Member for Murray Sharman Stone said the Federal Government had to think of the future of Australia's farmers rather than giving away their bargaining power on just ''any deal''.TRENT HORNEMAN April 11, 2014 3:15am
Member for Murray Sharman Stone believes Australian farmers have ‘‘taken a bullet’’ after the Federal Government signed a trade agreement with Japan this week.
Dr Stone was critical of the tariff cuts for dairy and beef exports, which she said were lower than expected, as well as a total snub for the rice industry.
‘‘We have done away with our bargaining power,’’ she said.
‘‘By not having tariffs on our imports, we have no leverage.
‘‘While Labor left us well behind in the race for free trade agreements with our key competitors in our key markets, we must not let anyone think that we can be panicked into ‘any deal will do’.’’
Dr Stone said the Federal Government needed to do more to put money back into Australian farms.
She believed the power of supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles, loose dumping regulations and the high cost of water were damaging farmers.
‘‘There is massive review and reform needed,’’ she said.
‘‘It is time for the Government to be forward thinking and spend the time in working, co-operating with and supporting farmers.’’
This week Dr Stone and 15 regional farmers met with Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper Task Force members in Shepparton.
Dr Stone said dairy, fruit, cereal, seed and wine producers were unanimous in their concern for the long-term viability of Australian farming.
‘‘Farmers in Australia are simply not being paid enough for their product,’’ she said.
While farmers were given a good hearing, as a group and individually, at the Shepparton meeting, Dr Stone said the Federal Government needed action.
When asked if she was confident whether any of the issues raised in the white paper would materialise, Dr Stone said:
‘‘You have to have confidence, otherwise you will never get out of bed in the morning,’’ she said.
Dr Stone said the findings from white paper discussion should be known at the end of the year.
Street Rider Night Bus signs have been placed in Shepparton’s central business district to encourage people to use the service that has been cruising along for more than five years.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
The Echuca construction team behind Junction Moama has taken out one of the top honours at a regional building awards ceremony.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Cross-border rivals Cobram and Barooga football netball clubs will contest the 38th Cobram Courier Shield this weekend.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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