Farm leader calls out Euro ‘madness’

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin says it’s time for Australia to stop bending to European demands that would cripple food and fibre production.

The latest broadside on Australian agriculture came in the form of a motion to Labor’s federal conference – inspired by European laws – that would directly limit what farmers were able to do on their properties.

The Labor Environmental Action Network’s ‘Climate, Clearing and Cows’ motion – which also sought to halve all methane emissions by 2030 – would have dire consequences for Australia’s farm productivity and food security, Mr Martin said. He pointed to heavy-handed environmental laws in Europe that led to drastic change for farmers, from limits on the amount of fuel and fertiliser that could be used, through to reductions in livestock numbers.

“It’s time we stopped listening to bureaucrats in Brussels with no idea where their food and fibre comes from,” Mr Martin said.

“This constant interference in agriculture over there has caused enormous problems for the farmers who are simply trying to make a living by feeding people.

“It is madness to limit food production when there are already so many hungry people in the world.”

Mr Martin said Europe – which accounted for about 10 per cent of the global population – was trying to push around the rest of the world by demanding compliance with its laws. Meanwhile, European farmers were being subsidised to not produce food, and also had to spend a lot of time in the office doing compliance work instead of being productive.

In the end, there was a simple answer as to whether Australia should be forced to meet European requirements, Mr Martin said.

“If Europe doesn’t want our food, that’s fine, there’s plenty of other people who’ll eat it,” Mr Martin said.

“I know that sounds blunt, but we cannot keep bending over backwards to accommodate the demands of foreign lawmakers.

“Australian agriculture is arguably the world’s best – we’re sustainable, we’re healthy, we’re producing top-notch food and fibre – if Europe doesn’t want it someone else will.”

Date: Friday, August 18, 2023
Media Contact: Steve Mudd  | 0429 011 690 | [email protected]