November 15th 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Californian wildfires: the causes

EDITORIAL: Backdoor bid to approve therapeutic cloning

CANBERRA OBSERVED : The Greens' road-block to a double dissolution

AGRICULTURE : Farmers call for action on sugar crisis

BANANA QUARANTINE: Will we kill off our golden goose?

FAMILY: I'm sorry I am heterosexual

TRUST: Palliative Care, not Euthanasia

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Higher education / China Syndrome

LETTERS: Militant consumerism (letter)

LETTERS: Hanson a political prisoner (letter)

LETTERS: Forgetting the golden rule (letter)

LETTERS: SBS broadcasting of the Hanoi news (letter)

HEALTH UPDATE: Abortion-Breast Cancer link reaps medical malpractice payout

HISTORY: Dr Jim Cairns, the Kremlin and the World Peace Council

OBITUARY : Madame Chiang Kai-shek dies at 105

UNEMPLOYMENT: Deregulation and free trade are destroying country employment

MEDIA: Five issues Australia must address

TRADING BLOCS: Risks in the US Free Trade Agreement

Dairy industry shrinks under deregulation

FILM REVIEW: Bonhoeffer

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Dairy industry shrinks under deregulation

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, November 15, 2003
In 2000, Victorian dairy farmers were given a vote on National Competition Policy (NCP) initiated deregulation by the newly elected Labor Government. Effectively, the ballot paper asked, do you want deregulation with a package or deregulation without a package?

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Victorian farmers voted to deregulate with a package. This sparked deregulation in all other states, even though NCP public interest tests recommended against deregulation in all states except Victoria.

Deregulation has been a disaster. Between July 2000 and July 2003, the number of dairy farmers in Australia fell from 12,888 to 10,050 - a fall of 22%

State declines since 2000 have been: Queensland 40%, WA 29%, NSW 27%, Tasmania 20%, South Australia 25% and Victoria 18%.

There are many more farmers living on very low incomes. Some are hanging in there, hoping that something will soon change. Others, because of their age and inability to find other work, plan to sell off their land or their water and go on the old age pension when they retire in a few years.

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