Farmers crisis forum

Farmers Left High and Dry

Thursday 18 April 2013

Greens WA member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and spokesperson on Climate Change, Robin Chapple MLC, today expressed sympathy at the plight of WA farmers and graziers.

“It’s a sad day when our farming communities have to take a day out of their busy lives to travel long distances and meet in a massed group, for the government to sit up and take notice.

“Where have the Barnett/Grylls government been while this crisis has been unfolding?  After nearly 5 years of this National Party influenced regime, the best the Minister for Agriculture can come up with is – ‘Oh well, this sounds serious, but needs a whole-of-government response’!

“Let’s face the underlying cause of most of these problems – and that’s declining rainfall.  It gives me no pleasure to be proven correct, but the Greens have argued long and loud that the effects of climate change would be severe on WA’s wheatbelt, in terms of an inexorable drying trend.

“This state government, and its predecessors, has sat on its hands over the issue, allowing greenhouse gas emissions to balloon out of control, when remedies such as those detailed in the Greens Energy 2029 plan, were available.

“I believe the answer for many marginal farms is adoption of proven techniques for maximizing crop returns under the new reality of less rainfall.  There is expertise available from the Department of Agriculture; where government funding can be best spent is in bringing together the farmers and the experts, and expanding the Department’s research effort.

“There needs to be an assistance package to help people when they make the decision to move off the land, and to provide support for those proven to be viable, to adjust to new systems.

“Unfortunately, no amount of Royalties for Regions money can now compensate for the damage being wrought on our rural economy by the spread of the arid zone into previously well-watered areas – and I have grave concerns that any mooted ‘carry-on’ assistance scheme may only serve to seriously jeapordise the medium to long term financial future of many of our struggling rural families.

Energy 2029 plan:


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