We can’t ex­port what we can’t grow

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Dear Edi­tor, While the in­tro­duc­tion of the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship on De­cem­ber 30 is wel­comed, it seems we still have gov­ern­ments which lack knowl­edge around the fun­da­men­tals of food and fi­bre pro­duc­tion.

As Fed­eral Trade Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham cor­rectly says, the TPP opens up sig­nif­i­cant ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties that can ben­e­fit the en­tire na­tion.

But un­for­tu­nately we can­not ex­port what we can­not grow.

Suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have made a to­tal mess of wa­ter pol­icy, so we now have a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion where wa­ter is be­ing poured out to sea in South Aus­tralia, for no-one’s ben­e­fit. Yet in the south­ern NSW food bowl our food pro­duc­ers are on a zero al­lo­ca­tion and there­fore grow­ing very few sum­mer crops.

This is crazy be­yond be­lief, and added to the in­san­ity is the fact we’ve had the Mur­ray River break­ing its banks and caus­ing un­nec­es­sary en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age.

The lucky coun­try we might be . . . the smart coun­try we cer­tainly aren’t!

So while Mr Birm­ing­ham might spruik for his po­lit­i­cal gain the ben­e­fits of his TPP, those who are sup­posed to be re­joic­ing are in­stead scoff­ing at an­other wasted op­por­tu­nity.

If Mr Birm­ing­ham and his col­leagues were se­ri­ous about in­creas­ing our food and fi­bre ex­ports they would fix the di­abol­i­cal mess that is called wa­ter pol­icy, which would al­low our farm­ers to do what they do best and at the same time make more ef­fec­tive use of in­fras­truc­ture which has been built up over gen­er­a­tions at huge cost to Aus­tralian tax­pay­ers who, along with ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, are the big losers in this de­ba­cle.

Yours etc. Linda Fawns


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