In­ept gov­ern­ments con­tinue milk­ing farm­ers dry

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

RE: “If we sell the farm, we’ll starve”, by De­bra Gib­son and “Na­tion not at all smart” from Harry Martin ( TB letters, 14/ 7).

Aus­tralia is gov­erned by pro­fes­sional politi­cians and city dwellers, not real peo­ple with their feet firmly planted on the ground.

I too have wit­nessed aca­demics and fi­nan­cial wizards ( ac­tu­ally one of them has since been dis­graced in North Queens­land when his em­pire crum­bled) es­pouse that Aus­tralia would be bet­ter off im­port­ing all its food. I al­most fell over at the stu­pid­ity of the state­ment.

China – big pop­u­la­tion, home soils and wa­ters con­tam­i­nated by growth at any cost – plans long- term, thinks longterm, acts long- term.

They have set aside $ 3 tril­lion to buy prop­er­ties and pri­mary pro­duc­tion busi­nesses and in­fra­struc­ture for food se­cu­rity. That is more than the to­tal Aus­tralian GDP.

Our farm­ers have been ham­mered by the du­op­oly that is Coles and Wool­worths. They have been ham­mered by un­der- the- ta­ble “gen­tle­men’s” agree­ments be­tween abat­toirs with re­gards to prices.

They have been ham­mered by the dodgy prac­tices of south­ern mar­kets and the stan­dover tac­tics of or­gan­ised crime in some mar­kets. But they have mostly been ham­mered by the dis­dain and ap­a­thy of Aus­tralian politi­cians.

Our farm­ers are get­ting older, on av­er­age. The cream is stolen from the re­turns they re­ceive by sneaky gov­ern­ment taxes for things such as elec­tric­ity, public in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter, regis­tra­tions and charges, as well as a myr­iad of gov­ern­ment red tape.

To some ex­tent, the farm­ers shouldn’t feel spe­cial be­cause gov­ern- ment in­ep­ti­tude in man­age­ment, and union pres­sure, mean that all Aus­tralians are strug­gling un­der the op­pres­sive yoke of hid­den fees and charges.

We pay first- rate money for a sec­ond- rate gov­ern­ment, gen­er­ally.

In­stead of aim­ing to be a lean provider of public ser­vices, our gov­ern­ment is happy to find new and more in­ter­est­ing ways to rake in money to keep on bloat­ing it­self. It is a prob­lem when the gov­ern­ment is the big­gest em­ployer in the land.

CHRIS EASTAUGHFFE,

Wood­stock.

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