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Wednesday, 16 December 1992
Page: 5253


Senator BROWNHILL (8.15 p.m.) —I could not sit by and not support Senator Ferguson's remarks about the devastation to some people in the farming community at the moment because of the heavy rains at a time when the crops are ready to harvest. The same thing is happening in the north of New South Wales; there are a lot of unharvested crops. It is very good for this chamber to occasionally listen to what actually happens to people out in the wider community, especially to the farmers who make such a contribution to all our export income and all our standards of living.

  Basically, the value of their contribution to our economy is sometimes not realised by the rest of the community. Occasionally we have to think of the people who are suffering hardships out on the farms. For example, Eyre Peninsula had devastating droughts not so long ago and now the crops, which were ready to be harvested, have been devastated by rain.

  I know that people could say that that is something that the farming community has to put up with. We do not want people to shed too many tears for the farming community, but we would like the rest of the community to have an understanding of what is going on out there at the moment.

  The Government said that it would require primary industry to produce good crops and plenty of export income to help all of Australia out of its problems. I commend to the Senate what Senator Ferguson said, but add that the same problem is happening in the northern part of New South Wales at the moment. I feel very sorry for the farmers there who are having the same problems as are being experienced in South Australia.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 8.17 p.m.