Another week has passed but still no Agriculture White Paper.
This week we witnessed a lot of chatter about the long awaited White Paper and weak promises from both Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce during another drought announcement photo opportunity in Longreach that farmers and agriculture sector more broadly can expect to see it “within the next month or so”.
Adding insult to injury Barnaby Joyce has been found out to be using the White Paper as a political document rather than a long term strategic vision for agriculture.
When asked by Leigh Sales on the 7.30 program about why farmers would have to wait till 2017 before being able to claim the new tax deductions announced during Budget night, Barnaby Joyce stated that:
“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”. ABC 7.30, 13 May 2015
Farmers deserved a better explanation from Barnaby Joyce, but knowing this, Barnaby ensured the media were distracted by his opportunistic attack on Johnny Depp’s dogs.
While I agree that Australia’s quarantine requirements should be adhered to, once the breach was detected proper procedural process to deal with the situation at hand would have been undertaken.
Rather than grandstanding and personally attacking Mr Depp, Barnaby Joyce should have assured the Australian public that he would undertake a thorough investigation as to how the breach occurred in the first place.
Then he should have spent the day reassuring drought affected farming families that he is doing his very best to assist them by ensuring the Budget measures announced on Tuesday night will come into effect immediately.
FRIDAY, 15 MAY 2015