Economic drought-proofing the only long-term solution - Pastoralists & Graziers Association

AUSTRALIA - The PGA has welcomed the government’s decision to include some structural reform in its drought package.
calendar icon 25 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

“The best haystack a farmer can have is dollars in the bank”, Slade Brockman, Policy Director for the GA aid. “Measures that increase a grower’s ability to be self-reliant and resilient are worth more than straight drought relief.”

“Whilst the reforms to EC are welcome, the fact is that governments do not have the resources to assist all growers. EC will always be limited to a small number of growers in extreme circumstances. EC is not the solution to long term profitability.”

“Economic and regulatory reform, designed to promote the efficiency and long term prosperity of the agricultural sector, is the only realistic solution to seasonal variation, including the extremities of drought”, Mr Brockman said. 

“We were pleased to see the government announce an increase in the Farm Management Deposits from $300,000 to $400,000. PGA was instrumental in the formulation of the FMD arrangements, and has been lobbying for an increase in the deposit limits. FMDs allow growers to put money aside in the good years to more effectively ride out the tough years.

“At a time of tight margins for most growers, it may seem like wishful thinking to even talk about FMDs. However, only structural reforms such as this one will provide the basis for a successful agricultural sector.

“All levels of government need to reduce regulatory burdens, and allow producers to increase their nett income.

“For example, the Federal government could immediately reduce the huge cost of the regulatory monopoly over wheat – AWB’s government imposed monopoly will drag tens of millions of dollars out the rural economy of WA this year.”
PGA will continue to push for a reduction in government regulation, red-tape, taxes and levies, to ensure agriculture’s future.

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