Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor's attitude to farmers 'insulting' and 'incredible'



Download PDFDownload PDF

S*

PRESS RELEASE >J; j s fit Senator Tony Messner

^Shadow Minister for Community Services

34)^

THE SENATE

LABOR'S A T T I T U D E TO FARMERS 'INSULTING' AND 'INCREDIBLE'

R e p orted statements by the Chairman of Labor's Caucus P r i mary

Industry committee that farmers have t h e m selves to b l ame for

the d i f f i c u l t i e s they are e x p e r i e n c i n g u n der the assets test

are i n c r edible yet indicative of the Labor Party's attit u d e

towards rural Australia.

S e nator T o n y M e s s n e r - the S h adow M i n i s t e r for C o m m u n i t y

Services - was referring to comments made by Mr C u n n i n g h a m MP

to a S.A. farmer and r e p o r t e d in F r i day's edition of the

B o r d e r Watch. (copy attached)

"Mr C u n n i n g h a m ' s claims that if farmers had had their affairs

in order they w o u l d n ' t be e x p e r i e n c i n g d i f f i culties are- h ard

to understand. The dif f i c u l t i e s have aris e n b e c a u s e of the

unfairness of L a b o r ’s assets test as it applies to r e t i r e d

people living on the land."

"This type of r e j e ction of rural p e o p l e ' s very real concerns

about the a p p l i c a t i o n of the assets test is the same type of

attitude the Hawke G o v e r n m e n t put forward when it r e c e n t l y

rejected my P r ivate Member's bill for the repeal of the test.

"The simple fact is that p e ople with the same total amount of

assets can be t r e ated totally d i f f e r e n t l y u n der Labor's

assets test and this is w o r k i n g to the d i s a d v a n t a g e of rural

A u s t r a l i a . "

"Even more i n s u lting is Mr C u n n i n g h a m ' s i m p l i c a t i o n that in

some way farmers had been 'd i d dling the tax s y s t e m ' for a

n u mber of years. If that's the type of attit u d e that the

Labor Party takes into the Tax Summit h e aven help f a r m e r s ."

"The Hawke G o v e r n m e n t must im m e d i a t e l y and s e r iously examine

the plight of farmers under the assets test, ensure that

its h a r d s h i p p r o v i s i o n s are actually w o r k i n g or make other

changes to overcome these d i f f i c u l t i e s . "

C A N BERRA 15 APRIL 1985

* · · z