Australia without family farmers is not ‘viable’
for our children’s future
Right now, as a consequence of political mediocracy, many thousands of family
farmers across Australia face immediate ruin: 600-1200 family farmers in WA’s
eastern wheat belt are under siege by the banks and both the state and federal governments,
who appear to be conspiring to starve the farmers of credit in order to force
them off the land and/or privatise and sell their cooperative to foreign grain
“Whether it be political mediocracy or the government bowing to
international declarations, it is a step too far from protectionism to be
rewarded with any form of ongoing public support”.
Any Australian with investment in rural land, are
no longer able to obtain equitable finance, not only affecting their survival,
but restricting their ability to increasing their holdings, yet foreign investors
have easy access to the capital needed, because they need to secure food
production for their own countries.
In a recent debate, both the Liberal and Labor
parties made it clear, that they see the sale of our land, farms and water as
income to the nation, without regards to our food security, saying “They can’t
take the land with them” but they can take the produce, do they forget that?
Many hundreds of beef producers in northern Australia have been blindsided by
the government’s outright sabotage of their export markets, which has caused a
glut of beef on the domestic market that has driven down the price of cattle
from $500-1000 per head, to as low as $20, leaving so many bankrupt and
Hundreds of both fruit growers and dairy farmers in
northern Victoria and South Australia are getting smashed by the government’s adopted
policy of free trade, which is forcing companies like SPC Ardmona cannery in
Shepparton to drastically reduce production, and has collapsed the price of
milk way below the cost of production in many states.
The fact current farms numbers are only at 40,000, down sharply from 120,000
two decades earlier in 1991, and from 204,000 in 1953. If the people of
Australia tolerate their governments, of both major parties, continuing to
aggressively drive family farmers out of agriculture—whether for reasons of
free trade, banker-rationed finance, the outcome is and will continue to be
The present crisis is not only a threat to local food security but also a
threat to the global food supply. An estimated one billion people around the
world go hungry every day, while two of the sectors where family farmers are being
smashed, wheat and beef, just happen to be Australia’s two biggest agricultural
Australia is the second largest wheat exporter after the U.S., and WA’s wheat
growers produce the majority of the Australian crop. The government is letting
the banks destroy WA’s growers, at a time when drought and freezing
temperatures in the U.S. are expected to reduce that nation’s 2013 winter crop
by 25 per cent, and dry conditions are reducing wheat production in Russia,
traditionally the world’s third-largest wheat exporter.
There is no better time than now for the government
to step up and support all our farmers and producers, but the federal campaign
is remaining ignorant of their plight, for the simple reason that both the
major parties position on this important topic is unacceptable to all
There is no reason for any presently struggling wheat grower, beef producer,
fruit or vegetable grower or dairy farmer to lose their farms. It is entirely
within the government’s power to immediately declare a moratorium on farm
foreclosures; order the banks to renegotiate farm debt at an affordable and
The establishment of a government agency for
farmers to borrow at low interest to finance their crops and capital upgrades
or the re-introduction of tariffs on canned fruit imports are reasonable and easily
Penalties on Coles and Woolworths for further abusing their
market dominance by sourcing fruit and vegetables from overseas that are
produced domestically would also be an easy fix considering their massive
profits from their unbridled control of the sector.
Something needs to be done NOW, and this matter
should have been a major topic for the federal election campaign, the very fact
it has not been shows the Australian media’s biases in its full glory.
As a federal Independent candidate, I am out there
every day speaking to the people, and I am very well known for my support of
our primary production arena, and I know for a fact this is the major topic on
the lips of the electorate.
"So with the present campaign ignoring the will of
the people, it is doing nothing more than disenfranchising the voting public,
and becoming a stain on democracy".
Independent candidate for Wakefield