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Lethal economic and seasonal climatic cocktail

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T im Fischer mr Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources


There is now a lethal economic and seasonal climatic cocktail impacting on country Australia, Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, MR, warned today when speaking at Roma.

The National Australia Bank Survey shows that farm income has dropped dramatically; where in 1989-90 the average farm income was $37,180,in 1990-91 the average farm income will be only $11,200.

The vast majority of Australian farms are operated by family units and this plunge in average farm income will be devastating not only in bush but to many provincial and capital cities.

On top of this we now have the devastating climatic circumstance of a severe wet in South Eastern Australia and a severe drought in Northern New South Wales and Queensland.

"Conditions I have seen this weekend point to the total failure of all winter cropping over large areas of Queensland and Northern New South Wales pointing to even lower average farm income for 1991-92."

Mr Fischer said that for many small business operators in country areas and for many farmers, it is a two minutes to midnight circumstance requiring a comprehensive policy approach from Canberra which particularly lowered input costs through lower Government charges and taxes, especially by totally abolishing sales tax.

"I might add, level playing fields do not exist in reality. We need to tilt the playing field towards the job creating productive sector through an economic reform agenda which includes both industrial relations and taxation reforms.

"For those who do believe in level playing fields I would simply say, perhaps we should follow the example of Hawthorn and the West Coast Eagles and swap ends from time to time," Mr Fischer said.

Ends Sunday, 29 September 1991

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