This Labor Government is a disaster!

Dec 1, 2023 | Speeches

With the cost-of-living crisis smashing Australian families, relief is urgently needed. The last thing any government should do is introduce policies that have the potential to exacerbate the problem. What government would implement policies that have the potential to stop our farmers farming, add to the cost of production, make homegrown produce less competitive than cheap imports, and deliberately make food and fibre more expensive? More importantly, what government would implement such policies without a comprehensive understanding of the impact of them? Well, as we found out in question time today, this government would. This government is banning live exports. This government is failing to introduce a dedicated visa pathway for agricultural workers. This government is pursuing renewable energy projects and transmission lines across prime agricultural land and introducing punitive industrial relations reforms that will hurt farmers. But probably most egregious of all is this government’s policies to reintroduce water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin. Irrigated agriculture is a key mitigation tool in dealing with the extremes of climate change. It is one of the best tools to cope with increasing droughts punctuated by floods. Capturing water during floods and using it to grow food and fibre during the dry times is key to providing an economic base for many agriculturally dependent communities and businesses.