by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : August 19th 2010
14 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 20, 2010 TFGA www.tfga.com.au Time for rural footprints at the ballot box TFGA matters with Jan Davis THE election campaign is all but over and tomorrow Tasmanian farmers will vote. At the TFGA, we don't care who the bookies favour because, as always, we will not advocate a vote for any particu- lar party. Our concern is to ensure that whichever party wins government it has policies that promote and enhance sustainable agriculture. Four of the five Tasmanian federal electorates have a strong rural foot- print. Only Denison has no significant rural characteristics. So, the farm vote will be important, particularly if there are tight contests in Bass and Braddon. At the outset of the campaign, we said we wanted commitments on regional stimulus, climate change, food and biosecurity, and property rights. So how do they stack up? Disappoin- tingly, there is much in the way of slogans and headlines but not much depth when it comes to tangible policies. Both major parties have put forward some positive proposals but they gener- ally need refinement and detail. The closest we could get to a solid agricul- tural platform would be to amalgamate the two. This is particularly the case with food security policies. The TFGA has been a vocal advocate of the need for us to co- operate to develop a long-term strategy to secure a safe, nutritious and sustain- able food supply for Australia and to contribute what we can to global de- mand. This requires whoever is in govern- ment to commit to a network of initiat- ives that includes agricultural research, enhanced biosecurity, reformed water policies and improved road, rail and port networks. The ALP said it would work with stakeholders across the entire value chain to deliver food security in this country. The Coalition's policy focused on increased funding for research and development, grants for scientists, and a green tape audit. The TFGA firmly welcomes the Coalition's commitment to increased funding for agriculture research and development policy. Combining the policies from both major parties would recognise the need for greater research and development funding and also for protecting our farmland and food supply. On climate change, the ALP said it would open up the carbon market for farmers, yet we don't know what its plans are for a carbon pollution re- duction scheme. The Coalition's Direct Action Plan has promised an incentive-based scheme for farmers, as well as vowing that there would be no additional indirect costs to energy and energy- related farm inputs. Increasingly, both parties are realis- ing that farmers will be an important part of the solution to reducing carbon pollution, but both sides have a long road ahead of them facilitating this process. Rural health is one area where both major parties have produced worthy policies. Labor has committed to spend $392 million on various online health ser- vices, such as GP consultations for those in regional and rural areas. Its National Broadband Network is integral to that being an effective system. The Coalition's minimalist broadband proposal has not convinced many that it is a viable alternative. Its contribution to rural health would be more scholarships to encourage doctors and nurses to do their time in the bush. Beyond the policies from the major parties, there are the Greens. Interestingly, of late, some of the most sensible policy positions relating to agriculture have come from that quar- ter. They have made some promising comments about food security and some strong commitments to rural health initiatives. However, it is still worth considering where they would stand on water reform, vegetation management, inten- sive livestock, forestry, and even the development of new farms and indus- tries. So, while they have some policies that are sensible, they have other policies that would have a negative impact on the agricultural sector. Whichever party wins the election, the TFGA will work to ensure they hear a clear message from the Tasmanian agricultural sector about the policies we need to be profitable and sustainable. The TFGA firmly welcomes the Coalition's commitment to increased funding for agriculture research and development policy.' Labor has committed to spend $392 million on various online health services, such as GP consultations for those in regional and rural areas.' Interestingly, of late, some of the most sensible policy positions relating to agriculture have come from the Greens.' www.bayercropscience.com.au Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd, 391-393 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, Vic 3123. ABN 87 000 226 022 Technical Enquiries 1800 804 479 Ph 03 9248 6888 Fax 03 9248 6800 Prosaro is a registered trademark of Bayer. Prosaro is proving itself to be a great addition to the wheat and barley grower s toolbox. As a highly effective broad spectrum fungicide, you no longer need a shed full of products. With curative and preventative action supporting excellent green leaf retention, Prosaro has become the fungicide of choice for a growing number of growers. Try it this season and see for yourself. Prosaro® . All you need this season for effective broad spectrum foliar disease control in wheat and barley. The power of one. RRA/BAY9000
August 12th 2010
August 26th 2010