Welcome and Happy National Agriculture & Related Industries Day 2023

National Agriculture & Related Industries Day is a day founded by Patron Mrs. Gina Rinehart AO on November 21st annually to appreciate and celebrate the enormous contribution and vital role important Agriculture and related industries are essential to our lives. They provide not only the food and raw materials we need to enable our lives, but the jobs, wages, export revenue and national wealth that underpins our world-coveted living standards.

Each year, to celebrate this important day, people gather from across Australia, to celebrate the industry which is so vital to Australia – an industry built with many remarkable Australians in rugged and remote and often difficult outback conditions, an industry which contributes to all of us.

For 2023’s celebrations, guests were hosted in the air over West Australia, over its outback, speakers and videos enroute, then for a gala dinner being hosted with wonderful entertainments and views that stretch across the ocean.

This year is again a wonderful celebration to recognise an industry which is so essential to Australia.

Mrs Gina Rinehart’s National Agriculture & Related Industries Day Speech | 2023

Good evening, and warmest welcome to our annual national agriculture and related industries day gala evening. Really great to be with you all. We’re hoping you enjoy tonight even more than last year! And huge thank you to terrific Tony and all our speakers who’ve been speaking from Sydney to Perth, and then all the way up to here!

Before I continue, please join me in an island raising round of applause for my terrific friend, Tony Seabrook, and all of our dazzling speakers, and Talitha and everyone who’s contributed to make our national day possible.

Where is our government taking us?

Sixty years ago, we were at the edge of greatness. Our manufacturing industries were world class and produced almost everything we required – ships, cars, agricultural equipment and an array of household appliances.

Our population was educated, skilled and industrious. Government was far, far less intrusive and the welfare state as we know it today did not exist. The dream of the quarter acre block and house, for everyone whose family wanted to work, a reality.

Government was wary of taking on debt, our nation was developing well, migrants were arriving from Italy and Greece especially, and settling in well, working and contributing, in numbers that worked, bringing with them a desire to succeed in their new country, not wanting Aussie taxpayers’ welfare. The onset of the massive West Australian minerals boom was just beginning. We were on the cusp of greatness.

The first storm cloud lay in the protectionist policies that were in place at this time. Tariffs on windmills for instance, 100 percent. Trade unions impatient to claim an even greater share of what they saw as this prosperous future, helped to elect a socialist government led by Gough.

Policies were put in place that favoured trade union and popular agendas rather than common sense. In three years, this socialist government was bankrupt.

The costs associated with government policy were born by the few industries endeavouring to be cost competitive in the global marketplace. I refer primarily to agriculture and mining.

The impact of government overspending, high interest and massive inflation in the 1980s and the essential winding back of protection foreshadowed the collapse of many manufacturing industries. This may have seen our nation in grave trouble but for our primary production – mining and agriculture, and the many businesses they support.

Firstly, agriculture, innovating and growing, reaching out to new markets, an unprotected industry competing against the best food producers on the globe, feeding 25 million Australians and another 50 million people overseas. Wow, a record to be proud of!

Agriculture is renewable, it provides food security for Australia and quality that is the envy of much of the world, supports many related businesses, and generates export income. And tax revenue, well, too many taxes, including payroll tax, stamp tax and license fees which we were told when Howard brought in GST, would go. But no, many years later, we still pay those too. Adding to our costs, which means the Aussie consumer has to pay more.

In the 1970s we built almost every piece of equipment required for agriculture, we made our own fertiliser and refined our own fuel, we even processed much of our wool – not anymore. Remember those chocolate crackles, that Aussie treat at generations of children’s birthday parties, made with Rice Bubbles, look at the Rice Bubbles packet now, it says, made in the Republic of Korea! Despite us producing much rice in our own north.

Now to mining. Mining’s contribution tops all other industries added together.

Mining provides multi billions in taxes, which provide for our nurses, teachers, police, firefighters and more. So why is it that media and those they influence, and government have such an increasingly antagonist and counterproductive stance towards mining and agriculture?

Government tape drowns us, won’t even let us keep our families, staff, pets, homes and investment safe through adequate fire breaks, my blood boils over on this one. Fines and even gaol if we try. The bureaucracy blocks us or hinders us at every opportunity. Projects succeed not because of government but in spite of it. Some positive and innovative ideas never see daylight.

New projects such as gas, coal, necessary for reliable electricity, thwarted and the cost of a zero-emissions economy continuing to haunt us. With the real expense of net zero policies hidden, yet the expense for those in agriculture of net zero is so huge sadly many in agriculture will not be able to afford. For those of you who weren’t present for my final address in Rockhampton, please refer to the websites on screen for more details.

Don’t blame the farmer for needing to try to pass on to Australian householders the multi millions of costs they’ll each face, for installing solar power, batteries and multi millions for electric vehicles, and fines, as some of these electric vehicles that farmers will need to be able to farm, aren’t even produced yet. And don’t think there aren’t extra costs to meet the noisies’ demands to reduce stock numbers and turn more of our farms over to forests, such extra costs for food and clothing will have to be added for everyday Aussies.

Pandering to minority group activism, the left and the greens abetted by virtue signalling affects political decisions and policy, instead of costs, common sense and economics. Unfortunately, politicians too often forego common sense and real leadership, for noisy public activism. In the words of Thomas Sowell “One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce and canonized those who complain.”

We must be on the front foot, and stand with moral example against animal activists. We’ve brought in animal welfare across our properties, with our improved culture and mantra that “happy healthy cattle are the best cattle”.

For example, each year we add more shade in the paddocks on top of adding natural trees and this year alone we are installing a minimum of 250 more shade shelters across the properties. That doesn’t include the extra shade shelters over troughs. The benefits of cooler water also helps minimise bacteria growth and together with these shades we’re trialling water aeration pumps in our troughs to further reduce algae and bacteria growth. As studies show, cleaner, cooler water means less stomach sickness and faster growing animals.

We’ve had success with pest management, including non-chemicals to attract flies away from our cattle, and insecticidal ear tags that help to manage biting fly populations. We’ve padded our weaner cradles, and added padded head rests. Massage brushes await outside stockyards. We’ve reduced the size of our branding irons. We’re in the process of changing our loading ramps, so that the angle of ascent and descent is reduced. New staff are trained in low-stress stock handling principles and the results can be seen in our Liveringa Station staff winning the Highly Commended award at the recent Kimberley Pilbara Livestock Handling Cup. And results seen not just in awards, the marbling content in our 2GR wagyu has actually increased. Anaelgesics are important to us, we don’t like our animals to suffer. So don’t cut this expense.

In short, our own efforts to provide a healthy and happy lifetime for our stock until their final voyage, are second to none. We don’t just say it, we action it. And do recommend for all in agriculture where animals are concerned.

You may like to know, at our most recent Kidman board meeting we discussed the importance of Sir Sidney Kidman to the foundation of our country, we agreed plans for expansion, plans that would see our herd grow, our cattle quality grow, our meat quality improve and we reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to bring our beef to an expanding restaurant network in Australia and around the world. And that is what we are doing.

We certainly need more workers in the bush, yet government barriers, onerous tax and tape, prevent many Aussies who wish they could work, from working. Instead, even our veterans risk losing the pensions they have earnt and deserve, should they work more than any permitted small minimum, while we bring in increased numbers of immigrants, that our hospitals, police, roads, housing and more, cannot cope with.

There’s plenty of sensible policies our governments can implement to support the bush. We were pleased to support News Corp’s Bush Summit this year, which came to Perth for the first time. Here were some ideas I suggested there:

  1. Commitment to change Section 89 of the W.A. Land Administration Act to remove the ban, so that those in agriculture can pay up to the limit of say $2 million (depending on property value), and opt for freehold.
  2. Commitment to get rid of the discriminatory limit on work hours I’ve just briefly mentioned, to let pensioners, uni students, veterans, disabled and non-violent non dangerous prisoners, help fill labour shortages.
  3. Commitment to see more of the monies earnt in the bush, return to the bush.
  4. Commitment that given agriculture usually doesn’t have the financial resources that the mining industry has, that for the governments net zero policies requiring electric vehicles, be they for lawn mowers, motor bikes, utes, 4 wheel drives, tractors, harvesters, trucks, bulldozers, and more, plus approx $650,000 for solar plants with huge batteries for when the sun doesn’t shine, plus solar panels to replace multiple bore pumps, essential for daily water, that those in agriculture won’t have to spend more than $200,000 on net zero requirements, the rest to be met by the governments, or waived. Otherwise farmers will have to leave agriculture, with the consequence Aussies will see huge food price increases and fresh food shortages.
  5. Their needs to be a way to cut tape, such as immediate termination of duplication, and sunset laws, such that after four years, all government tape automatically goes.
  6. Commitment state and federal to bring in ANDEV policies, initially for the north above the 26th parallel, then spreading to other bush areas. ANDEV, which stands for, Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision, is an organisation of unpaid volunteers I started many years ago, that promotes special economic zones be established like the many thousands that operate successfully around the world, but not in Australia, successful because they cut both government tape and tax. There are now more than 8,000 of these zones operating successfully around the world. Together let’s lead the way, to drive such very beneficial economic zones, indeed I don’t know of a better way to secure the very worthwhile theme of the Bush Summit held earlier this year, “improving the lives of regional Australians to create a better Australia.”

We have never needed ANDEV policies, cutting tape and tax, more than we do today.

Whenever I am visiting our farms and stations, spending time with our fantastic managers, and at times their families too, I feel refreshed, surrounded by common sense. Isn’t common sense refreshing! But that important ingredient, common sense, is missing in governments and most left media.

We can’t remain silent as part of what’s called the silent majority. Find out what your children and grandchildren are learning at school, act to infuse common sense, and please don’t stop there, media, governments, write in daily. And support the too few good ones there. I know I’ve said all this before, but now I add, we need to do more. We need to bring more good people, experienced in primary industries, loaded with patriotism and common sense, into our political parties and parliaments.

Please stand up now for our essential industry.

Some of you may be wondering, where is the beef on tonight’s menu, don’t worry, tomorrow night at the Mining Day gala dinner, its delicious Kidman pies, and Chef Raf’s 2GR wagyu brisket and ribs, second place in the world for his scrumptious 2GR brisket, and third place for his 2GR ribs. So tomorrow night will be beef, beef and more beef. Plus, hearing from the Hon Peter Dutton as we beef dine.

Please enjoy your night. Thank you

| Clip from speech given by Mrs Gina Rinehart AO on National Agriculture day, 21 November 2023 |

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| Photos from the 2023 event |

Things We Love

Things We Love features the charming stories and authentic recipes from outback Australians and those working in the agricultural industry. It speaks to a culture of cattlemen and women who take pride in working as a team, sharing food and celebrating the wealth and history of knowledge enmeshed in their own unique regions of Australia.

This book richly captures the spirit of these pioneering men and women’s lives and those who work on the land today.

The Farmer - The Pearl of Them All

Poem by Murray Hartin.

No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest

Verse of patriotic poem by Dame Mary Gilmore.

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