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Australian Agenda -

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(generated from captions) Good afternoon and welcome to the

program, I am David Speers. It has

been a long day debate over tax on

day one of the two-day tax forum in

Canberra. As expected, it has been a dry discussion. Ultimately, it

has been a worthwhile process so

far as various interest groups,

more than 200, have thrashed out

what our good taxes and bad taxes.

What we need to do to cover the

looming pressures of the budget in

the light -- coming decade. This

between the state treasurers and afternoon, there was a

the Commonwealth Chandra, Wayne

Swan. --, Moth treasurer.

We'll be talking to have regard of

the Australian industry group. She was a key member of the Henry

Review a couple of months ago and

it will be interesting to talk to

her over what is going to be worth

pushing ahead with. We'll also talk

to New South Wales Treasurer, Mike

Baird. What can the states do about

the inefficient taxes? Will also

Smith, the defence minister has talk about Afghanistan, Stephen

paid a visit and is joined by David

Lipson. David Lipson sat down with

Stephen Smith in Afghanistan and

looked at what is going on. We will

also look at the future of

agriculture in Australia. Jock

Laurie, he will be joining us today

and is outlining the concerns of

pressures of farmers in Australia.

First we will check in with what

has been happening in the news

today apart from the tax forum. We'll cover that comparatively in

15 minutes. Here is the rest of the

day's news. Defence Minister,

Stephen Smith, has made a surprise

visit to Australian troops in

Afghanistan. He has said that the

mission remains on track. Recently feared,

His power has now become legitimate,

as made clear by this meeting with Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

Also present, General David Hurley

in his first visit to Afghanistan

as Chief of Defence. And the

Governor of Oruzgan, Omar Shahzad,

the man Khan answers to for now. the man Khan answers to for now. He Governor of Oruzgan, Omar Shahzad,

has a reputation which we are well

aware of, but I think it's

important to understand that in

Oruzgan, in Afghanistan, there are

lots of tribal complexities, lots

of tribal loyalties and also lots

of tribal competition. And he is a

person who in the past has been

subject to a range of allegations -

many of which have come from tribal

rivals. We ask two things of him.

Firstly that he does his job as Firstly that he does his job as rivals. We ask two things of him.

police chief and secondly that he

co-operates fully with the governor.

We weren't allowed to broadcast

these pictures until the minister

was out of the country. Such was

the secrecy of the visit. Even the

local Afghan army were kept in the

dark. We flew out to Wali, a

forward base in the Mirabad Valley.

One of the places where Australian

troops on patrol are in most danger.

But spirits remain high. The

made. minister insists progress is being

minister insists progress is being

made. We have made up over the last

12-18 months, made up considerable

ground. But also consolidated that,

fighting season. including over the current summer

including over the current summer

fighting season. From here the

minister heads to NATO in Brussels

for more top-level defence talks

with his coalition partners. On the

agenda, a frank assessment of the

progress so far and whether the

target for withdrawal from combat

in 2014 is achievable.

The Australian dollar has fallen

further in the wake of the Reserve

Bank decision to leave interest

rates on hold at 4.75%, ahead of

the decision, the governor has said

that the bank's board was concerned

about the medium term outlook of

inflation. It was unpredictable in

the world financial markets. I

think that is what we are seeing

from the reserve bank, it doesn't

want to shoot bullets bullets too

early. It wants to hold those in

played in case there is a

significant downturn in the Europe

and United States markets. They are

holding their fire for now but will

need to look closely and see

whether the rhetoric or language

changes. The last move on the rates

was after, 11 months ago. A three

month your old boy was hit by a train this afternoon and is

fighting for his life. The three-

year-old boy is in an induced coma

in the Royal Children's Hospital

with his family by his side. The

tragedy unfolded when the boy was

playing with a fully rolled girl in

his backyard in Wallace, near

Ballarat. The pair wandered onto a

train track and were hit by the

train, travelling at 110, as per

hour. The girl was injured but she

is in a stable condition. The boy

was thrown 15 m and has suffered

head, stomach and chest injuries. Police said it happened very

quickly. The mother was in the

backyard and took her eyes for this

for a second and they ran out of

her sight. The property was not

fully fenced despite it being next

to a train line. There are

currently no regulations regarding

a fence. The train driver is

shattered and can barely speak.

Loretta Johns, Sky News, Melbourne.

The US student, Amanda Knox has

been acquitted of murder and sexual

assault by an Italian court. It

overturns her conviction of the

murder of her roommate in 2007. The

defendant of the charges, ABC and D,

the evidence is not reliable. It

cannot sustain the crime. Bus... --

The court has ordered the immediate

please. release of Amanda Knox, silence

Time for a quick check of the

weather. The forecast tomorrow is

stormy. It is now back to David

Speers in Canberra. PM Agenda

continues. Thank you. We are

focusing on the tax forum this

afternoon. More than 200 delegates

filed into the great Hall of

Parliament to take part in two the

two-day forum. It was interesting

seeing. There were heavy players

sitting in a theatre style around

the prime minister. There were key

players such as Ken Henry, the

author of the Henry tax review,

handed down 18 months ago, he was listening and giving comments when

asked for clarification on certain

points. He made a one point that he

heard a lot of the arguments before.

That was certainly true, in the

first part of the day when the

arrangements were discussed. We company and business tax

heard some old arguments, business

groups were saying company taxes

need to be cut and others were

saying they shouldn't be. A

fundamental consideration of the

Henry panel was the multispeed a

commie. The main proposal was a

reduction in the company tax rate

of 25%. For me, it was a

cornerstone proposal of the panel

and it continues to be a major

disappointment that we have been

frustrated in moving forward. We

can assist every business in

Australia by pulling out all stops

to make the economy as competitive

as possible. This means lowering

the burden on business to reduce

their cost. If we tax revenue from

somewhere, someone else is to pay

this country, in terms of the for it. Do we have a problem in

overall share of pi, in the amount the corporations are paying?

Proposal I am seeing is a cut to

the company tax rate. We do not see

the justification for this. Much of

what has been said has been

predictable. I could have written a

script for this. A rather blunt

call by Ken Henry. He has heard it

all before. That wasn't the only

argument this morning, whether or

not to cut the tax rate, but it

dominated proceedings. A guest was

a member of the Henry tax panel and

she was giving an address today. I

spoke with her today about how she

thought it went. Heather, they give

real-time. Can I begin by asking,

you are a part of the Henry tax

review, the report was only 18

months ago, what is the point of

this tax forum when you have or be

done all the work? We visited like

this. When we put out 138 ideas,

they were mainly conceptual. They

needed to be roadtested before they

could be in permitted. -- Implement

it. We need a forum where talking

about all these ideas. Multiple tax

packages can be built on the back

of the Henry Review. We don't need

to repeat the Henry Review. That

has been done and exhaustively done.

This is an important next step in

having a look at those things and

we should be able to also introduce

new ideas. This is about finding

consensus around the ideas that

came from the Henry Review? Yes and

seeing if we can find consensus.

All reforms have winners and losers.

Some of the issues, the argument

back and forth, the company tax. We

heard business leaders such as

yourself arguing for a cut to the

tax rate. Unions were saying it

wasn't a good thing for the economy.

Why do you think, having a tax rate

lower than 25% would be a good

thing? I think the tax rate is too

high. It is changing the

competitive goalposts for huge

employing parts of the Australian

economy. Tourism, manufacturing,

education, retail, there is a lot

of technological driven issues. It

is also the mining companies. That

is one of the reasons that you

question how to address that. Part

of the today's discussions was

working out how to address it, tax

reductions, rebates, corporate

equity, there are a number of ways.

We are saying that the company tax

rate doesn't work. Also on losses,

you can carry forward losses but

you have not always been able to

carry them back. That hasn't added

so much will we had the economy

where there was profits from last

year but big losses this year. What

are we going to do about it? That

is what the Government is hinting

at. The tax system isn't working as

well is what it should. The economy

needs to be adjusted and the point

I made was that we are not talking

about a tax cut, we are talking

about tax reform. It is necessary

to support the a commie. The

carrying back of losses, the

Government has been hinting at it to help struggling manufacturers.

We make a difference? It is a grand

title, the asymmetrical carrying of

losses. It would make a difference because it would give companies

cash in hand. That is what you need

if you are going to turn a profit.

You never know how the negotiation

might rise. It would help companies

that had been in a profit position

but are no longer in a position.

The concern from the Yunis, -- the

unions, it will only lead to the companies pocketing more profit.

How will it lead to more jobs? Cos

tax is very closely aligned to

investment. -- Cos tax. If you

don't have investment, you don't

have jobs. You're finding in

manufacturing, investments are

drying up and so is employment. In

the end, people need to eat a

little at the glass around these

issues. They also need to swallow

some of it. He tax system is

punishing industry and it will not

attract investment so we can

upscale technology and have a

chance at competing in the

Newmarket, any more than it will

hope that help tourism. We need to

get our head around it. This

afternoon, there was a afternoon, there was a general

consensus on the need to get rid of

inefficient state taxes like stamp

duty. There was not much agreement

on how to pay for it. The states of

the Commonwealth to pay for it and

the Commonwealth wants states to

pay for it. How important is this

to address? Who should pay? I

thought it was good that business and community organisations sat

down and watched the discussion

between the state treasurers. You

don't often get the opportunity and

it was interesting. For me, it is a

burning platform. You have the

states relying on port tax -- port

tax. Their costs are rising and it

is very bad. They need to bite it.

It is a burning platform. In the

end, there is a lot of shadowboxing

but at some point, it will come to

comes time and we need to look at

it. Who should pay? They need to

have ...they have access to the

efficient tax bases, if they are

prepared to use them. The

Commonwealth needs to support them.

Stamp duty impedes old people

selling their houses. They need to

change that. It could be phased in,

the land tax, if it was done well

over a period of time. You have

three big options for the rest of

it, they go to the GST -- what are

we going to do that? Personal

income tax structure, we are

already overdone in terms of

personal income tax. There is also

business cash flow tax. That was an

idea from the Henry Review and it

is basically cashed in,

deductibility upfront for

everything you pay and there is a

tax on it. If there is a 3% tax at

cost or business, you get rid of

payroll tax and insurance tax.

There is not a lot about at the moment.

You said that the GST increase

would be one way to increase

revenue. Womack the OECD taxes are

the most efficient. We have one

with a too narrow base.

Finally, the other areas you

mentioned that could generate a lot

of discussion was the start-ups,

how to make them viable, how to commercialise start-ups, the

entrepreneurial spirit in Australia

seems stifled. I was disappointed

we didn't get more into that. We

have to look to new opportunities

and be more risk-taking. At the

moment the tax system doesn't

really encourage you to do that. We

argue that you should be able to

expense all of your costs and

changes in business. We would like

to see the establishment of early

age capitalisation. Those issues

should be on the table. I'm very

excited about that. I think

Australia could get more into this

space and it could be a cultural

thing that we really lack at the

moment, we are very risk-averse. We

are kind of negative about

something we should be much more

engaged in. If you look at Israel,

7 million people, all the patents

equivalent to the whole of Europe

in terms of the patents in the

courts every year. It is extraordinary. They create their

future. We dig up hours, but we

could do the creative stuff as well. Thank you very much.

After the break, we will be talking

to the NSW Treasurer, Mike Baird,

about some of the inefficient State

taxes and whether he supports

increasing the GST.

Welcome back. As we were discussing

before the break, this afternoon's

focus at the tax forum in Canberra

has been how and whether states

should cut their inefficient taxes

like stamp duty. The States agree

it would be good to get rid of

these things, it is seen as a curb

on moving to where the jobs are and

also for the elderly, moving out of

their homes and into more

appropriate aged care. But the

States say, if we are to get rid of

these things, who will foot the

bill? We don't have growth taxes of

our own, the Commonwealth should

compensate us with a greater slice

of the income taxed high. He was a

bit of the argument this afternoon. of the income taxed high. He was a bit of the argument this afternoon.

The big issue is the income tax

issue, whether or not they would be

the retirement of a whole range of

taxes which we all know are less

efficient than other, comparative

taxes, but that would require

replacement revenue. It appears

unlikely the GST broadening or

deepening is going to be the source of that initial revenue, which

could -- which leaves income tax. Womack no, could -- which leaves income tax.

Womack no, no time for that at all.

What seems to be a pro -- proposed

is that we could somehow give the

states a lot more money for the

taxes they abolish but not end up

increasing our own tax take, that

is, we would have to slash services

and health and education. The tax -

- the states have tax bases and

they have to use them more fully.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and West

Australian Treasurer Chris Porter.

I spoke with Mike Baird, NSW

Treasurer, about what he was hoping to achieve.

Thanks for your time. What are your

priorities for this two-day forum?

Deep rarities are to say to the

Federal Government that we are up

to the challenge. -- the priorities

are. But the only way to do that,

realistically, is to talk about

what taxes the Commonwealth can

share with us. You are saying flat-

out that there is no break you can

get rid of inefficient taxes like

the stamp duty without help from

the Commonwealth. It's the only way.

You have to look at the fiscal

imbalance. The states have about

16% of the total tax take and is

pinning responsibility is about 40%,

that's a huge gap. Some taxes are

efficient -- inefficient, such as

stamp duty. We did a lot to start

weaning off those taxes, but we

must share in income taxes. There

is no weight you can increase any

other taxes of your own or find a

spending cut. We are looking at

those measures in our current

Budget. The first home buyers grant

was something we looked at as part

of that process. We did and are in the process of bringing in expenditure, but this is about

setting up a long-term tax system

for the nation, and the only way to

do it properly to get to a more

efficient tax... Is for the

Commonwealth to play a part. Income

tax, federally collected, used to

be a state collected tax many years

ago - each state would have a share

of that revenue? We have argued

that they should quarantining some

of the income tax, and that money

would come direct to states, no

questions asked, and it is part of

the problem of the current taxes.

There are so many hoops to go

through to obtain money. The states,

the onus would be on them, not only

to take that and put it into the

needs of the state, but to wean off

other taxes such as stamp duty and

insurance tax. Payroll tax is

another one that some unions are

saying should be exempt for the

industries that are battling at the

moment because of the high dollar,

the mining boom, various issues.

Manufacturing is hurting. Are you

sympathetic to this? Well, I'm

sympathetic to looking at ways to

make businesses more competitive.

There may be times when there are

prices in individual sectors or

across the broad economy... But

overall, protectionism is something

I wouldn't support. We will wait

and see what proposals are put

forward at this forum, but

ultimately I think the more

efficient the tax system is and

more efficient the businesses are,

the better the economy is long-term.

One of the Henry review

recommendations 18 months ago was

the congestion tax idea. NSW - you

could clearly use more funding for

growth to deal with the various

problems, particularly around

Sydney. Is that something you like

the idea of? I like the idea of

sharing in the Commonwealth's tax.

They have the fuel tax that they

put in and that comes in at about

$13 billion. NSW is one of those

state participants that gets back

just $1 billion in road funding.

Our aim would be that rather the

Commonwealth -- rather than the

Commonwealth using it for general

purposes, it should be put back

into roads. We would be starting to

tackle some of the projects across

the state. You think the existing

fuel tax is a more efficient way of

making users pay for growth rather

than a congestion tax? We already

have this user-pays tax that is not

being put in to the benefit of

those users. About $9 billion is

being taken back to Canberra for discretionary purposes. Our

argument would be, why don't you

focus that in on the user pay back

onto roads. Across NSW and other

states. I'm sure all state

treasurers would put into a raft of

road projects that are desperately

needed. If we got our fair share,

we could get on with the job. The

GST isn't up for consideration by

the Government at this forum, it

has ruled out any change that, but

what is your view on this? Would

you like to see the GST rate

increased, or the base broadened of

the products it applies to? I would

be very happy to participate in a

tax forum where there are no

caveats and every single tax was on

the table. At the moment we have a

tax forum that is underway with

some of those key taxes, the mining

tax, carbon tax, the GST are off

the table. What is your position on

the GST? I would be saying that we

are open to discussing the GST in

relation to a broad approach to tax

reform. Does that mean you are open

to an increase in the fate of the

GST? To cover some of the pressures

we have been discussing? I won't

commit one way or another today...

But do you have your own view on

this? I think it should be

discussed, and that is something we

are not having the opportunity to

do today. That is essentially code

for, increasing the GST. It is not

about increasing what is it -- decreasing the GST, it is

essentially saying... Unless the

Government comes to the party - it

is their tax, they are the ones

administering it. You are the ones

collecting the revenue, though. A

portion of it. If they come to the

table, we will discuss it, and

consider that as part of the

overall approach to addressing the

fiscal imbalance across the country.

We need to a line revenue with rat

-- expenditure responsibilities.

That gap is hurting us. Every

single tax we have - it should be

done. When you look at the

pressures building in the next 20-

40 years, it is quite clear that we

don't have tax revenue at a state

or federal level to keep up with

the building pressures in health

and aged care, so what can be done

about this in the long term? Is the

GST the answer?

It may be the states sharing the

overall tax base, but remains my

preference. We do have these incredible preference -- pressures,

every state knows it. Whether it is

infrastructure all the hospitals, there is a requirement for

additional funds. It may mean

raising income tax or the GST, they

are the only two big collecting

taxes. Yes, they are the main taxes.

At the same time, the Federal

Government is the one that needs to

pay -- played a leadership role.

Unless they do, we are not in a

position to move forward. 80, Mike

Baird, the News' Rochefort -- the

News'. After the break, we will

move on from the tax forum. We will

shift focus to Afghanistan, Stephen

Smith has paid a surprise visit and

our reporter went with him. We will

focus on what progress is being made.

Welcome back, in a moment will be

taking you to Afghanistan and an

interview with the Defence Minister,

Stephen Smith. Here are the news

headlines. The Australian dollar

has fallen to below 95 US cents on

a volatile day of trade. It came on

the back of the reserve bank's

decision to keep the interest rates

on hold at 4.75%. The governor said

that the banks decision was based

on concern for the medium term

inflation. They held off due to the

predictive ability of the world

financial markets. Rob Oakeshott

has criticised the opposition for

not attending the tax forum today

in Canberra. Tony Abbott has argued

that it would be a talkfest without

substance. The prime minister has

warned those attending the tax

forum that the Government would

only consider changes that wouldn't

affect the governments -- the

budget bottom line. Stephen Smith

has had a surprise trip to

Afghanistan, declaring that the

mission remains on track after a

successful fighting season. Stephen

Smith also met with provincial

bosses, including Bulacan. The

visit coincides with the ten-year

anniversary of the Afghanistan war.

There have been dramatic scenes in

Italy after Amanda Knox and her

former boyfriend were cleared of

murdering their roommate in 2007.

Amanda Knox spent four years in

prison but will now return to the

United States and will bury reunited with family and friends. Her boyfriend has also been acquitted. In sport, winnable

Blighty has left Manly Sea Eagles

and reportedly signed a deal with

the Parramatta eels. Many fans have

hit out after the moves saying that

he has been disloyal. The forecast

is stormy for the weather. Thank you, Chris. Defence Minister,

Stephen Smith, has paid a surprise

visit to Australian troops in

Afghanistan. He has visited them in

the main Australian base. He was

also flying out to the forward

bases where soldiers are based at

months at a time. They are based at

local villagers hunting out Taleban

members and mentoring the Afghan

forces. Stephen Smith has also met

Afghan local authorities during his

meat -- brief visit. The warlord

turned police chief, the tool I

can't, as been accused of

corruption in the past but has been

cooperative with this rally is. The

fact that Stephen Smith has met

with him shows that there is a

layer of legitimacy as he takes on

this role of the police chief.

David Gibson went along with

Stephen Smith for the visit and sat

down with the minister. Stephen

Smith, think it will time. Firstly,

you had some important meetings

this afternoon. Can you take us

through the meetings with some of

the local enforcement cheese? I had

a very important meeting with

Governor Sherzad. It is the third

time I have met him. He came to

Australia as a senator on a

Parliamentary delegation. When he

was appointed as governor, I met

him in trouble. -- Trouble.

I met him with several cheats and

we had a good meeting. We went

through the improvements that have

occurred to the security

arrangements and also the need to

do more with development assistance

and the capacity building. He has

concerned for the delivery of

services to the local people.

Martiullah Khan was a former

warlord but is now a police chief.

What other indications of this

elevation of power? A number of

things. He has a reputation which

we are aware of. I think it is

important to understand that in

Afghanistan, there are lots of

tribal complexities, lots of tribal

loyalties and also lots of trouble

competition. He is a person who has

been subject to a range of

allegations, very many which have

come from trouble rivals. Australia

has said over a period of time that

if anyone has any substantive

allegations against anyone, they

should take them forward to the

Afghan authorities. That is a

general point. He has been

appointed by the Afghan authorities,

he has been appointed by the

president to be the local police

chief. We asked two things of him.

Firstly, he does his job as police

chief. Secondly, he cooperates

fully with the governor. I was very

pleased that today the governor had

three security chiefs there. The

local chief of army, the chief of

the fourth Brigade, the Brigadier,

he is a local security director and

also the security chief. -- Police

chief. All of us agree that this

security arrangements had improved

and that the Taleban were on the

back foot. You're not concerned

that he has become too powerful?

Particularly after the transition

of Australians withdrawal from

Afghanistan. In terms of authority,

he is responsible and reports to

Governor Sherzad. The president has

made that point clear. He is the local police chief and is

responsible to the governor of the

province. We have complete

confidence in Governor Sherzad. He

has got off to a very good start and we are working well with him.

It is also the case that a

combination of army, police and

national security director at

working closely with Australia and

International Security assistance -

- assistance Force, there is a

substantially approved -- improved

security with the top one on the

back foot. Regular it also met with

the US counterparts, what came out

of that meeting? I met with the

United States partnership with

Australia here and we have an on

the ground shared assessment that

we have made up, over the last 12

to 18 months, we have made a

considerable ground. We

consolidated that, including over

the summer fighting season. When

you look at the statistics, it is

the case that in the last 12 months,

the number of violent incidents

started by the Taleban has reduced

considerably. In some respects, the

best evidence for the fact that

they are now faltering on the

ground has been that they are

engaged in a number of high profile

assassination attempts, high-

profile suicide bombings and the

like. In couple and elsewhere. Some

of those have been successful,

including the assassination of the

former president, in many respects,

it is the best evidence that the

televised is in difficulty on the

ground. We have neutered their

capacity considerably. How would

you rate morale? Amongst the

Australians, it is very good. I

went and visited one of our forward operating bases, a patrol base,

they are doing a very good job in

terms of training and they are throwing themselves into their work.

We know that it continues to be

difficult and dangerous work. The

threat of IED's and roadside booby-

traps is ever present. It is

difficult and dangerous. They are

doing a very good job and Governor

Sherzad and his colleagues made the

point to me, as my Afghan interlock

is always do, the respect they hold

with the Australian soldiers. Not

just their combat prowess but also

the way Australians deal with and

treat the local people. They are

held in high regard and are doing a

very good job. Are we winning and I

were on target for the 2014 ...? We

are on track to transition. We are

pleased with the way that the

Afghan soldiers are coming along.

We're on track to transition this

security led response ability to

the Afghan National Security forces

by 2014. That is the view shared by

not just the Australian officers

here but also be combined team, the

United States officers. We are

pleased with the progress that we

have made and where we are but we

know that the gains we have made

hay can easily be turned around if

we're not careful. We need to be

ever vigilant. We are very pleased

with the progress that has been

made so far as transition is

concerned and we are confident that

we are on track for the 2014

transition. Thank you. Defence

Minister, Stephen Smith, talking to

David Lipson. As you can hear,

there was a helicopter in the

background. We apologise for the

audio but until you understand the

difficulties of filming in that

sort of situation. On the run.

After the break, we're going to

turn to the future of farming in

Australia, the National farmers

Federation chief, Jock Laurie,

joins us on the blueprint he has launched.

Welcome back. We are going to turn

to the future of agriculture in

Australia. The National farmers

Federation today launched a

blueprint outlining the challenges

the sector faces in the next 40

years. There are plenty of them, we

have heard about them before, but

what rarities are attached? The

head of the National farmers

Federation joins me now. What are

the challenges that you see for the

coming decades? We already know

there are quite a few things there

that are putting the industry under

pressure. Mining, coal seam gas and

how it interacts with agriculture

is very important, but we need to

sit down and look at 2050. There

are 70% more food required to feed

the growing population and

Australian agriculture is in a good

position to provide a lot of that

Tucker to a hungry world, but we

need to make sure we are putting

ourselves in a position to do that.

If you look at all the things that

could potentially be that, and they

do go back to mining and coal seam

gas, it is about getting

productivity efficiencies on farms

and continuing that growth. It's

about getting infrastructure and

identifying road, rail

infrastructure, right through the

processing sector, right through to

port. All of those things not

running well can have a real impact

on agriculture and our opportunity

to compete on a national market --

international market. Coal seam gas

mining is probably the most

important issue, it think Richmond

on farming land. Some farmers are

doing pretty well out of this. To

be fair, that's the big debate the

farming community has got. It all

depends on what stage you are in

your farming business, as to

whether you see it as an

opportunity. Some people are ready

to retire and a sea mines in

bridging -- encroaching on their

place and they see it as an opportunity to get out. Other

people are coming back onto the

farm and they have a full life of

agriculture sitting there and they

don't want to see the work done by

their parents and grandparents

thrown away. There was a lot of

emotional link and strain. It is a

difficult thing for the industry to

deal with. We have to make sure we

understand the impact it is having

on the environment and the water,

be clear about the site. If we have

concerns about that, make sure we

do enough work to make sure we are

managing the aquifers. There was a

lot of debate in science, whether

it is damaging the farmland. The

debate from agriculture's point of

view is that there are still

questions there. We need to make

sure there aren't any. This could

really be a long-term impact,

impacting us meeting the 2050 troop

reduction goal. We need to overcome

that problem. Water really will be

the main thing in supplying food

well into the future and we can't

damage those aquifers. You can't

run down the hole and plug them up

again, it's too late, the damage

has been done. That is make sure we

have the appropriate sites and we

feel comfortable and we are not

grant to do damage long-term. If we

had done the path we are currently

heading down with coal seam gas

mining, will we be able to meet the

target to talk about, feeding a

significant proportion of the world

by 2050? I would like to think we

will always be able to feed

ourselves. It is amazing how the Australian agriculture sector has

always been able to maintain pace.

This food security is not about

Australia, it's about the

responsibility we have to feed

people around the world. You only

had to see footage of starving kids

out there to understand that be a

country blessed with good soils,

good moisture, and we can fill that

gap. Coal seam gas, the important thing