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TAS Country : December 23rd 2010
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, December 24, 2010 TFGA www.tfga.com.au Irrigation vital for agri-boom PIPES CALLING: We are facing a situation where business investment in Tasmania is in a holding pattern after the initial onslaught of the global financial crisis. TFGA matters with Jan Davis And now agriculture bears more and more of the burden of seeing us through. That is why the irrigation development program is so important to us.' THIS is my final column for the year and it is appropriate that I have a look at what Paul Keating would call ''The Big Picture'', in this instance for far- mers. There has been some really interest- ing reporting recently that put the changing emphasis of Australia's rural industries into perspective. Under the headline ''Crops rise, wine flows, but wool clipped'', the Australian Financial Review this week looked at Reserve Bank research that demon- strates the effect that changes in con- sumer preferences are having on the nature of farming. Over the past 10 years, our farmers are producing more fruit, vegetables and meat and much less wool. In simple terms, crop production, aided by the boom in wine production, has risen seven per cent to 53 per cent of all farm output while livestock has fallen by that seven per cent to 47 per cent. Of that, beef has replaced wool as the mainstay. The RBA predicts 10 per cent growth in the value of agriculture this financial year, which will contribute 0.25 per cent growth to overall gross domestic prod- uct. The Australian has interpreted this growth trend as ''a second commodities boom'' to accompany that of mineral resources; that Australia's ''resilient and innovative'' farmers are lifting output as they take advantage of the soaring demand in Asia for Australian food commodities. While the news tends to concentrate on the plight of farmers in the Murray- Darling Basin, the evidence is that despite drought, flood and bushfire, farmers continue to lift their output through their ready adoption of new technology and innovation. According to the Productivity Com- mission, productivity growth in agricul- ture in the last 30 years is second only to the communications industry --- and it has actually outpaced that in the last 10 years. For instance, despite the exten- sive drought across most of the country, grain farmers still produced record crops. The Australian report concluded: ''Despite the nation's fixation on the minerals and energy boom, it is clear that this parallel commodities boom is likely to be a very significant export earner for Australia for decades to come, as well as having the potential to inject a huge stimulus into the economy at harvest time.'' I have written before in Tasmanian Country that the situation here reflects the pattern across the country. We are facing a situation where business in- vestment in Tasmania is in a holding pattern after the initial onslaught of the global financial crisis; when the forest industry appears to be on the brink of substantial downsizing and rationalisa- tion; when tourism suffers the effects of cheaper competition overseas because of the high Australian dollar. And now agriculture bears more and more of the burden of seeing us through. That is why the irrigation development program is so important to us. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the thousands of people who put their heart and soul into Tasmania's rural industries; and to the people who share with the TFGA the knowledge that this is a very special place, blessed with an ideal climate and growing conditions --- a place where we have got the balance right. My very best wishes to all of you for Christmas and I trust that you share my absolute optimism for 2011. Family trust tax rethink KAROLIN MacGREGOR A CHANGE to Federal family trust legislation has been welcomed by the state's peak farming body. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said an announcement this week from the Federal Government that new taxation legislation for family trusts will be introduced next year was good news for farmers. Ms Davis said the existing legislation placed trusts at a disadvantage com- pared with sole trader and partnership arrangements. Under the new legis- lation, the Government says it will rewrite the rules regarding income streaming, capital gains and franked dividends distributed by trusts. The changes come after recommendations from the Henry Tax review. ''The main point that has been clarified is that beneficiaries of trusts will be able to continue to use the primary production averaging and farm management deposit provisions in a loss year,'' Ms Davis said. ''Farmers welcome the move and also the announcement by assistant treasurer Bill Shorten that the Govern- ment will look at simplifying the trust system, rewrite the rules and give more certainty to small business and farmers who use trusts.'' The changes which come in the wake of the Bamford High Court decision in March have also been welcomed by National Farmers Federation chief executive officer Ben Fargher. Mr Fargher said the current legis- lation meant farmers could be uninten- tionally caught up in red tape and denied access to normal trust pro- visions. ''If not amended the changes threaten to cripple farmers operating under trust arrangements restricting them from tax averaging benefits and Farm Management Deposits,'' he said. ''The government's recognition of these issues and move to correct them given our eight month discussions to correct these unintended consequences will come as a great relief to thousands of farmers operating under trusts.'' Mr Fargher said it was hoped the whole trust system could also be simplified next year. Elders upbeat on outlook for 2011 ELDERS has boosted sales by four per cent and its gross margin by seven per cent, in the first two months of its new financial year. The company remains upbeat about 2011 with managing director Malcolm Jackman this week saying agriculture was heading into its best year this century. Even the bad news for grain growers suffering in the East Coast deluge had a silver lining for suppliers. ''The summer weed is- sue could be huge, with farmers needing two knockdowns going into the next seeding, which means good agriculture chemical sales,'' Mr Jackman said. With the amount of feed in paddocks, Mr Jackman said there also was a strong move to restock. Mr Jackman said he, along with everyone else in agriculture, is looking for the dollar to come down. ''If we could see it get back below 80 cents that would be the cream on the cake,'' he said. The Weekly Times 2020541-101224 Season's Gree ngs The Rural Development Services team: Morag Anderson, Don Defenderfer, Alice Doyle, Maree Fudge, Sue Hinton, Kiros Hiruy, Tom Lewis, Donna Lucas and Ray Murphy wishes all our clients, colleagues and partners a Happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. We look forward to con nuing our work with Tasmanian land, sea and community enterprises in 2011. r ra e e o en ser es o : 03 6231 9033 4/29 E abe S Hobar 7000 054 2 2 2 02 0 2 2 11 0 1 2 24 2032163-101210 • James Darcey 0407 509 629 • Jamie Ellis 0409 438 764 • Jason Wilson 0400 976 406 2010 John Deere 5000 Series - 5083E Limited 2010 John Deere 5000 Series - 5083E Limited 83hp 4WD, air cond cab, radio/cd player, 12F/12R Powereverser transmission, JD 563 front end loader with bucket, 2 yrs/2,000 hr warranty NO TRADE From $65,99000
December 16th 2010
January 6th 2011