More news articles

Time to start listening to farmers

Today at the National Farmers Federation National Forum on Mental Health in Agriculture, ALEC CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton congratulated the NFF on putting on the forum and highlighting the importance of the issue.

“By attending today, we want to underscore the message that support is available for the wonderful people in our sector if you need it. It’s never a sign of weakness to acknowledge if you’re doing it tough,” Mr Harvey-Sutton said.

“Our industry is very proud of Australia’s agricultural sector and the people in it – and will stand beside you all the way.”

However, he said that the live export industry wanted to send a clear signal that the situation is not being helped by a sense amongst the sector that it is under attack by poor government policy which is leaving people feeling disregarded. This was made clear in today’s forum.

“In my role, I have the privilege of speaking with many farmers in addition to the livestock export industry that we represent, and I am saddened that many say they feel they are not appreciated or ignored – and in many cases, vilified,” he said.

“Our direct experience in this regard is the government’s activist driven policy to phase out live sheep exports.”

“Repeatedly exporters, producers and local governments have outlined the facts about the devastating impact closure of this trade will have on lives and communities – yet these points are ignored in favour of blatant mistruths and disproven arguments put forward by anti-agriculture activist groups.”

To add further insult, those that are brave enough to stand up and defend our industry are mercilessly trolled on social media by faceless activists or protesters who have been emboldened by the government’s policy.

“These activists regularly harass and troll farmers, stockpersons and other people who work with livestock. In any other industry, this vile behaviour would be called out, but it seems that once again, agriculture must fight for basic respect,” Mr Harvey-Sutton said.

“While we can only speak for our segment of the industry, we are seeing this replicated across a range of other agricultural policies.”

Mr Harvey-Sutton said in the general community there was a large amount of respect for the industry, particularly for farmers who supply overseas markets with high quality livestock.

“Australia’s farmers are the best in the world and are true professionals. While we need to tell their stories, they deserve to be listened to.”


0491 276 036