April 8th 2000


  Buy Issue 2580
Qty:

Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Mr HowardÂ’s circuit-breaker

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Fishy business: WTOÂ’s salmon ruling NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Fishy business: WTOÂ’s salmon ruling

AS THE WORLD TURNS

DRUGS: Random drug tests for politicians?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: UNÂ’s unwelcome interest in local affairs

RURAL: Anger at NP inaction over low farm prices

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Behind the new Telstra inquiry

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Divisions exposed in ranks of Victorian, NSW Liberals

WORK: Longer working hours: unions ignore developing social crisis

LETTERS: Rural debt a legacy of “get big or get out” mentality

ENVIRONMENT: How KyotoÂ’s greenhouse gas cuts will hit the hip-pocket

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Japan faces up to defence, immigration and overwork

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: ChinaÂ’s spiritual vacuum

UNITED STATES: Foetal tissue sales: “dirty secret” of US abortion industry

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Democracy for all?

ECONOMICS: How globalisation puts profits before people

POPULATION: Why wonÂ’t Australian women have children?

BOOKS: 'GIVING SORROW WORDS: Women's stories of Post-Abortion Grief', by Melinda Tankard-Reist

BOOKS: 'Karl Marx', by Francis Wheen

Books promotion page

survey link

FONT SIZE:

LETTERS:
Rural debt a legacy of “get big or get out” mentality


by News Weekly

News Weekly, April 8, 2000
Rural debt a legacy of "get big or get out" mentality

Sir,

I read with interest "Major debt crisis in rural Queensland" (News Weekly, February 26, 2000). Unfortunately, the problem is not restricted to Queensland - the debt level in rural Australia is constant in all states and has been for two decades.

Australian rural debt first became a major problem in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and in most cases was compounded greatly by drought, flood, etc. During the first years of the "Get Big or Get Out" program, farmers were told that to compete in the new new global economy, they would have to cut costs, become more efficient, produce more, get bigger and diversify.

"Get bigger" simply meant buy out your next door neighbour, and this is what happened. Because of this policy, in some areas the cost of rural property rose dramatically. To remain on the land and in the preferred district, it meant in many cases that producers paid many times over production recovery costs for land. The policy also meant a large scale relocation of producers from their own districts and states.

Despite the removal of some 168,000 family farmers in this way, the profit levels of those who went into debt because of government policy, have continued to deteriorate. Money was made readily available from a variety of sources, but it was primarily backed by the Commonwealth Rural and Development Bank, plus the Primary Industries Bank of Australia.

As the debt level expanded and government support for the rural economy deteriorated, banks revalued large areas placing many into a higher risk category.

This policy placed many previously sound properties with heavy borrowings beyond the capacity to cover the debt created.

In Australia, drought or other environmental extremes are a certainty. The "Get Big or Get Out" program never catered for the possibility that the debt may continue to expand because of environmental extremes or other factors, such as low commodity prices.

As a result we now have the debt situation highlighted in News Weekly and a Government intent on ignoring the problem, pretending instead that it will go away.

It has been proven that despite all attempts to produce more from the hardest environment on the planet, there is a limit. Further attempts to cut costs and economise are constantly hampered by rising fixed government costs.

Diversification has expanded the debt level greatly. Producers borrow money to invest in a range of get-rich-quick schemes promoted by government. In some cases producers have borrowed heavily only to see many of these pretend industries collapse.

The environmental legacy of two decades of failed policy will be felt for generations. The fact that the rural debt level cannot be covered is yet to be realised. As more and more go by the wayside, the scale of the debt continues to rise.

Instead of representing producers on an individual industry basis at a national level, our rural representatives have been touring the world looking for scapegoats - usually the Americans and the European Community - at the same time pretending that they can influence world politics.

Even if they did admit to the problem, our current crop of career power brokers do not have the courage to provide restructuring finance and low interest rates.

Ross Provis,
Inverell, NSW




























Join email list

Join e-newsletter list


Your cart has 0 items



Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers



Trending articles

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

COVER STORY QUT discrimination case exposes Human Rights Commission failings

FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse



News and views from around the world

19-year-old homeschooled pro-lifer wins Ontario election by landslide (Lianne Laurence)

Trump makes right choice for education secretary (National Review)

Transgender conformity (Katherine Kersten)

Sex education programs do not reduce teen pregnancy or STI rates (Philippa Taylor)

Photographer who captured Safe Schools founder harassing bystander shuts down business (Frank Chung)

Is the global middle class here to stay? (Samuel Rines)

Donald Trump could end America's new feudalism (Joel Kotkin)

It just got easier to find the perpetrators of Stalin's purges (David Filipov)

Castro's death eradicate bacillus of old-style Marxism (Gerald Warner)

Labor MP Terri Butler in QUT race case apology (Geoff Chambers)



























© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
December 2, 2016, 2:36 pm