Showcasing a land of opportunity
PARIS Fashion Week sounds an unlikely place to find a reporter from long-running rural-affairs show Landline.
But executive producer Peter Lewis says swapping cattle for couture is all part of the job.
‘‘This program is mainly focused on the issues and the people and the personalities within Australia,’’ Lewis says.
‘‘But because so much of our production is geared for export, like the live-cattle debate and the live-sheep debate, the international perspective is an important part of agribusiness these days and every once in a while you have to go there and find out.’’
In this case Landline flew to the world’s fashion capital to see what impact the controversial practice of Landline ABC1, Sunday, noon Rural affairs Duration: 1 hour sheep mulesing was having on Australia’s merino wool market and the European retailers who buy it.
But while Landline may have expanded its horizons beyond the back fence, Lewis says the roots of the Brisbane-based show haven’t changed since it began 17 years ago.
‘‘The program has a commitment to search out the people who are having a bit of a go and are succeeding and are taking on enormous challenges whether they be weather-related ones, such as droughts and fires and floods, or market-related ones such as fluctuating commodity prices, or governmentgenerated ones such as policy changes and so forth. The people who are having a go against all those odds, a lot of them think outside the square.’’
He says Landline, which has just celebrated 1000 episodes, was among the first to cover issues such as organic and genetically modified food, biofuels and even carbon emissions trading.
‘‘Farmers generally have a faster take-up of new technology and innovation and new ideas than any other sector in the community,’’ Lewis says.
‘‘They have to in order to stay efficient and profitable in an extremely competitive international trading environment.’’
Landline has evolved from a halfhour morning news program that went to air five days a week to a one-hour Sunday show that Lewis says regularly outrates all of the ABC’s other news and current-affairs programs that day.
Giving it a go: