On Queensland Farmers, Sustainability and the State Election


Word: This letter from the editor was initially printed in our weekly publication and is being republished right here.

Hey guys,

First off, due to these of you who entered our current book giveaway. Winners have been drawn and emails to observe. I additionally acquired some electronic mail replies to my final publication about R U OK Day and I thanks for sharing your tales, for trusting me along with your emotions and for taking the day trip of your busy lives to answer. I’m working by all of the emails so please keep tuned for a response (and thanks on your understanding).

Now one electronic mail we acquired at EWP final week stood out for completely completely different causes. Despatched from a communications company, the e-mail topic line learn: 


Provided that I stay in Queensland, and I stay on a farm (under is a pic of me in entrance of my unfinished glasshouse/greenhouse), I used to be intrigued so I introduced up the e-mail with a media launch hooked up.

These have been the primary couple of paragraphs of the media launch:

“Farmers throughout Queensland are uniting to collect a conflict chest geared toward focusing on political events forward of the October 31 State Election.

Firstly, I cringed on the phrases “conflict chest”. 

“Farmers United Director Russell Corridor is asking on all political events to get severe about supporting the agricultural sector, saying Queensland farmers have been underneath the assault of poor coverage selections from the State Labor Authorities for much too lengthy.”

After which I realised after studying this that this was a press launch from an anti-Labor authorities farmers foyer group.

Within the launch, it additionally launched fourth era cane and crop farmer Mark Vasswho mentioned “laws pushed by the Greens and launched by the State Labor Authorities is crippling the farming trade and can in the end influence each single Queenslander”.

The notion that the Australian Greens is influencing coverage within the nation’s most conservative state is nearly laughable. 

Within the glasshouse part of the brand new greenhouse.

Anyway, the Farmers United foyer group (funded by goodness is aware of who as there may be actually no details about this organisation on-line and appears to have been created to cease a Labor authorities win on this yr’s state election) is searching for the next insurance policies to be adopted (which they’ve dubbed Science Sense):

  • Repeal the Water High quality Invoice Reef Laws which are “crippling Queensland farmers by pointless onerous inexperienced tape”
  • Reverse modifications to the Vegetation Administration Act “which are creating main fireplace and environmental hazards on farms”
  • The introduction of a Scientific High quality Authority to ship scientific rigour round vital coverage making selections;
  • Funding in an incentive program to assist and encourage Queensland farmers to undertake and preserve government-led observe requirements; and
  • Supporting new analysis and jobs in farming whereas encouraging the subsequent era of farmers to develop Queensland’s meals into the long run.

Whereas a number of the coverage proposals appear cheap and needed such because the Scientific High quality Authority proposal, when you perceive what they’re actually asking for – much less environmental regulation, extra authorities funding and funding – you get to the guts of the difficulty.

Mark Vass mentioned, “Like each farmer, I stay, breath and spend my complete working life within the setting and take its sustainability extraordinarily critically” and I don’t doubt that Vass cares extraordinarily concerning the setting in which he works.

The enterprise of farming just isn’t straightforward, having to cope with nature’s parts every day, having to plan round droughts and floods, handle vegetation (as a part of a bushfire administration technique) harvest and allocate water, construct and preserve tools and infrastructure, and this doesn’t even embrace the paying again of big money owed and loans, and assembly beauty requirements set by the supermarkets and different retailers.

I’ve a lot of respect for our Australian farmers. A few of my neighbours are farmers (some cattle, some crop) and I perceive why they take offence to city dwellers sitting round philosophising concerning the setting and scolding farmers on-line on how they handle their land and mainly treating them like criminals or worse, idiots.

What I’ve come to study after the 2016 US election in which Trump was voted in, and the 2019 Australian election by which Australia’s conservative get together was introduced in once more (regardless of pundits calling it “the local weather change election”), is that we as a sustainability group want to seek out methods to be extra inclusive of people that don’t speak, suppose or act as we do. 

Now and again, even I discover the elitism, self-aggrandizing and self-righteousness annoying so I can solely think about what it’s like for these on the surface wanting in. And for the reason that US presidential election is simply across the nook, the best way we talk issues of sustainability will even decide, to some extent, the result. Learn my piece 8 Key Lessons From Australia’s Election and How to Move Forward (By An Environmentalist) for those who’re a US voter eager to not make the identical errors as Australia.


If we need to deliver extra individuals into the fold, we might want to meet them the place they’re at. Even when you’ve got ideological variations, it is best to nonetheless have the ability to discover frequent floor. I discover that the majority individuals I speak to need job safety and stability, instructional and financial alternatives, protected neighbourhoods, entry to inexpensive and wholesome meals and healthcare, to drink clear water and breathe in recent air.

So in case your community doesn’t embrace a combined bag of human beings from throughout the political divide, you’re dwelling in an echo chamber. There is no such thing as a level utilizing your valuable time preaching to the choir over and over. When you’re spending time with individuals who already do zero waste, speak local weather motion, purchase sustainable vogue and choose up three for the sea, I’m asking you to go additional.

Constructive change will occur way more shortly for those who get exterior of the eco minority and discover methods to interact with others exterior of the clique, aka those who make up the lots.

And don’t overlook to donate to your favorite environmental organisations, progressive political events and signal petitions like these ones from the Wilderness Society and this one (about Woolworths plastic toy promos) to maintain the momentum going.

Quote I’m Loving This Week:

“Combat for the issues that you simply care about, however do it in a approach that can lead others to hitch you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Books I’ve Learn:

Doco Movies/Podcasts:

Anyway, finest get a transfer on as a lot of issues to atone for as we had some household arrive on the farm for college vacation adventures and we’ve obtained guests presently right here studying about self-reliance and permaculture which implies I’ve to get organised! 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful remainder of the week!

Peace, love and all that jazz,

Editor-in-Chief Jen xx

Cowl picture of editor Jennifer Nini by Ben McGuire.

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