The plight of our drought-stricken farmers
It seems the plight of our drought-affected farmers is finally starting to resonate.
By all indications, the city consciousness is now in tune with the harrowing lack of rain in our regional and rural communities. The outpouring of support for farmer Les Jones seemed to substantiate this, who courtesy of public donations, will no longer be forced to shoot his starving cattle.
But Michael McLaren thinks more needs to be done, and is calling on government to step up and deliver for our despairing farmers.
“There is a drought on in the agricultural sense, there is a lack of water,” says Michael.
“But that is not the only drought. There is a political drought, there is vision drought, there is leadership drought in Australia. This country is not water poor, we are vision poor.”
“And when you combine all of this, it makes the natural drought just that much more difficult to deal with.”
To remedy this, Michael is calling for a Future Fund for drought to be considered.
“We have a Future Fund that is to future-proof the Australian taxpayer from the impact of public servants retiring and accessing their retirement and their super. But we don’t have a Future Fund for drought, which is just as predictable.”
“Would it not be such a bad idea to put a little money aside in a pot, a Future Fund, which could be accessed by farmers and delivered by government, in the perennial circumstance of drought?”
For those who have an ” ideological lump” against handouts to the farming sector, Michael is emphasising how little subsidies our farmers receive.
“Australia has one of the least subsidised agricultural communities in the world,” he says.
“A handout here or there in dire times is nothing compared to the protection given to farmers in comparable economies.”
“So we’ve got to get rid of this nonsense that is perpetuated by some that don’t understand, that west of the divide, there are a whole bunch of agrarian socialists that are just sucking at the teat of the state.”
Listen to Michael’s chat with Tony Mahar, CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation, HERE: