Another week has passed but still no Agriculture White Paper.
Last week Barnaby Joyce provided yet another excuse for the delay in the release of the White Paper:
“We bullocked our way through the Expenditure Review Committee, we have it, it’s there. We will wait for the dust to settle on the budget and then we will announce the White Paper”
Agriculture Industry Budget Breakfast, National Press Club - 13 May 2015
The obvious question is has the dust settled yet Barnaby?
It certainly is not what farmers living in Queensland and suffering the worst drought in living memory need right now. Farmers were promised assistance in last week’s Budget, however some of the measures announced will not come into effect until the 2016-17 Financial Year.
When questioned about this on the 7.30, the Minister again raised false hopes:
SALES: Farmers won't be able to claim the new tax deductions on fencing and water until their 2017 tax returns. A lot of them are hurting right now though. Why couldn't those measures come in immediately like the small business tax concessions?
JOYCE: That's such a brilliant question, I've been following it with the Treasurer today and I hope to do something to truncate that time frame into a more immediate form and do it in the very near future.
SALES: Was he receptive to that?
JOYCE: Oh yes and it's logical if we talk about it during the white paper. The reason this happened is because they were agricultural white paper initiatives. The depreciation for silos, the fencing, and the water reticulation they were announced in the budget and the time frames didn't match up. We will now make them match up and we'll do that when we release the white paper. What it obviously means is that those time frames will come into the more immediate term.
7.30, ABC - 13 May 2015
There has been no announcement on these measures being brought forward.
There has been no White Paper release.
Only dust from all that bullocking – and we all know what we call that sort of dust.