Farm­ers do much but get so lit­tle in re­turn

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

GREAT let­ter to edi­tor “Give farm­ers a fair go” ( TB, 5/ 12).

Not only do Aus­tralian farm­ers re­ceive less gov­ern­ment sup­port on sub­si­dies and tar­iffs but also the lo­cal and state charges are also higher than other com­peti­tors.

This leads to a ma­jor prob­lem of men­tal health and well be­ing in these com­mu­ni­ties.

No mat­ter how hard they work, there is no re­lief for these peo­ple. Not only fi­nan­cially but the weather and also try­ing to hold a nor­mal fam­ily life to­gether.

An ex­am­ple I can use is the global sugar sit­u­a­tion.

Farm­ers in my re­gion have to deal with the prices of elec­tric­ity, rates, wa­ter and all other in­puts. Mean­while, the weather ( no rain) and the sugar price is be­ing dis­torted by eco­nomic su­per pow­ers of In­dia and In­done­sia.

There is the long- term af­fect of con­tin­u­ous daily ir­ri­gation all year round and they end up be­ing paid well be­low cost.

Many put on happy faces but deep down are hurt­ing and en­ter a down­ward spi­ral and some even take their lives.

Due to drought, the need to feed an­i­mals and ir­ri­gate crops de­stroys fam­ily lives.

No hol­i­days, no fam­ily vis­its and no phys­i­cal and men­tal re­lief.

How­ever where do they turn to? Who un­der­stands the is­sues?

Every­one just sol­diers on and con­tinue in the daily grind with­out any real help with groups out there un­der­stand­ing the real is­sue and any­one of­fer­ing to help. Dis­gust­ing, in my view. You be­gin to ask for help but hit stum­bling blocks as no one re­ally wants to take it on.

It’s like hav­ing 10 fingers on your hands – one feeds the other nine but yet gets no help fi­nan­cially and men­tally. A Farmer, Bran­don. Name and ad­dress sup­plied

but with­held by re­quest.

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