Budget fails farmers: Greens

19 May, 2013 03:30 AM
Greens leader Christine Milne says
This budget delivers a weaker, dumber, meaner Australia
Greens leader Christine Milne says "this budget delivers a weaker, dumber, meaner Australia".

THE Australian Greens say this week’s federal budget produced a disappointing result for farming and rural communities.

Greens leader and Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne said the overall budget was “a big disappointment” with Australians anticipating some vision from the government’s financials.

“Far from being a stronger smarter and fairer Australia, what this budget delivers is a weaker, dumber, meaner Australia,” she said.

Senator Milne said the government’s major fail was revenue shortfall from the mining tax with only $200 million delivered, when $3 billion was anticipated in last year’s budget.

That’s resulted in $2.3 billion being slashed from university education funding and the loss of $1 billion from renewable energy and environmental programs.

Senator Milne said there was also minimal reference to the farming community which would be “disappointed” with $2.1 billion Caring for our Country program being “slashed”, with $141.5 million redirected to fund the Farm Household Allowance, Tasmanian Forestry Agreement and EPBC Water Trigger Bill for CSG and coal mining.

However, she praised the government’s moves to introduce $99.4 million Farm Household Allowance to support farmers in hardship under National Drought Program Reform program.

Greens Agriculture spokesperson and WA Senator Rachel Siewert said the drought assistance was “an essential and welcome inclusion in the budget”.

But she said the government should not have made cuts to Caring for our Country to pay for it.

“I am concerned that Caring for our Country is being used as a cash cow for other programs, when this and other programs really need the investment of new money,” she said to Fairfax Agricultural Media.

“Cutting money from Caring for our Country reduces our Natural Resource Management capacity across the board, including in the aspects of natural resource management that are essential to helping farming industries remain sustainable into the future.

“Effective natural resource management and strong drought assistance are complimentary approaches and as a result, both deserve new investments.”

Senator Siewert said the Greens also recognised the fact that the drought assistance package needs to deal with climate variability, in order to better support the sector over the long term.

“We know that farmers are already under pressure and that is why immediate assistance is so critical,” she said.

“It is important that this package also delivers strong mechanisms to support farmers and communities to address challenges such as climate change, which will continue to intensify in coming years.”

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    19/05/2013 8:57:07 AM

    Please stop pretending to care about us.
    Will from Bordertown
    19/05/2013 12:13:20 PM

    since when did the greens ever give a flying duck about farmers?
    E J
    19/05/2013 5:25:41 PM

    We don,t want hand outs Christine. The Government didn't hesitate to bail out the banks by guaranteeing their borrowings, even when they were made for dodgy purposes in the first place, but they won't guarantee farmers funds to plant their crops in W.A. The Greens say they are for farmers but their actions say otherwise.
    Ted O'Brien.
    19/05/2013 9:25:12 PM

    Never smile at a crocodile!
    Pro Freedom
    19/05/2013 10:46:10 PM

    Because the Greens care so much about protecting the most important thing to farmers and rural communities: private property. What a joke.
    20/05/2013 8:16:32 AM

    If Senator Christine Milne is so concerned then she should have RSPCA & Animals Ausutralia WWF get off the back of farmers a cease trying to destroy farming industries - what hyprocrites
    Bushie Bill
    20/05/2013 8:29:46 AM

    Could someone send this clown directions on how to move from the make-believe pixies' tea party at the bottom of the garden to the world of reality?
    Ex Farmer
    20/05/2013 12:32:37 PM

    All talk, no action. If the Greens CARED or were CONCERNED about farmers involved in the live export trade instead of criticising it, that would be a good start
    The Sceptic
    20/05/2013 12:33:15 PM

    How bizarre, the greens out supporting farmers? the world truly has gone mad! Usually you are blaming farmers for almost everything. I had to check whether it was April 1st!
    what is green on the outside and red in the middle
    20/05/2013 1:37:23 PM

    Must be an election looming, as if the greens even give a damn, it is a wonder they are not assisting even more to destroy farmers.
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