Farmers ‘essential to society’ says grazier

Central Queensland grazier Bruce Currie
Central Queensland grazier Bruce Currie

GRAZIER Bruce Currie isn't surprised to hear that agribusiness services are at risk of becoming insolvent.

Everything from unpredictable weather to an increase in rates is taking its toll on Queensland farmers.

Bruce has been in primary production in Central Queensland his whole life and doesn't expect life on a property to get any easier if things keep going the way they are.

"The way primary production is structured in the country sees our overheads continue to rise, despite our capacity to pay them and regardless of the season we've had," Bruce said.

"That trend is continuing and it's not sustainable.

"We rely on the seasons and the market.

"I was a dry land grain farmer as well as a beef producer, and as time goes by you see less and less people working on the land."

The mining sector services joined agribusiness as the most at risk of becoming insolvent, according to research by leading law firm Henry Davis.

A combination of local and global pressures could see the number of domestic insolvencies increase significantly over the next two years.

Bruce, who owns a cattle property north of Jericho, is hoping to be a grazier for the rest of his life, but says society needs to get past the barrier that agriculture is a luxury or a disposable commodity.

"(Farmers) are essential to society, and it's a challenge for the government and community to recognise that," Bruce said.

"You only have to look at other places in the world and see where food shortages occur and how it can destroy a community.

"A lot of people realise what's going on with farmers, but the question is, what can we do about it?

"There's a cultural change going on in agriculture and that has to be there for us to survive and to stay or even become prosperous."

While Bruce has been fortunate this year, with rogue storms hitting his property, the last six months of last year were rough.

Topics:  agribusiness farmers grazing

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