Any disruption to the live sheep trade has little indirect numerical impact on eastern states' producers; however, the impact on national mutton prices can become a major issue.
The recent announcement by Anthony Albanese that any future Labor government would halt the trade sent shivers down Western Australian sheep producers' spines. Then he backflipped in a blink due to pressure from elements in the WA Labor party.
Here one day, gone the next, with the corollary of "in the future". To some, this is a highly emotive situation, where passions run high, but do not for one moment believe this issue is buried. The ill-informed gut reaction to the live cattle trade under the Gillard government sent many producers to the wall when live exports to Indonesia were halted. The images flashed on TV screens were confronting; however, they were selectively designed to be. In the case of sheep on ships, it was obviously a put-up job, and those in the trade called foul and they have now been proven to be correct. It has been admitted that the footage was fake and the perpetrators and payments have been uncovered. Of course, Mr Albanese would not be aware of any of this background, so he fell nicely into the animal welfare trap. In perspective, it should be noted that the conditions for sheep and cattle on ships are highly scrutinised and are first class. In fact, they are potentially more at risk of misadventure running around a paddock.
This climate change stuff becomes more confusing by the day and even questioning the continual haranguing labels you're a denier or an idiot.
In the past, we were advised that global warming would dry up all our water storages and rising tides would lap at the doors of waterside mansions. For the record, debunking past predictions, storages in the southern Murray Darling Basin are at 80 per cent of capacity as we head into winter, so yes, there is a real threat of flooding; however, a mob called the Climate Council have warned that we will need snorkels before the next 10 years are out.
And, so severe will be the situation that insuring your home would be prohibitive, the council has released a report claiming that 520,944 properties across Australia will be uninsurable due to the impact of climate change by 2030; this includes one in every seven homes across 10 electorates. And in its firing line are the electorates of Nicholls and Indi. No one has attempted to unpick this unfounded rubbish, which has been widely published. So, on average, given the ravages of climate change, 52,000 homes a year for the next 10 years will be uninsurable. The insurers have jumped on board; after all, any opportunity to ramp up premiums would be in their DNA. Rubbish. Pin this prediction on a wall. It is not going to happen.
Well, perchance it does; the northern half of Victoria will be a garden of Eden. Some would be flooded but the rest abundant. And the Western Districts and Gippsland will miss out? Sure, we could see climatic changes, and yes, we may see floods around the levels of 1956, but given the nature of Australia's climate, there would be some very dry years. Back to insurance. Due to bushfires and floods, insurance companies have racked up premiums to prohibitive levels. Some farmers and businesses are carrying an enormous risk similar to Russian roulette. Is it time for government to step in and assist?
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