14 December 2021. By AgForce President Georgie Somerset.
Ideas are a dime a dozen – so the saying from American businesswoman Mary Kay Ash goes.
What she fails to mention is that GOOD ideas are rare as hen’s teeth.
That doesn’t stop plenty of bad ones getting considered though, or worse still – implemented.
Take two recent articles that feature ideas and opinions that miss the mark completely and could have serious consequences for agriculture.
The first, an opinion piece written by financial journalist Alan Kohler entitled Farmers and business demand Morrison give them back their ‘slaves’, declares farmers are demanding to let foreign workers back into Australia on temporary visas so that “…they don’t have to pay Australians more to pick fruit…”
While the headline and content is at best uninformed, it is clearly a cheap shot at an industry that kept food on the supermarket shelves for millions of Australians at the height of the COVID pandemic – despite crippling workforce shortages.
The second, an article featured in The Australian focuses on an idea from Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest, who says he wants to phase out the multibillion-dollar diesel fuel rebate.
If this happened, it would have a devastating effect on many small family farm businesses, particularly in the grains sector, and on any agriculture business that runs heavy vehicles and machinery that uses diesel fuel – as well as tourism operators, fishermen, and outback stations generating power.
Single-issue arguments like these from Messrs Kohler and Forrest not only fall into the deep well of ill-conceived ideas and views – but risk extinguishing the much bigger, much brighter outlook on the horizon.
One that recognises and values the tangible benefits brought by agriculture – economically, socially, and environmentally.
To embrace all that agriculture has to offer the entire community will take genuine leadership and a willingness to include industry as part of the broader outlook and discussions in this country.
You can help us get there. Challenge the narrow minded, the outdated, and the misinformed, and join AgForce in the conversation online by using #standwithregqld.