Australia's farmers have our backs. If only everyone did

Australia's farmers have our backs. If only everyone did

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A recent report implying Australia is in danger of running out of food due to lack of water is cruel and untrue.

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Just as every cloud has a silver lining, so does the global COVID pandemic.

It makes me both proud and hopeful that Australians have pulled together so cohesively that - touch wood - we appear to be winning a battle that has brought many larger, wealthier nations to their knees.

I am particularly proud that our industry has stepped up and made a commitment to Australians that they will not go hungry, that we will all have enough to eat regardless of what happens elsewhere in the world.

And this is despite a particularly harsh few years of drought, floods, and fires for many.

That is why it is so heart-breaking when someone tries to destroy that community solidarity for their own selfish ends.

On Sunday night, Channel 9's 60 Minutes program aired a sensationalist and irresponsible story that implied Australia was in danger of running out of food due to lack of water.

Not only is this obviously untrue - Australia produces about three times as much food as we need - such claims undermine the food security message that AgForce, National Farmers' Federation and others have been publicising.

Reports like this - and this isn't the only example - cruelly tap into people's fears and make these difficult times even more uncertain and worrying.

But the worst aspect of the report was its attempt to undermine our social unity, to pit farmer against farmer in the interest of ratings.

Of course, every producer understands the importance of water to our business, and we feel for those who, for whatever reason, don't have enough.

But surely this is a time for greater unity within our industry, not less.

Next week, the AgForce Board will decide whether to take on a fourth commodity in sugarcane. If we decide to do so, one of our primary motivations will be in creating a more unified ag industry in Queensland, and ensuring farmers can speak with a stronger, more united voice.

This solidarity is vital to prevent others employing a 'divide and conquer' approach. It ensures that we can create not only a vibrant and prosperous industry to hand on to our kids, but that Australia can continue to feed itself, no matter what.

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