Farmers looking for ‘decent’ policies

Election heats up and farmers want fair campaigns


Politics
LORRAINE STATION: Feedlot manager Luke Crisp stands before farmhand Jarrod Hales, and Luke's father Michael Crisp, Lorraine Station manager. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

LORRAINE STATION: Feedlot manager Luke Crisp stands before farmhand Jarrod Hales, and Luke's father Michael Crisp, Lorraine Station manager. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

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Lorraine Station manager Michael Crisp says politicians need to stop 'bastardising' farmers.

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WITH the State election officially announced for November 25, father and son, Michael and Luke Crisp, who manage Lorraine Station and its on-farm feedlot, 250km north of Cloncurry, say they want to see some “decent policies” announced. 

Lorraine Station is owned by Lorraine Pastoral Company, and the 240,000 hectare operation is a mix with predominantly beef cattle, supported by irrigated farming, and a feedlot. 

Instead of working with farmers to address the issues they're just using farmers to bastardise us so they can win votes off city people. - Michael Crisp, Lorraine Station, Cloncurry

Michael Crisp said for people on the land, elections often lead to being a pawn in a political blame game.

“The biggest challenge is the political parties blaming agriculture for environmental vandalism,” Mr Crisp said. 

He said without genuine support from the state government, agriculture in the north of Queensland would sit stagnant. ​

“We can't get any decent policies in place for people trying to develop agriculture,” he said. “We would love to clear some scrub land to improve productivity, but the main thing is we'd love to see a nucleus of farms develop in the north where other farmers are getting involved; if there's a mass of grainfed cattle, then there might be a potential for improved meatworks capacity.​

“If there's a group of potential grain growers, there might be an opportunity for grain to go out through the port of Karumba to our nearby Asian neighbours. 

“If there's enough cotton grown in the area to support a cotton gin we could grow cotton if it's in the area - but everything is just getting pulled back and held back.”

He said parties trying to appeal to the densely-populated coastal regions were known to demonise farmers as environmental vandals in a bid to secure votes.

“Instead of working with farmers to address the issues they're just using farmers to bastardise us so they can win votes off city people,” he said. 

While Lorraine Station boasts a 7500-head feedlot, the high cost of freighting cattle to market means just 1600 head are currently on feed. Mr Crisp said he wants to see ports such as Karumba able to function at full capacity.

Read about Lorraine Station’s beef operation here

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