Jul 6, 2015

Agriculture white paper pursues Nationals fantasies, not competition

The government's white paper on agricultural competitiveness is about propping up an outdated family farm model, not competition.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The cover of Barnaby Joyce’s long-delayed Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper doesn’t merely feature the expected bucolic scene, but a picture altogether more loaded with meaning: a man and woman, with three children, making their way up a grassy slope.


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14 thoughts on “Agriculture white paper pursues Nationals fantasies, not competition

  1. klewso

    That family – walking away from the Gnats?

  2. Coaltopia

    “Like northern Australia, for example.” classic.

  3. Dennis Binto

    Are there more social outcomes than cheap food?

    I wonder what they could be.

  4. klewso

    Cousin Jethro’s go-nats.

  5. ken svay

    At least Alan Jones will be happy. Hes always banging about about the bush dying and iconic towns like Longreach and Winton disappearing because of the drought. And he is pro dam and anti windfarm of course.
    I wonder where they will site the dam that will water inland Queensland?

  6. BruceHassan

    The whole thing is weird – an approach to water that ignores aquifers, fracking and open-cut coal mines, for example, or takes until page 190 to mention, in passing, climate change. But strangest of all the insistence that farmers and farm families, and indeed country people generally, are all nice heterosexual types. I grew up in the country, and coming to terms with my sexuality in a late 1970s country town involved a lot of teenage angst – but no shortage of sex. Every shire has its gay (or is that decadent?) ‘scene’, you just need to know how to find it. There is also no shortage of same-sex couples running farms, or being actively involved in the social life of their shire. Not only is this paper fantastical, its also blinded by its own ideological framework.

  7. klewso

    Is it better than Sorbent – or Howard’s “Ministerial Code of Conduct” bog-roll?

  8. klewso

    …. Murdoch’s PCPs?

  9. AR

    The meme of Develop the North is very much the Nat’s Grassy Knoll.

  10. old greybeard

    Pity noone here knows about being a farmer, or irrigation. Bernard, water trading as outlined by the PC is bullshit in many contexts. You might say that you should sell water from the Macquarie to the Murray, or the Namoi. Our water regions just don’t work that way. There are still many many gains to be made by improving water management. Why on earth we move water in channels or allow flood irrigation is a mystery. Dams also waste a lot of water and once away from mountain areas they are hard to site rationally. It is like the often raised venture to dam the Clarence and divert it inland. Has anyone seen how tiny the river is upstream of Grafton?
    The policies favouring large agribusiness have not served the nation as a whole,but agriculture in Australia is hard. It is dry and the soil with a few exceptions is poor and they always overlook salinity.

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