Should the Australian Government provide drought relief funds for farmers?
Yes, the Government should provide drought relief funds for farms
No, the Government should not provide drought relief funds for farms
Should the Australian Government provide drought relief funds for farmers?
Danger Will Robinson!!!
I have lost friends over this discussion...potential powderkeg!!!
no bludy way!! if those idiots are stupid enuf - no, idiotic enuf - no imbussilic enuf to go on the land in the first place - they deserve all they get Why don't they just go on the dole like me and my brother. Its bludy easy mate - you just take a break from the pub for a few hours and queue up for a handout. As far as Im concerned the centre of aus can be given back to the blacks! (editors note - )Originally Posted by vicb
yes cause if nothing is done about the issue we will all be affected indirectly whether it be through what we consume at the shops to the overall economy health
but then again... considering the situation of most farms and the annual rainfall they should move to locations where there is a greater supply of rain...
remember goyder's line?
According to John it is all about sustaining the national psyche (ie. Liberal Votes):
John Howard has quashed any suggestion that farmers could be paid to leave land rendered unproductive by climate change, saying fewer farmers would damage Australia's psyche.
What a fool.
He sounds like a French Politician defending the butter lakes of Europe or a Florida Republican defending the Sugar subsidies in the US.
Who else gets a free ride under this 'psyche' concept?
Aussies are obsessed with property and renos - are we to bail out the real estate agents and carpenters when the property market has troubles? Interest rate subsidies for apartment flippers?
Are the farmers seriously going to be paid by our government to farm unproductive dirt?
Will Geelong Grammar be laden with welfare kids?
Does this mean we no longer have an argument against trade subsidies at the WTO?
bound to happen I guess - there'll be tradeoffs.Greens: 'Exit with dignity strategy' for farmers
By Annabelle Homer, Tuesday, 17/10/2006
Green's MLC, Mark Parnell, believes that at the end of the driest winter on record, priority must be given to the creation of a co-ordinated and well-funded 'exit with dignity' strategy for farmers currently doing it hard.
"The climate rules have now changed - everyone now agrees that southern Australia is going to be hotter and drier. That's not the fault of farmers and I think that where scientists like Peter Cullen [from the Wentworth Group] have said that these exceptional circumstances are becoming the 'norm' rather than the exception - we do need to think about strategies that don't just prop people up, but we have to look at long-term strategies to help people leave with dignity."
(whatever happened to "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the deserts, we shall fight in the dried up creekbeds !!" - maybe there's too much fighting going on already)
Where Wayne comes from there hasn't been a complete crop failure in recorded history - this year nada - nothing growing. Where do they move to?Originally Posted by MalteseBull
Where I am a little closer to Perth most will be in a break even situation or a little less. Once again a very reliable area but this year pretty tough.
It's not only the farmers though. I am a contract fertilizer spreader, This year my June july Aug gross income was about 10% of normal (it didn't even cover my upfront fuel purchase) and there I am (like the farmers) just waiting for rain - I cant get another job because if it rains we are needed instantly.
There are a lot of folk in similar situations all through the little towns - mechanics etc who would in a normal year be comfortable but when things are tough the money is not there to spread around.
Personally I think some sort of tax free drought savings scheme both for farmers and those reliant on seasonal income would be more equable than a hand out. It must have some sort of loan componant to assist those who get hit before they have had time to build up a drought defence.
The Goydor line -
"Goyder's Line is a boundary line across South Australia at an approximate rainfall boundary indicating the edge of the area suitable for agriculture. North of Goyder's Line, the rainfall is not reliable enough, and the land is only suitable for grazing on a long-term sustainable basis. The line traces a distinct change in vegetation between the scrub bushes known as mallee to the south and the arid salt bush to the north. This change forms a line across the state. Goyder's line almost exactly represents the demarcation of a long-term average of 10 inches (254mm) of rain per year.
With barely 30 year's knowledge of this new country to go on, farmers needed reliable information. In 1865 Goyder provided it. He discouraged farmers from planting crops north of his line, declaring this land suitable only for light grazing. However farmers were optimistic. 1865 was a year of bumper rains, so many ignored Goyder and headed north, starting farms and planting crops. Just a few years later many had to abandon their farms. Goyder was proved correct and the land was indeed unsuitable for crops. Many farmhouse ruins can still be seen near Goyder's line.
There have been periods of development north of the line, but invariably nature has won out. Entire towns and farms were abandoned when there was a return to longer-term average rainfall. The line has proven remarkably accurate, an amazing feat since it was surveyed in just two months in 1865 by George Woodroffe Goyder, then the surveyor-general of South Australia.
Goyder's line starts on the west coast near Ceduna and goes south-east across Eyre Peninsula to strike Spencer Gulf near Arno Bay. It continues from near Moonta north to Crystal Brook and Orroroo then south-east past Peterborough and Burra to the Victorian border near Pinnaroo, crossing the Murray River south of Blanchetown. Much of the land immediately north of the line is covered by saltbush. Agriculture is possible near the Murray River further upstream only because of irrigation using water drawn from the Murray.
It is easy to see Goyder's line when flying over this area. The change in flora is very distinct when one knows what to look for.
Goyder's Line became a National Trust of Australia Heritage Icon in 2003, joining other South Australian icons such as Humphrey B. Bear, brush fencing, and Penfolds Grange Hermitage wine."
NA, admiration due to you and those like you man. As if most of us are qualified to comment. One question mate - If you had a son, would you be recommending he take up the reins when you retire?Originally Posted by NettAssets
PS Was it Goyder who predicted (back in the late 1800's) - probably not but someone did , about 1890? ask cog, he'll remember lol - that
a) Australia's population would stop growing at 20 million ( i.e. todays pop), and
b) that water would be the limiting factor.
NettAssets makes a great point - it isn't just the farmers. Every regional area is reliant upon primary production industry to various extents. When the seasons are good the farmers and graziers spend in those economies. Everyone shares in the spoils in the good times. In the drought times - everyone in the town, from the local mechanic, hairdresser, car dealership and publican feels it in one way or another.Originally Posted by NettAssets
I agree that there are a number of farms that are not viable - rain or no rain and by propping then up with crutches is not the answer. But financial assistance to primary producers is a serious issue that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
Remember - it's not a lie if you truely believe it yourself.
Rural output is less than 5% of GDP
Why should a minority be kept in a very strong relative wealth position to sustain groups of unsustainable communities?
If the money was spent on buying people out and maybe subsidising an industry of the future to which we actually have the chance of succeeding-in, wouldn't we all be better off?
We cannot find employees for mining communities but we are subsidising rice farms in deserts to ensure some kid can pull a beer in a rural community.
I dont for a moment think it is easy/nice/simple - but it has to happen.
the government has to provide support to drought stricken farmers. for the first time in many years and possibly in history australia is faced with an agricultural recession in the near future. without support the industry is going to be crippled.
Couple of questions BSD?Originally Posted by BSD
Who are in a "very strong wealth position?"
Who said anything about sustaining unsustainable communities?
What industries of the future are you talking about for say.....Berrigan NSW, Dalby,QLD and Dimboola VIC.
And don't get me started on mining communities. Your post surprises me because you actually sounded like you knew what you wre talking about - until that comment. The mining industries just suck the life blood out of the small regional communities and then move on when the $$$$$$ run out leaving relative ghost towns with little improvement in infrastructure/standard of living/community resources. My point is that - when seasons are "normal" primary production pumps money around everyone - mining doesn't do that.
What will you eat when the last farmer shuts the gate to become a telemarketer?
Remember - it's not a lie if you truely believe it yourself.
Strong wealth positions are plentiful for many of those groups with their hands out.Originally Posted by Duckman#72
How much is the property/plant/land cruisers worth of the grain farmers saying they "used to fill 12 of those silos - this year only 2".
Are these assets worth more than the wealth of a concretor who is unemployed because of a housing downturn?
Don't even get me started on the enormous cotton and grazing concerns I have been exposed too in QLD.
The Farm Management Deposits have been full for years and we are supposed to bail them out because they finally had to spend some of their tax free money. Many brag about their ability of not having paid tax for decades.
Who pays the fees for all the 'bush' kids in the Geelong Grammars etc?
Perhaps, people should move out of Dalby etc if they want to work. Nobody in the cities is guaranteed a lifestyle beyond the dole. If there is no work in Dalby, move to Brisbane.
I would love to live in the Whitsundays - but I cannot make any money up there in my line of work, so I cant choose where I live.
Not easy - but necessary.
The money spent on encouraging such movements would make more sense than sustaining lifestyles that obviously do not work economically. How many years must we wait for a successful crop before we pull the pin?
Mobility is also probably part of the answer to some of your concerns in the mining vs agriculture argument.
If the government funded the training of Dalby residents to work in the mines in Central QLD - the GDP of Australia would be boosted (and so would the living standard of the Dalby resident). Skilling people is more important than subsidising them.
Why should a couple of rich families support a town of 1950's shopkeepers and publicans?
As for food, plenty of Asian and South American econonomies seem to be able to produce food cheaper than us, we keep hearing how the rural sector needs to be protected/funded to compete, maybe the consumer and tax payer need to be protected from our rural sector?
Prices may need to rise - so what, why do we deserve anything at less than it actually costs?
At least a telemarketer can buy a loaf of bread without borrowing off the government with an interest free loan.
I have much sympathy with BSD's views.
Can someone please tell me exactly what drought relief to farmers actually consists of?
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-29277,00.htmlOriginally Posted by Julia
Drought relief generous, Howard says
October 17, 2006
THE Government's expanded drought relief package would be generous but would not go overboard, Prime Minister John Howard said today.
Mr Howard yesterday announced an extra $350 million to help struggling farmers. Federal Cabinet is considering a further $400 million in aid.
An announcement on the extra funding is expected within a week.
Mr Howard told a private meeting of government members and senators today that while climate change was a long-term challenge, the drought required an immediate response.
"The Government will be fair and will err on the side of generosity but won't abandon responsible decision-making," a joint partyroom spokesman quoted Mr Howard as telling the meeting.
"In responding to the drought the Government will be using a commonsense approach."
Treasurer Peter Costello said the drought was a serious economic issue and the Government was responding through income support and interest rate subsidies.
Mr Costello scoffed at the decision by the state premiers last week to write to the Reserve Bank urging it to keep interest rates on hold.
"This was nothing more than a stunt. State premiers have no responsibility for monetary policy in Australia, there's nothing they can do about it," the spokesman quoted Mr Costello as saying.
"They should focus on what they actually do have responsibility for and carry out those responsibilities."
At some point we're going to have to face the real issue - population.
Problems like the ones we are having aren't confined to Australia. Throughout much of the world, agriculture is dependent on unsustainable drawdown of ground water (notably US wheat production), use of petroleum etc. Quite simply, we're living off our capital rather than income and at some point that capital runs out.
Add to that over fishing, land degradation and so on. And of course climate change.
So either we radically change agriculture or the global population will decline along with food availability.
So the real question, the much harder one, is not about farmers in the bush growing food and whether we ought to prop them up. No, it is about mothers giving birth in the cities (globally) and whether we ought to be limiting that in some way. That's a far harder question that few are willing to even discuss, let alone propose action on.
In my opinion, anyone under 50 is likely to live long enough to see very serious discussion on the population control issue. Either that or outright war over all kinds of resources, food included. Wars do, of course, have the effect of reducing population if they are big enough and are thus terrifyingly effective when food is the underlying issue at stake.
Ulitmately, the entire notion of infinite growth on a finite planet just doesn't stack up and we're only beginning to see the first signs of the limits being reached with water. Just wait until it's an actual food shortage...
If nothing else, the whole situation highlights just how profoundly ridiculous the notion of ethanol replacing petrol really is. Your car "eats" in 3 weeks what you do in a year. That's an awful lot of extra food we're going to have to grow if biofuels are to even partially replace petrol. And that's without even mentioning aeroplanes, trucks, trains, industry etc that also use oil. Obviously it makes sense to use agricultural wastes to produce ethanol, but it doesn't make sense to use good wheat, fruit etc - we need that to eat.
Last edited by Smurf1976; 18th-October-2006 at 12:11 AM.
Originally Posted by Smurf1976
no need for wars, we are surrendering our resources in peace time.
10/10Originally Posted by Smurf1976
Originally Posted by BSD
So the government gives the farmers a couple a billion dollars.
Is that gonna be any skin off your nose?