OPINION - Stand up for rights, WA Farmers

Raelene HallMidwest Times
WA truck drivers in Perth caused no disruptions to anyone when protesting the closure of Moora Residential College.
Camera IconWA truck drivers in Perth caused no disruptions to anyone when protesting the closure of Moora Residential College. Credit: Supplied

Are we in rural Australia too soft? Should we be more like the French farmers who, when they protest, block entire cities, burn tyres and hay and cause absolute chaos?

Only about eight weeks ago 20 truckies drove up St George’s Terrace in Perth to protest against the closure of the Moora Residential College.

They did nothing illegal, caused no problems other than a little noise from air horns, yet were fined for parking in Kings Park (where they thought they had permission to park) and were escorted out of the city by police.

Queensland farmers are rallying against their State Government’s proposed legislation on vegetation clearing. They have given up their day, driven hundreds of kilometres with their families to take a message to their Government.

They are loud but not aggressive, vocal but not vicious, angry but not destructive.

Will their Government listen? One hopes so but I won’t be holding my breath.

Why are Australians who live and work in rural areas the target for every Government and activist group around?

We have politicians who want to ban live export. They have the simple solution to the excess stock left in Australia. Process them locally and send them to customers chilled.

Why are the two newest abattoirs in the country (one in NT and one in WA) struggling to stay afloat?

VideoHundreds of CWA members arrive at Parliament to protest cuts to regional education.

Why don’t all our overseas customers already buy chilled meat if that’s what they want?

Why are farmers treated like criminals for trying to feed Australia and the world?

They are condemned, even though they are the best at caring for livestock and manage the land better than any scientist or environmentalist can. They are forward-thinking, intelligent, resourceful and hard-working.

They support local businesses, schools, sporting groups and volunteer in a range of capacities.

What would Australia do without them? If governments, Federal and State, don’t start taking notice of them soon, the Australian people will find out, because it will be impossible to survive in our rural areas.

There will be no people, businesses, shops, farms, sports and eventually no food. Maybe then governments, and those who choose to condemn them, will wake up.

I think it’s time we took a lesson from the French. See what happens when rural Australia calls a halt to everything.

Rural people will survive because they are resourceful. Will the rest of Australia? Maybe it’s time to find out.

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