Give farmers a fair go
YOU could have slapped North Queenslanders down with a kale leaf yesterday.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles announced in Cairns the Labor State Government’s ambitious plan to cut Queensland’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and make us a leader in the “clean growth” economy of the future.
It may be an admirable and forwardthinking ideal, a pointer to a new green future for a modern country such as Australia at a time when climate change is front and centre for the world’s policymakers.
But North Queensland is a region awaiting the beginning of our state’s next big resources boom, one that promises another generation of prosperity for hard- working mining communities.
Furthermore, with electricity prices reaching ever- greater heights while wages growth stagnates, North Queenslanders want policies to bring immediate cuts to power bills.
North Queenslanders want relief and have signalled support for the theory that coal- fired, baseload power is the preferred option as our region establishes itself as the base for the future development of Northern Australia in the decades to come.
The Coalition Federal Government and local leaders are united on this issue – a super- critical high- efficiency, low- emission coal- fired power plant in the North is the answer.
Instead the Labor State Government has delivered a policy promise that seems to guarantee even more pain for taxpayers’ pockets as Queensland picks up the pace towards a coal- less tomorrow.
The State Government – which is already struggling with a reputation for ignoring the regions in favour of big- city voters – seems to be completely out of touch with its Townsville constituents on this issue.
Predictably, conservative politicians lined up yesterday to capitalise.
Trad and Miles are both part of the Labor Left faction – beholden to The Greens for voter preferences – that staged the now infamous royalties revolt that threatened to derail Indian miner Adani’s coal mining plans in May.
But even The Greens have attacked yesterday’s policy announcement, labelling it hypocritical given Labor has given its support to the opening up of the Galilee Basin and its main proponent, Adani.
Perhaps in an electoral shot across Labor’s bow yesterday, Ms Trad’s Greens opponent in South Brisbane described the Government’s pledge as a “con job and a joke”. ‘ VIOLET’ in Vincent is complaining about the price of vegetables in Townsville ( TB, 8/ 7/ 17).
I wonder does Violet even have an idea as to what a farmer or road transport driver gets to bring this bounty to our door for the prices she is whingeing about paying.
Articles about the health of the reef, or how terrible those pesky farmers are, abound in media today.
Farmers and land clearing are being blamed for an event that according to some scientists who don’t depend on the ‘‘ climate change industry” for a living say the reef is a living thing that has good times and bad.
Yet the population wants to eat well, eat cheap and to hell with whatever it costs a farmer to produce food – it only matters what cost Coles and Woolworths sell it for that matters.
If the growth in our cities that belch out millions of tonnes of waste a year was stopped right now, it would matter nothing to the health of the reef. People washing cars, throwing poison on the lawn, plastics and waste all ends up in the water.
This is more deadly than all of the farmers put together. Yet this fact is silenced by the Green machine because it is easier to hound a farmer to death than to change millions of people’s lazy and protected habits.
Farmers cannot grow food in the desert, but solar panels can be put in the desert for the same value. Yet big- time investors from foreign countries want profit so it is easier and cheaper to put them on farmland close to cities.
Farmers are quick to sell to de- velopers and these companies because they are sick and tired of the massive costs in producing food in the country and the little amount Coles and Woolies want to pay them.
They are getting sick and tired of regulations and compliance costs to protect consumers, who want cheap and cheaper but have no idea how much the production of that food is costing.
Farmers are so out of sight to many consumers that they start to disregard the reality of food production in this country.
When no Aussie farmer will grow enough Australian food, then we can just import it. Surely with the world situation as it is, that food security is just as important as defence, fuel and energy.
But, alas, farmers don’t make enough noise, Violet.
They are way too busy just trying to earn a living, while you can pick your fruit and vegetables from Woolies and then whinge about the price.
If you want to really make a statement, then start by telling everyone that farmers are not getting profit out of a $ 2 punnet of strawberries, or a $ 1 litre of milk. Farmers are leaving the industry every single day.
One day, the logic will determine that there are not enough to feed us, then we will have to import inferior, seconds, marked, blemished and unwanted food from other countries, and with no competition what do you think you will be paying then for your precious fruit, nuts, sprouts and veggies? DEBRA GIBSON, Pinnacles.