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TAS Country : August 26th 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010 Tasmanian Country 15 TFGA Bush centre stage in Canberra TFGA matters with Jan Davis I grant you that you won't find many bulls in Denison, but you can see where they've been.' REGIONAL Australia is about to enjoy political clout that it has never savoured before. There is little doubt that the handful of independents who wield the balance of power in the House of Representa- tives know exactly what they have in their hands and how they can best use it. Between them, the independents have electorates that include diverse rural commodities: dairy, horticul- ture, beef, sheep and others. I grant you that you won't find many bulls in Denison, but you can see where they've been. For too long, far too many election campaigns have been about metro- politan Australia, wooing the sub- urban vote to the detriment of the bush. The TFGA, through the National Farmers' Federation and through its own advocacy, is seeking to re- inforce recognition of the part that farmers have played and will play in Australia's economic wellbeing. I won't revisit the log of claims that we presented to Tasmanian candidates, suffice to say that the key word for us is ''security''. We want to know where we are going and we want the nation to understand our responsibilities. Food security is at the top of the list because we need to know where Australia's next meals are coming from. We also have to have security of tenure --- the unencumbered use of the freehold land that we own and the ability to use our land to its optimum including using it for for- estry purposes. These are basic property rights that should not be questioned. The National Broadband Network is also part of the security we crave in rural Australia. No matter which major party the independents decide to support, the provision of the NBN, as proposed by the Gillard Government, should be accepted unconditionally. If that means the Coalition has to accept that they got their policy wrong, so be it. We all make mistakes but not all of us are prepared to own up to them. The NBN will have an enormous impact on regional Australia. It is not just about getting faster internet access or how quickly you can download or upload data, it is the revolution that speed can bring to e-business and to e-health. In the most graphic illustration, its introduction will mean that you may not have to jump in the ute and drive for hours to consult a medical specialist, turn around and come back again. The technology will, in many cases, give specialists access to data, and real-time video from the home or from the country GP's practice which will help with diag- nosis and treatment. That is of paramount importance for those living in the bush. Meanwhile, the rural sector is seldom far away from bad news. National Foods' announcement that it was reviewing its operations, including those here, is a real con- cern. I am not prejudging the outcome --- it is right and proper that compan- ies review their business. It's just that when that news comes from a big player like Natio- nal Foods, you get a bit nervous. We will hold discussions with the State Government and National Foods to get a proper handle on what they are seeking to achieve. ARM YOURSELF WITH RINGMASTER The Ringmaster pneumatic clip gun and Longlife Blue clips are the latest innovations from Waratah. When used together, it s the fastest and simplest way to secure clips to fence wires for netting, prefabricated fencing or to attach extra wires to an existing fence line. What s more, because the clips are coated with Longlife Blue technology, they ll last up to three times longer than standard galvanized clips. For more product information talk to your reseller, phone 13 10 80 or visit www.onesteelwaratah.com.au ® TM Trademarks of OneSteel Wire Pty Limited, Ingall Street, Mayfield, NSW 2304. ABN 59 000 010 873. ONE1388/TC
August 19th 2010
September 2nd 2010