate Labor Government comes to mind when farmers are finally pushed hard enough to take a stand against the proposed vegetation management laws that are designed to shut down viable farmers and graziers in the state. If all of the state’s farmers banded together to stop the corporation’s policies of halting development, the ALP would be stymied.
About 30,500 businesses carry out agricultural activity in Queensland. Agricultural industries contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy each year. It will be up to farmers to decide if they want their business to continue or will allow the edicts of the UN agreement, Agenda 30 to which we are a signatory, shut them down. The ball is in your court Mr Primary Producer!
The ball also is firmly in the court of city consumers. Do they want to eat Queensland’s renowned clean and green produce or would they prefer imported, tainted food from countries such as China or Asia? The federal Liberal Party, aided and abetted by the ALP has signed free trade deals all over the world. The laissez faire policies of governments came back to bite them when the $87.7m farmed prawn industry was destroyed last year by imported prawns from Vietnam infected with white spot disease, all under the holy grail of free trade. Anne Bressington MP talks about the devastating effects of Agenda 21, now Agenda 30
by Gil Hanrahan, editor-at-large
Queensland farmers want to stick to their guns but the Labor infested public service has refused several hundred handgun licence renewals over the past 18 months causing many cases of animal cruelty.
Farmers need handguns, which have been a part of their tools-of-trade since the first sheep and cattle were offloaded at Botany Bay in 1788.
But the socialist Queensland Labor Party is denying them a licence to carry one even if a farmer has been licenced for 20 or more years without incident or a change in circumstances.
Should a farmer find a cow with a dead calf stuck in its uterus while giving birth and the cow is on its last gasp after the crows have pecked out its eyes and those of the calf, he has no option but to kill the cow. How? He is 20 klms from the house and the nearest rifle because he is on a horse or motorbike.
He could cut the cow’s throat with a pocket knife, that is if he is still allowed to carry one.
The LNP Opposition in 2011 helped outlaw pocket knives by voting with the ALP to ban them. Agforce was dead quiet about this one.
Once a farmer would take his revolver out of its holster and shoot the cow, being the most humane thing to do while appeasing the brain-dead Animals Australia and the RSPCA both of which refuse to provide midwives for Brahman cows.
There are a number of alternatives for hard-pressed farmers such as buying one of many anecdotal ‘hot’ handguns available on the black market or to inadvertently misplace the licenced pistol, which happens on occasion.
Katters Australia Party State leader Robbie Katter says he will step up the pressure on the Labor Party when Parliament resumes to force the ALP Marxists to instruct the Weapons Branch to renew all licences for farmers.Police Minister Comrade Ryan like his predecessor Captain Bill Byrne has a generational hatred of farmers as this new parliament will reveal.
There is palpable union and Labor animosity towards those on the land producing clean and green food for Queenslanders, which unfortunately includes the Labor Party. Agriculture will be in for a torrid time unless the KAP cross-bench can hold them at bay.
The ALP is skating on climate-changing, thin ice even though it has a two seat majority, thanks to an abundance of vote fraud and the ethnic welfare vote. Before the new parliament sits, the Member for Mulgrave and former Treasurer Curtis Pitt is about to be hauled before the powerful Ethics Committee after the LNP alleged he misled the last parliament by pushing through a sweetheart deal for the Tram and Bus Union. Pitt’s fate is up in the air.
Another alternative is for farmers to launch a Federal Court class action to lay bare the unlawful Australia Act 1986 and the alterations to the Queensland Constitution in 2001 by the political miscreant, Peter Beattie without a referendum.
Has anyone noticed since 2001 how Beattie, Bligh, Newman and Palaszczuk refer to “my government’. Does anyone remember giving the ‘government’ to an individual?
Beattie removed the Queen and installed the Premier as the new head of State for the corporate, Socialist Republic of Queensland.The legal mechanism used by the malcontent Beattie can be found in the record of proceedings in the Cairns Magistrates Court: Queensland Police –v- Walter, 2016, QP1700886562 QPS.
If farmers could actually band together for the common good just for once, the Federal Court would have little alternative but to find there is no criminal law in Queensland applying to those citizens outside of the political parties, just the common law which exists across the nation.
The never-ending battles of the Coral Sea
by Viv Forbes, science writer
For at least 50 years Australian taxpayers and other innocents have supported a parasitic industry in academia, bureaucracy, law, media and the tax-exempt Green Alarm “Charities”, all studying, regulating, inspecting and writing about yet another “imminent threat to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.”
The Queensland Labor Party Government is about to embark on another reef-runoff onslaught against coastal farmers that is intended to close down farming along the entire coastline, from Cooktown to Brisbane.
It has become the never-ending battle of the Coral Sea.
The threats change, but there is always a doomsday forecast – Crown-of-Thorns, oil drilling, fishing, cane farming, coastal shipping, global warming, ocean acidity, coral bleaching, port dredging, chemical and fertiliser runoff, coal transport, river sediments, loss of world heritage status etc. Every recycled scare, magnified by the media and parroted by politicians, generates more income for the alarm industry, usually at the expense of taxpayers, consumers or local industries.
The reality is that sea creatures would starve in pure water – all marine life needs nutrients, salts and minerals. These come from other life forms, from decomposing rocks and organic matter carried to the sea by rivers, from dissolving atmospheric gases, or from delta and shelf sediments stirred up by floods, cyclones, dredging or coastal shipping. No one supports over-use of toxic man-made chemicals, but well-run cane, cattle and coal companies can co-exist with corals.
Corals first appeared 500 million years ago and have proven to be one of Earth’s great survivors. They outlasted the Carboniferous Forests, the Permian and Cretaceous extinctions, the dinosaurs, the mammoths, the Neanderthals and the Pleistocene cycles of ice age and warming. They thrive in warm tropical water, cluster around hot volcanic fumaroles and survive massive petroleum spills, natural oil seeps, tidal waves and volcanic dust. They have even recolonised the Montebello Island waters devastated by atomic bomb testing in the 1950’s.
The ENSO oscillation of blobs of warm Pacific water which caused recent coral bleaching can be identified in historical records for at least 400 years. Corals have survived El Nino warmings for thousands of years and they will probably outlast Homo Alarmism as Earth proceeds into the next glacial epoch.
See the Supercorals:
Corals do not rely on computer models of global temperature to advise them – they read the sea level thermometer which falls and rises as the great ice sheets come and go.
In the warming phase like the one just ending, ice melts, sea levels rise and the reef that houses the corals may get drowned. Corals have two choices – build their reef higher or just float south/inshore and build a new reef (like the Great Barrier Reef) in shallower, cooler water. When islands sink beneath rising oceans, corals may build their own coral atolls as fast as the water rises.
Then when the cold era returns, ice sheets grow, sea levels fall, and the warm era coral reefs get stranded on the new beaches and coastal plains. Usually the process is slow enough to allow the coral polyps to float into deeper warmer water closer to the equator and build another reef.
This eminently sensible policy of “move when you have to” has proved a successful survival policy for the corals for 500 million years.
Humans should copy the corals – “forget the computer climate models but watch real data like actual sea levels and . . . move when you have to.
Letter to the Editor
I don’t want to tell anyone any more bad news this year. It can wait until 2018.
I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to remain innocent, to believe that the world is a wonderful and a safe place, where all their dreams will come true, where there is no bad government, a mainstream media and that reports the truth, that they can rely on their education system that they received, the established medical system, and that all is well, that if they work hard and do the right things that all their dreams will be accomplished.
I was born in Australia’s outback one month after the bombing of London by Hitler, and saw the end of WWll, though I was not affected too much because my mother grew all our food and my dad worked in the mines. Millions died fighting for freedom and their countries. The world that we had after the second world war, was one where everyone was so poor, so damaged, that they wanted nothing but good things for themselves and everyone else. The children had no shoes and had to stand on sticks in the school playground so they would not burn the soles of their feet. Most of the girls had shoes, but many boys did not. Children were lucky if they had 3 sets of clothes to change into, and only one toy was given for Christmas, and if you were very lucky you got another one for your birthday. We didn’t know that we were poor, until we grew up and learned about it, because everyone was in the same situation. And so everyone worked hard, built a country that was, and is the envy of most others, a generous country where the rich and the workers provided enough tax, to a system that would provide help to the underprivileged and help to the widows. We were taught not to speak of politics or religion, because they would cause arguments.
Most immigrants wanted to forget where they came from. The memories of the war horrors, memories too painful that they were tucked into the back of their minds never to be spoken of. And so a country developed where we trusted the government, we trusted the authorities, we trusted each other, we trusted the churches, and we lost all knowledge of our political system, how it worked and our spiritual understanding of why knowing the difference between right and wrong was important to the survival of any civilization. The agenda was set in the 1970’s to destroy the family unit by giving children more rights than their parents, and parents taught to put their own desires and happiness before all else. Some were sensible enough to resist, but others were not.
In our ignorance we lost control of our destiny. We gave our rights over to the atheist United Nations, who had a different agenda than those who went to war to protect our freedom, our sovereignty, our families, our children, our land, our industries, our homes and our survival. The people lost their constitutional rights, their Constitution was corrupted,
and the corruption sealed in the courts with judges on the same agenda as the authoritarian New World Order. Australia lost their inherited religion, their beliefs and their soul.
Powerful pharmaceutical cartels took over the health of the nation, trained the doctors, rewarded the universities and government officials, so that laws were introduced that had no bearing on good health, but were focused on power for a few, and financial rewards for those who co-operated with the population reduction agenda of the New World Order. Many had no idea what was happening, others did not care and those who could see the truth were labelled “Conspiracy theorists”.
And so we now find ourselves in the position that the “state” has taken control of all aspects of our lives, our freedom of choice, our most precious gift from God, is almost gone. That is why the “Great Division” is taking place, a heavenly and spiritual movement, in total opposition to the “one world agenda of the United Nations” and those who wish to control a world made in their own godless image. This is not a division between races or different countries, it is a division between good and evil. Please meditate on this to see what part you play in the destiny of the planet. No matter what age you are, you are more important than you ever imagined. Everyone plays a part in the survival or the destruction of the earth.
Green preferences are driving the Labor Government’s proposed draconian environmental policies as a trade-off for the Adani coal mine approval.
A source close to the ALP is warning Wild Rivers “on steroids” rebadged as ‘Pristine Rivers’ will be put back on the table along with revamped, tough vegetation management laws should the ALP win the upcoming election.
The source said revisiting Wild Rivers and vegetation management laws are on the agenda for the upcoming State ALP conference to be held in Townsville at the Convention Centre on July 28 and 29.
A World Heritage listing over the Laura sandstone escarpment country, mooted by the State Government, also looms large for the people of the Peninsula.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is moving to pacify the Greens’ hostility over approvals to allow Australia’s largest coal mine in Central Queensland to go ahead.
Trad and her colleague, Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Stephen Miles, have not yet taken into consideration the strident opposition of Cape York Peninsula communities, the Cape York Land Council and pastoralists alike, some of whom claim they will campaign against the party at the State election expected on November 4 this year.
Pastoralists and some communities believe a World Heritage nomination by the State Government will be the precursor for listing the entire Peninsula, in effect the beginning of the end for the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities sitting on vast tracts of grazing property.
In a recent radio interview, Chairman of the CYLC, Richie AhMat castigated the proposed new versions of Wild Rivers and vegetation laws as well as the existing environmental overlays on most Aboriginal freehold and Deed of Grant in Trust land(DOGIT) covering nearly one half of the land area of the Peninsula.
Referring to the Wild Rivers legislation, Mr AhMat asked how the government expected Aboriginal people to start up businesses and to be economically viable “when these land restrictions appear out of nowhere?”
“You can’t talk about economic development on one hand and you can’t talk about indigenous employment on the other, and you can’t talk about Northern Australia on both hands.”
In reply to a question about the as yet undisclosed ‘Pristine Rivers’ policy Mr AhMat alluded to funding that had been allocated in the past two state budgets purportedly for consultation with traditional owners.
He said he was worried about all the rivers in Cape York which could be affected by a lock up policy.
“All of our rivers in Cape York are fresh water rivers, water is a huge commodity now and nobody in their wildest dreams 10 years or fifteen years ago expected them to buy a bottle of fresh water,” Mr Ah Mat said.
“To buy a bottle of fresh water is more than a litre of fuel.
“Why does the government want to lock up Cape York, because they have a 20 to 30 year plan but they aren’t talking to anybody, it’s all secretive because we are out of sight and out of mind.
“We fought long and hard against the wild rivers, long and hard and we were untied as one on Cape York.
“This Pristine Rivers believe me there are rumblings about it in 1 William Street (Executive Building) now.
“This legislation over land is going to block everything.”
Gordon Rasmussen, Katters Australian Party candidate for the Cook electorate, which takes in all of Cape York, agreed with Mr Ah Mat.
“It looks like Northern Development is just a talk fest because what Mr Ah Mat says about locking up all the rivers and land on Cape York makes a mockery of the $5 billion federal fund for northern land development,” Mr Rasmussen pointed out.
“How does the federal government expect to achieve anything in an area like the Peninsula to help economic development for struggling communities when the State Government has divided up most of the Aboriginal land into nature reserves, national parks and heritage areas?
“If the Labor Party gets back into government we are all in for a very rough trot.”
Party duopoly throw farmers to the wolves
The Queensland Government’s Farm Business Debt Mediation Act, which it is spruiking in a media release today, is a ruse to cover the fact it has completely failed to address the farm debt crisis.
“It’s another frightening example of a government putting ambulances at the bottom of the cliff,” Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said.
Robbie is warning people not to be fooled by the Government’s ‘solution’ which comes into play next month. “A farm debt mediation mechanism doesn’t solve the debt problem, it just means that when the farmer is finally completely crippled by debt, they can shut their business efficiently. It’s a complete slap in the face to the entire agriculture industry,” Robbie said.
In March this year, the government and LNP refused to support KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which would have addressed the unsustainable levels of farm debt, which is bringing Queensland’s agriculture industry to its knees.
“Through the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce that I chaired in this parliament, it was clear that the debt problem is massive and that a significant response from the Government was required to address it,” Robbie said.
“In 2015, I thought the Palaszczuk Government was serious about identifying solutions to address rural debt issues with the formation of a Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce. I was wrong. Just like the opposition they prefer to leave it to the market. This approach has delivered a declining sugar industry, a decimated dairy industry and some of the most expensive gas and electricity in the world.”
“Governments intervene in markets all the time. Between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, there’s about $5 billion worth of low-interest loans to help stimulate the industry. However, when it comes to supporting agriculture, and particularly family enterprises, the Government doesn’t want to touch it”.
“Instead of supporting KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which was created off the back of extensive investigation and consultation, and would have made a real difference to fixing the rural debt problem, the government pushed through its mediation act to make it look like it was doing something,” Robbie said.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s just another example of how little the major parties care about anything that’s happening outside of Brisbane.”