Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

We've All Got to Eat

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

We've All Got to Eat

Article excerpt

Byline: BELINDA SCOTT belinda.scott@coffscoastadvocate.com.au

LAST week's article caused comment from many of my mates and other readers.

Most were not producers of food like bananas, beef, mutton, lamb, pork, veges and fruit. But they all eat.

The main point was not missed, but obviously has to be re-emphasised.

My lack of optimism and, therefore, confidence in future Australian food industries, is due to the government policies that are seriously hurting - if not in some cases crippling - areas of Australian agricultural food production.

I can see no value to the food producers in Australia in policies that allow the importation of products into this country that compete with established industries or hinder the economic establishment of others.

Sure we are a major exporting country and need to trade, but not by importing products that are heavily subsidised in their countries of origin.

These lower the values and seriously deplete the profitability of ours or threaten the disease-free status that we hold so dear.

The result of continued importation of pork from Canada and Denmark, citrus from the Americas, possibly apples from New Zealand and bananas from the Philippines and soon beef from the USA and Canada, among others, will clearly cause a loss of profitability to those industries in Australia.

When we start relying on such imports, as our production falls away the result will be a steady rise in prices to the consumer.

Every agricultural industry I can think of is suffering major cost rises, especially in the necessities of fuel, labour, maintenance and repair, as well as the cost of living.

Good experienced labour is hard to find even if it can be afforded.

Food-producing families have to pay for basic fuel and food items just like those in towns and cities but with freight charges added.

With lowering net profits reaching the serious stage, year after year their standard of living and net asset value goes down with it.

If Government ministers and Opposition members don't start realising soon that all is not well in the bush and that most in the bush and in smaller country towns are low cost subsistence living then they will be remembered as the 'no good do gooders'

Right now, despite a small lift in cattle prices due to general North and Central Western rain, we are all hoping for a big lift in prices for all types and descriptions over the next month. …

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