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Lloyd attacks government's failure to rural community

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rBRUCE LLOY D 4*DEPUTY LEADER, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRYCOMMONWEALTH PARLIA/vibN i ARY LIBRARYMiCAHLLOYD ATTACKS GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO RURAL COMMUNITYNational Party Acting Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd, has attacked the Government for its failure to address the real problems facing Australian agriculture.Mr Lloyd said this failure has left Australian farmers with costs far higher than their competition, led to farm indebtedness to financial institutions growing from $7.9 billion in 1986 to $11.7 billion last year and an exchange rate which discourages farm exports and assists food imports.He said the rural sector was already facing the worst depression since the 30's and had not yet reached the bottom."Last year rural incomes dropped by 20 per cent. This year they have dropped by 59 per cent and next year they are predicted to drop a further 30 per cent with wool growers facing a negative income, and that is without a drought."The viability of thousands is at risk."Future productivity is also at risk."Farmers for the last 30 years have increased their productivity at twice the national average, but they are not now able to invest in new tractors, farm machinery or even fertilisers so that more gains are doubtful."Mr Lloyd said while the Government has been quick to bring about "user pays" and "market force" policies for farmers, it has lacked a commitment to bring about these reforms in areas where most of its votes come from, and these are the areas which would reduce farmers' costs."It has unilaterally reduced tariffs on many agricultural commodities without at the same time addressing the internal costs of a non-productive labor force and the inefficiencies of transport, waterfront, coastal shipping etc."The greatest threat to farm viability is not corrupt overseas markets but the Labor Government's imposed domestic costs which result in a 25 to 50 per cent penalty on our farmers."For example the Government's tax structure alone adds a further $1 billion to farm export costs.A Coalition Government will provide the Labor market, transport, taxation, fiscal and monetary reforms necessary to reduce farmer costs, improve their profitability and their future.end 28/5/91 I Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T., 2(>00 For further information phone 062, x774193