Article by Jenne Brammer courtesy of The Countryman
WA’s most influential farmers — including cattle magnate Gina Rinehart — have vented their frustration at reams of red tape, high taxes and other obstacles, and have called for Government policy to become more accommodating to allow Australian agriculture to prosper.
Mrs Rinehart and Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook used National Agriculture Day speeches last Thursday to call for governments to ease these burdens, saying the industry needed help to bounce back after four years of major drought.
“Licence fees, payroll tax and stamp duties simply don’t help one of WA’s most important industries, or those who work in it — or the many related industries who rely on our agricultural industry,” Mrs Rinehart said.
“We don’t want more loans which we have to pay back.
“We want less tax, less licence fees, less red tape, so we don’t need to go further into debt, and add more interest to our costs, even if delayed interest.”
Mrs Rinehart said government representatives — who were usually not from a business background — needed the industry’s help to understand Australia could not tax its way to prosperity, and hence must be more financially responsible.
“Our Government needs to spend less. It is being induced to spend more, often by those who don’t want to contribute themselves economically,” she said.
“Sitting around in the goat cheese, soy milk latte cafes and bars, are those in the cities, increasingly distancing themselves from those working hard in country areas and increasingly raising their voices against dams and the very industry that enables them to have fresh produce from a clean-air country.”
Mr Seabrook said serious changes to government policy were needed.