Getting loaded


p2254-Joyce-Giles-1 By ERWIN CHLANDA
The official opening of the cattle loading ramp at the Bohning stock yards yesterday brought Canberra heavyweights to town.
But there was more to it: It was also the NT launch of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, setting out a $4b Federal initiative for people on the land (the one that Cabinet member Barnaby Joyce didn’t get to talk about on Q&A).
Under the brilliant winter sky was a small crowd attired from station owners’ finest (tweed jacket and moleskin trousers), to standard issue Canberra office garb to hi-vis vests.
The locals noted with satisfaction that the Territory launch was being held here, and not in Darwin.
p2254-cattle-ramp-BohningChris Nott, from Alcoota station, the Alice Springs branch president of the Cattlemen’s Association, welcomed the move allowing farmers to opt back into income tax averaging after 10 years, to double their Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) to $800,000, and permitting banks to allow farmers to use FMDs as a loan offset.
Mr Nott said this is something “which we’ve been pushing for in this country for a fair while [as well as] the accelerated depreciation and the $200m for bio security”.
He said the measure will mesh “with the NT Government’s new policies for leasehold country and their efforts of shoring up trade in South East Asia”.
Mr Joyce, Federal Minister for Agriculture, told the gathering that given the high cattle prices, cattlemen are “going to have a tax problem and what we have done … is to make sure that can be offset against the debt on your place. So you basically get a tax deduction for paying off your place”.
Mr Joyce said it was the kind of initiative pushed for in the Abbott Government by NT Senator Nigel Scullion, who was also at the stockyard function.
p2254-Chris-Nott-2Mr Nott (pictured) said the NBN “is not a luxury any more, it’s a necessity for our business and our operation”.
He called for making cattle transport facilities more efficient, for trans-loading facilities at Port Augusta and mining access agreements.
In a nutshell, the White Paper initiatives include:-
• Expanding live export markets: “I’ve got a further big one coming,” said Mr Joyce. It will add another country to the six already in place.
• Helping farmers “achieve a better return at the farm gate” with an $11.4 million boost for the ACCC to encourage fair-trading and strengthen competition in agricultural supply chains.
• Reducing red tape from the economy by $1b a year.
• Streamlining agricultural and veterinary chemicals approvals.
• Reducing regulation.
• Improving country of origin labeling.
• Accelerated depreciation for fencing and “taxes that are lower, simpler and fairer”.
• A $500 million National Water Infrastructure Fund for farmers’ future water security.
• The $29.5 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout.
• Strengthening drought and risk management.
• Focus on better training through the $664 million Industry Skills Fund.
• Making visa programs more flexible by expanding the Seasonal Worker Program Australia-wide, and the Working Holiday Maker (417 and 462) visas in northern Australia.
• $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally, including in northern Australia.
PHOTOS: As his government had paid for it, Mr Joyce deserved to cut the ribbon at cattle loading ramp. He is pictured with NT Chief Minister Adam Giles. In the Akubra stakes the Minister was runner-up to Mr Nott.


  1. Hey Erwin, you got a caption contest going with the top pic?
    Giles: “Just cut the ribbon, Barnaby, I’ve got a charter plane waiting to take me home.”
    Joyce: “Why is my wallet sliding out of my hip pocket?”

  2. You can do better than reprint the Press Release Erwin.
    Where are your questions about climate change or lack of an adequate response?
    Other people have asked the questions and Barnaby has responded by listing the items that might enable us to live with climate change. However nothing in the paper as I understand it actually tries to prevent climate change.

  3. @ Richard Bentley: If you had read the story with any degree of attention, which you obviously have not, you would have learned that I quoted both from Mr Nott and from Mr Joyce on the seminal parts of the initiative.
    I reported details pointing to the significance of the event being held in Alice Springs, and described the function from first-hand information – meaning I was there for its entire duration.
    Naturally, a summery of the initiative’s major points needed to come from the White Paper outline, distilled carefully by me to keep it to a reasonable length. Obtaining information by telepathy isn’t my strong point.
    If you want to make a point, try basing it on facts.
    If you disagree with Mr Joyce (or whomever), you’re welcome to express your views here.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor.

  4. Richard, you may believe in climate change but there is a lot of us who don’t. There are many smart men out there who say its not so. Once it was global warming and now it’s climate change. What will be the next heading to give Greens and Labor supporters something to hang there hats on?
    As for the others running Adam Giles down, God help Alice when the CLP gets voted out.
    All you whingers on this site with highly paid government jobs will be happy. What a victory.
    Let’s head further into debt and put this town back 10 years.

  5. @ Erwin Chlanda: My comment was designed to both point out the failure of the White Paper to address climate change and your failure to question this shortcoming. That you were there and did not ask those questions.
    There has been much talk about building carbon in the soil. If this was covered in the report I have not heard it mentioned.
    I think it was Liberal Party policy once but seems to have been forgotten as they increasingly launch an assault on Renewable Energy.
    While @ Jim points out that belief in climate change / global warming is not universal it is wide spread and clearly accepted by the great majority in the scientific world.
    Human beings are set to occupy this planet for many thousand more years, unless we make it uninhabitable this century.

  6. @ Richard Bentley: Sorry, Richard, this wasn’t a report on your views about climate change, but about what the White Paper contains, the cattle industry’s reaction to it and the Minister’s remarks at the launch.
    I corrected your suggestion that we merely reprinted the press release.
    Our comment boxes – 9008 items to date in our seven million word archive – are available for you to express your views, you have done so many times and you are most welcome to do so.
    Feel welcome also to google our site for the hundreds of reports and comments contributing to the debate about the environment.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

  7. Such a pity so much money was spent on such a poor design that excludes half the cattle trucks potentially wanting / needing to use the facility from unloading and / or loading there. “All that glitters …”


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