One area we’ve proven ourselves to be the best in the business is Agriculture. We’ve led the world in wool production, cropping and beef cattle and we need a national recommitment to this sector order to regain our position as an Agricultural Super-Power. There are however some alarming trends taking place in Australian Agriculture which, if not reversed, will cruel Agriculture in this country for good.
- The sell-off of Agricultural land to foreign investors. Quite frankly it doesn’t matter who the buyers are, be they Chinese Billionaires or American Superannuation Funds, selling agricultural land to overseas investors spells suicide for the long term future of Australian Agriculture. This country was built on the back of the family farm. Once it’s sold, it will NEVER be owned again. At the present trend, 50 years from today, Aussie ownership of agricultural land will be virtually non existent. Aussie farmers will be swinging off the spanner for their overseas bosses, will all the profits leaving Australia for foreign shores.
- The drought of young Aussie Farmers. The average age of farmers in Australia today is something like 60. Our best young talent is being forced to leave the land and seek work in other sectors. This is of course because there simply isn’t the money in the bush anymore to keep them there. Again, this is insane. We need to be keeping and encouraging our young people to stay in the bush and to build great careers in Agriculture.
- The priority that mining is being given over Agriculture. This is the most short-sighted thinking imaginable. Allowing coal seam gas mining in some of Australia’s prime agricultural areas like the Darling Downs and Breeza Plains is pure. The government is prioritising 20 years worth of gas production over 200+ years of future agricultural production. It is insane policy and Locking the Gate is just one part of changing it.
The fact is this; There is a massive opportunity to provide high quality, clean green produce to the world and no country is better positioned than us to capitalise in what is essentially a limitless growth market. Our farmers are the best in the world. We can do this and we can make a fortune for our farmers and our country in the process. Australian agriculture needs to be given new respect and greater recognition and we need to make it a national priority to once again make Agriculture foundational to the future success of our country.
I vote we make Agriculture a National Priority and a pillar of our Vision for Australia.