Monday, 26 November 2018
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the National Farmers' Federation states that one Australian farmer produces enough food to feed 600 people, including 450 people overseas,
(ii) there are over 300,000 people directly employed in Australian agriculture, and
(iii) the gross value of Australian farm production in 2016-17 was $60 billion;
(b) further notes that:
(i) the Australian Greens endorsed candidate for the Federal seat of Page, Mr Daniel Reid, posted on Facebook "Cattle don't belong on this land and the cost of supporting them through drought is extreme", and
(ii) Mr Reid's Facebook post also included the statement "In Australia there are 26 million cattle that eat as much as 669 million kangaroos"; and
(c) calls on the Australian Greens to clarify whether they support farmers or kangaroos loose in the top paddock.
Labor supports Australia's hardworking farmers and agribusinesses and acknowledges the contribution they make to the Australian economy. However, Labor will not be supporting a motion that is designed to use the Senate process to play politicking between the Nationals and the Greens.
You know that the National Party are in strife when a Facebook post is enough to provoke a motion like this from Senators Williams and O'Sullivan. This motion is actually about a desperate National Party, knowing that it's on the nose in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. It is the National Party who have betrayed the farmers of the Northern Rivers and sold them out to coal seam gas. It's the National Party who are in the business of burying their heads in the sand about climate change while drought is ravaging communities across Australia. The Greens in the Northern Rivers stand with farmers. In fact, the Greens in the Northern Rivers are farmers, including our excellent candidate for the state seat of Lismore, dryland rice grower Sue Higginson. The irony of this absurd motion is that, while Senators Williams and O'Sullivan are making hay about nothing, the Greens candidate for Lismore has been loading a semitrailer with fodder to send to cattle farmers suffering the tragic— (Time expired)