If we sell the farm, we’ll starve

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

FOR the sec­ond time on Q& A, I have wit­nessed an “aca­demic” state that food pro­duc­tion is not worth keep­ing in Aus­tralian hands for Aus­tralians.

On the July 6 episode, when a ques­tion from the floor was asked of the panel re­gard­ing our top farm­land be­ing sold off, Tr­isha Jha ( Cen­tre for In­de­pen­dent Stud­ies) stated: “Well I be­lieve the sec­tor is un­der huge eco­nomic pres­sure, there­fore I don’t have a prob­lem with it.”

I watched a few years ago, a jour­nal­ist declar­ing: “If Aus­tralian farm- ers can­not com­pete with cheap im­ports, they should move over and let Aus­tralia im­port food.”

This is the so- called “in­formed opin­ion” that will leave our grand­chil­dren beg­ging for sec­ond- grade food in the land our sol­diers fought to save.

Ev­ery­one knows we have the won­der­ful farm­land – that is why they all want to buy it.

When An­i­mals Aus­tralia/ Four Corners aired the live cat­tle de­ba­cle, the en­tire trade stopped overnight.

Yet with the grant­ing of min­ing per­mits on the Liver­pool Plains of NSW ( in the elec­torate of Barnaby Joyce, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture), you have to be jok­ing to say we are pro­tect­ing our farm­land.

Aus­tralian farm­ers can­not con­tinue to work their farms when they can­not get a good price at the farm gate for their pro­duce.

In­stead, they sell their farms for mil­lions of dol­lars, re­tire and let the coal/ gas/ for­eign com­pa­nies rape the land­scape and plun­der our fu­ture food- pro­duc­ing land.

Why? Be­cause the rest of Aus­tralia is not sup­port­ing them.

Our lo­cal meat in­dus­try is be­ing hounded by ex­treme an­i­mal ac­tivists, who have to eat beans, grains and seeds that are grown on what is left of our farm­land.

At least the Townsville Bul­letin pub­lishes letters about this vi­tal sub­ject, but who is read­ing them?

For the sys­tem to work, we need land to pro­duce food, and you need a farmer that has the knowl­edge to grow crops.

Then you need wa­ter that will not kill the crop.

Then you need that farmer to be paid fairly for his ef­fort.

Then you need gov­ern­ment to make a de­ci­sion on our food se­cu­rity.

Then you need the Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion to re­alise that if we don’t have a de­cent, clean food sup­ply, the rest of the news cy­cle is not worth wor­ry­ing about.

So you see the prob­lem.

DE­BRA GIB­SON,

Pin­na­cles.

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