Australia’s food bowl is drying up and food prices are set to soar

‘This is their food bowl and obviously they scream when prices go up.’

Australia’s food bowl is drying up and food prices are set to soar

Aussie shoppers have been warned to brace for higher prices, with the country’s food bowl – the Murray-Darling Basin – expecting a dry year ahead.

National weather bureau predictions for the next three months are bleak. Major dams are already getting low and unlikely to receive much-needed rain. The region’s two biggest dams, the Hume and Dartmouth, are at 40 and 60 per cent capacity. There will be less water for farmers to use for irrigation and some may get smaller, or even no water allocations.

And if farmers are tempted to steal water, former Australia Federal Police commissioner, interim inspector-general Mick Keelty, and Water Minister David Littleproud, are on watch for water thefts and corruption in the basin.

“A long summer is going to mean less water obviously and it’s going to raise the value of water,” Mr Keelty told the ABC.

“When the water value rises, that presents a temptation for people to access when they’re not entitled to access.”

While times are tough for farmers, residents in metropolitan areas will also feel the pinch in the form of higher prices consumers for thinning stocks of fresh produce.

“It’s scary … I’m a fourth-generation farmer and you look at your land and then you see potentially that you’re not going to be able to farm it and make money,” said Victorian grower Dean Morpeth, who also believes that some farmers will not even have a crop this season.

“We’d like to be successful, but without water it’s impossible.”

Riverina rice grower Antony Vagg is also concerned that with diminishing supplies, consumers can expect price spikes in fresh produce and dairy.

“It might get to the point very soon where people can’t buy Australian rice off the shelf,” he said.

“They might not be able to buy Australian milk at a price that’s reasonable in a few years …”

Forecasts of food price rises on top of low returns on interest rates and an increasing cost of living may make it difficult for many older Australians to make ends meet.

Mr Littleproud agrees that consumers would soon feel the pinch.

“This is their food bowl and obviously they scream when prices go up,” he said.

“Well, you’re going to see prices go up if there’s a lack of water.”

Are you prepared to pay more for Australian produce should stocks become scarcer?

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    COMMENTS

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    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    10:16am
    Well farmers are making a big protest today about the Murray and South Australia pinching their water, it seems everyone is at logger heads over this Murray Darling Basin water problem, some accusing the govt of selling out to cotton farmers etc, where will it all end and will we ever get to know the truth anyway.
    101
    5th Sep 2019
    5:04pm
    And I believe NO ONE has been prosecuted for the Water Theft uncovered by 4 Corners last year.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    1:50pm
    Again - it is the private enterprise trading paradigm that is at fault.... when you permit non-use buying and selling of 'water rights' you are doing nothing about the actual water supply.

    From what I read years ago, the problems start in the headwaters, with over-use by fast-grow crops including plantation pine, and then over- extraction via over-sized dams and high water use crops along he way to the deep blue sea.... then the problem of salinity rears its ugly level from excessive watering using irrigation - which according to reports is not monitored correctly or at all.

    The whole thing is a farce - this year with good snow in the Snowies, Old Man Murray might get a kick, but don't rely on it.... still won't do anything about the Great Saline Desert in South Australia... I've seen that moonscape from the air.... and it is shocking to view.

    Yes - rain is desperately needed north of Victoria... at least on a semi-personal note an old friend's son and d-i-l have had rain out west of the Snowies... and even got water in their dams... they fitted into the falls down south, fortunately for them. Many others are drying up and blowing away...
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    1:56pm
    Crazy thing is - we were down south when the Tumut and Bombala sawmills closed (throwing Aussies out of work - often families who worked generations) - and all the timber products were brought in from NZ or South America at about 50 higher price (we were bulding at the time so we know)... the woodchip mill at Eden is still going full bore.... so my question is - if the sawmills are closed- what is happening with all the pine?

    Shipped offshore and then returned at huge price mark-up? No wonder they call us The Lucky Country - lucky to have two brain cells to rub together - no wonder the ROTW think we're dumb, decadent, and ripe for the plucking...
    BrianP
    5th Sep 2019
    10:18am
    In WA the Water Corporation last year introduced a sneaky hidden massive price increase. For us it meant 55% higher than the previous year even though we used less water. Yes I said 55% !

    They did this by introducing a stepped pricing system which increases price per KL water used. It is criminal and has been kept quiet by Government.
    Dot
    5th Sep 2019
    12:08pm
    The higher cost for water usage here in WA is so that we try and use less water cause we need to save for the millions of tourist that the Government want plus we'll be paying for their usage.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    2:54pm
    If it's been kept quiet, not made public, then it's deceptive and criminal. It's financial gain exploitation of consumer essential service during a period of water shortage or water usage control. In NSW they have implemented heavy fines for watering gardens between 10am and 4pm. Yet to see if the water charges have gone up like in WA.
    Farside
    5th Sep 2019
    7:00pm
    And a good thing too. Perth residents use more water than most cities in Australia; the average daily water use in 2017-18 per person was 337 litres. By comparison Sydney and Melbourne residents use an average 210 litres and 161 litres daily respectively. Melbourne has had variable pricing for years and perhaps the increases will incentivise Perth residents to cut back on their household water consumption. If Perth residents don't respond by reducing consumption then it should be a simple matter for Water Corp to crank up the prices further until they do. If it makes you feel any better Perth rates for an average household are still less than than the Melbourne equivalent so plenty of upside.
    Rae
    6th Sep 2019
    10:57am
    Why should residents cut back. The population has doubled with millions arriving for a better life. Australians want a better life as well and that includes being able to use water without being told they can't because of too many people.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    1:59pm
    Never trust a government handle anything for you...

    Indeed, Rae - I wonder that El Cidney and Melbadishu and Brisbandar-Abbas etc** don't drown in their own excrement...

    **Darwin-es-Salaam or Hong Darwin ..... Adenalaide ... Khanberratoum ..

    5th Sep 2019
    10:53am
    One of the driest continents in the world yet we need to bring in how many more millions of people?

    A larger population is bad for ordinary people because it inflates their cost of living.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    1:33pm
    Agreed. We should have ZERO immigration, and certain groups ought to be actively encouraged to leave.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:05pm
    It's time to get Dick Smith to start a towing service of real icebergs from Antarctic as a relief for the water drought. Antarctic is not that far away from us.
    If not towing, then he could start a pipeline from the Antarctic to feed fresh water from melting ice caps to the mainland and distribute it Australia wide. Wonder if he could do it cheaper than what Water Corporations charge?
    Farside
    5th Sep 2019
    7:04pm
    Be careful what you wish for – an ageing population, a smaller workforce, fewer direct taxpayers and a capped population will also not be a bed of roses for your ordinary people.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:17am
    Every retiree pays tax... most of them contribute 100% of their income back to the economy and its workings....

    On the other hand, those with excessive 'discretionary' cash are the real black holes in the economy, since they spend it offshore in countless ways or stash it in non tax paying areas such as investment in serial house owning and shares.........
    Rae
    6th Sep 2019
    11:00am
    Sorry Farside but the ageing population lie isn't going to work. There are three under 18s for every over 65 regardless of what the percentages say. The real figures are in the actual numbers.
    Over 311000 babies are arriving now every year. That;'s four times the number that were born in the baby boom. You can only blame a demographic for so long before the truth comes out. It's easy to check the real numbers.
    Farside
    6th Sep 2019
    3:13pm
    yep Rae lets go by the real numbers without cherry picking data. As you say the number of live births in 2016 exceeded those in the boomer years but it takes generations for those births to work their way through the population, which is why the population is still ageing.

    For example in 2011, 32.3% of the population was older than 50 i.e. 6.95 million people. In 2016 this had increased to 34.1% of the population or 7.98 million people, an increase of almost 15% or just over a million people. If your live births were taken in isolation then you would expect to see the over 50s declining, which they are not.

    https://profile.id.com.au/australia/five-year-age-groups

    The fact is "Australia's population is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. This has resulted in proportionally fewer children (under 15 years of age) in the population and a larger proportion of people aged 65 and over." The ABS observes only seven of boomer cohorts by birth years have reached age 65 and there are 12 remaining, which will contribute to continuing population ageing.

    https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1CD2B1952AFC5E7ACA257298000F2E76?OpenDocument
    Rae
    6th Sep 2019
    4:30pm
    I have absolutely no faith or trust in ABS data whatever. Just blaming boomers is a cop out.

    the Government really stuffed up when they mucked the asset and income test up, allowed banks to lend too much to the middle cohort and let the Fair work commission loose on the lower income people. If you care to look the budget that cut incomes for hundreds of thousands co-incide with the decline in retail sales and the demand collapse. Austerity does it and Conservative Governments have no idea of consequences.

    We have 6.5 million under 18 and 2.4 million over 65.

    And hundreds of thousands of young being added every year through births and immigration.

    Time this nutty Government got off it's bum and built for them all in my opinion. Without asking me to pay for it all.

    Fat lot of good interest cuts and tax cuts are doing the 30% of retirees.
    sunnyOz
    5th Sep 2019
    10:56am
    If you just shop at the big 2 supermarkets then Yes, you will be paying more. I personally have reduced my food costs. Yes it may depend on locations, but I have a fantastic weekly Farmers Market only 2kms away, with fantastic cheap veggies, fruit, eggs. Also only a few kms away from a great discount outlet. I don't eat meat but fish can be just as expensive, so I stock up every few months with a bulk buy. And my small dog eats only human grade meat, which I buy bulk from a discount butcher, at $7.99 a kilo. That does her for a week, far cheaper than commercial dog food. I could even cut costs more by having a veggie garden, but as I often go away, maintenance cancels out the benefit. Plus can't go past dear old Aldi for cutting costs.
    DELboy
    5th Sep 2019
    12:33pm
    Well said Sunny, make sure your dog gets more than pure meat, mix a few cooked vegie left overs. If you shop at SW they sell at cheap price, a bag of "bones" which are off the front chest, and contains soft bone, meat, cartilage and a bit of fat. Depending on your dog size, you might need to chop it up a bit, but good mix for teeth as well.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:06pm
    If you shop at Aldi you will save heaps.
    older&wiser
    5th Sep 2019
    4:38pm
    Totally agree sunny - now retired, I have the time to be more discerning with my shopping and do the same as you. LOVE Aldi - and I too have decreased my grocery bill substantially. Makes me realise just how flippant I was with my previous shopping. And agree about the vegie patch - for a large family it might pay, but for a single person, is not worth the time, effort and money to run. I had one for awhile - was very labor intensive, and always had more than I needed. Neighbors loved it almost more than me!
    I also buy in bulk, and like you, don't eat meat and buy any human meat when cheap for my little dog. Only last week my vet could not get over how good she was doing for being 13. I go to one local supermarket on a Monday morning and sometimes crack it for some incredible buys, reduced by 75%.
    The headlines for this story are only for sensation - Pensioners don't have to be hit with higher prices. They just need to be more discerning with their shopping. Unfortunately, I find may seniors are too loyal to one store - "I only shop at Woolies", etc. Loyalty gets you nowhere these days.
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    6:10pm
    Human meat?, cannibal butchers?.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:20am
    Keep your eyes on the ham market and the number of fat homeless people vanishing from the streets .... or fat people simply vanishing ..... Christmas is a boon time for people disappearing.... and there is a glut of hams as well....

    Just saying .....
    jaycee1
    6th Sep 2019
    9:38am
    sunnyOz, Unfortunately we do not have a Farmer's Market near us :( and not having a car makes it diifficult to get to the nearest one.
    I too make my own dog food but I buy mince from Aldi, any cheap veg and either oats or rice depending which is on hand, throw them in the slow cooker, When cooked it is separated into containers and viola a months worth of meals. Way cheaper than commercial dog food and I know exactly what is going into it. Only thing that is needed is dry food which I get in bulk and lasts about a month also. I have two small dogs so every week they also get some bones to clean their teeth.

    older&wiser, if you plant a square foot garden [square foot gardening by mel bartholomew] it is great for one person, doesn't take up much room, water or time. Great for a single person or can be adapted for a family.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:02pm
    Found a good fruit n' veg - the owner goes to El Cidney markets every few days for a load and he is very careful about what he chooses... good prices, too.

    Sadly, Solomon's in Taree have closed... after how long? They used to have spinach straight off the farm twice as big and juicy as Colesworths ... local supplier...
    Rae
    7th Sep 2019
    6:38am
    TREBOR my family have been camping out at Hat Head every Easter for years. Love that area. The shops at Gladstone are fabulous. I buy my clothes there.

    There is a little store on the corer as you go over the bridge. Spend a couple of hours with the owner by asking about the local history.

    Put a water tank in and a kitchen garden. The dews and rain will let you grow all the spinach, lettuce, rocket and herbs you need plus a couple of tomatoes in pots for Christmas.

    Farmers markets are also to be found most Saturdays somewhere around the Taree area.
    Incognito
    7th Sep 2019
    8:58pm
    Really impressive you take the time to make your own dog food,they would be a lot healthier for it. I did this many years ago and both my cat and dog at the time ate the same thing, I supplemented with a little dry food as well just to make sure they were getting what they needed. Most pet food has a lot of rubbish in it, and many are getting the same diseases as humans.
    patti
    5th Sep 2019
    11:07am
    Finding it hard to make ends meet now - oh well, maybe down to 2 meals a day instead of 3.
    Wouldn't recommend it as a weight loss tool though
    Bridgit
    5th Sep 2019
    11:19am
    Patti I only eat 2 meals per day - Breakfast and Dinner at night 12 hours apart - feel a lot better and have lost 30 kilo!
    Have a penchant for Ginger Nut biscuits and often have 2 or 3 late in the afternoon if I need to have something sweet.
    I have also found my meal sizes have reduced and often can't eat all on my plate.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:12pm
    Many single Age Pensioners including pensioner home owners eat only dinner (no breakfast or lunch...maybe a biscuit or two) for 11 evenings per fortnight and fast for last 3 days until pension pay comes around again. How good is this lucky country?
    Misty
    6th Sep 2019
    9:58am
    I noticed in the freezer section at Woolies and Coles they often have frozen meals for as little as $3.00, while I wouldn't reccomend them for everyday they may be a good standby when finances are low and canned and pouched soups are not expensive either.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:03pm
    Student and unemployed diet - fortified noodles...

    I make a batch of stew every fortnight and freeze it myself... adding spices etc can make it very tasty and different every time...
    Misty
    6th Sep 2019
    4:40pm
    You could also add a crust or dumplings too TREBOR, lots of possibilities. Not talking about noodles TREBOR, lots of soups do not have noodles, neither do the frozen foods. Nothing wrong with the occasionan noodles, my daughter-in-law is Thai and she and her Thai friends make derlicious noodle meals.
    tisme
    5th Sep 2019
    11:17am
    the idea of running out of water/ going on water restrictions is ridiculous , with all the flooding rains qld has had if its not criminal negligence it should be . politicians wait till we have floods to turn round and tell us " we dont need dams " well we do now , and we did during the 10 year drought a few years ago. like the barrier reef , which is now dying , why do such things have to happen years ago the govt was warned , and in true political fashion did nothing. but as long as the people do nothing why should they
    Bridgit
    5th Sep 2019
    11:20am
    No the reef isn't dying it is very healthy - both inner and outer reefs are in good condition.
    Tanker
    5th Sep 2019
    11:46am
    Bridgit you just can't let it go despite independent evidence.
    Tanker
    5th Sep 2019
    11:46am
    Bridgit you just can't let it go despite independent evidence.
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    11:59am
    Yes Bridgit chedck the latest reports and you will find you are wrong.
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    12:03pm
    Tisme it would make you cry the way our rivers and water system has been mismanaged by various governments over the years, why can't they bite the bullet and pipe the water down from OLND and the NT during the rainy season to store for later use in areas where it is needed. Jobs for people too, this govt is always on about jobs and infrastructure well now would be a good time to put their words into action.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    12:23pm
    When I was young the rivers were in the same state at which they are now so it has nothing to do with the management of water but how much rain falls in the catchment areas over time.
    Horace Cope
    5th Sep 2019
    12:32pm
    You're right, VeryCaringBear, but even though the rivers haven't moved, they run through different states. The Murray is linked with the Darling which originates in Queensland and runs through NSW to meet the Murray at Wentworth. The Murray originates in NSW and flows through to SA. This means that different state governments control a part of the system and as we know, state governments don't cooperate easily. Because the Murray Darling system is critical to agriculture and towns along the rivers, a federal authority should be controlling the management.
    Eddy
    5th Sep 2019
    12:35pm
    Yes Misty, but all the infrastructure to move the water from where it is to where it is needed has to be paid for. How? Well for a start the Great Economic Managers currently in Government could rescind the $150B in tax cuts over the next 10 years and put the money into infrastructure such as water management (including desal plants maybe), electricity generation (both conventional and renewable or even nuclear), transport,, health and education. Unfortunately these so called superior money managers are probably not really capable of running a sausage sizzle at Bunnings. As a taxpayer I am more than willing to forgo my tax cut if I could be reassured that the money would go to a worthy cause, like making life better for a new generation of Australians.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:24pm
    It's a matter of priorities for the federal government and state governments. The coral reefs are worth spending half-a-billion dollars of government tax revenue more than drought relief and affordable water supply to its citizens.
    Oh, don't start me on water theft exploitation and the pollution of our river system.
    Instead of wasting revenue on coral reefs that die and are self regenerated how about building effective filtered rain water catchments Australia wide?
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    4:09pm
    If the rivers are being managed so well VeryCaringBigBear then how come all those fish died?.
    101
    5th Sep 2019
    5:09pm
    You can't be very old VCBB, Paddle Steamers once traversed the Darling up to Bourke, for the last 40 years that I know of you can walk across the Darling most of the time and not get your feet wet.
    Tood
    5th Sep 2019
    5:16pm
    Spot on Misty why can't they get a pipeline from Qld & NT built, decades ago they managed to build one from Perth to Kalgoorlie wasn't rocket science then but it appears to be now with this useless mob in parliament
    Couldabeen
    5th Sep 2019
    6:25pm
    Misty, please remember that virtually all of our inland rivers are little more than storm drains. The Darling has never been a permanent water way. 100 years ago it was common for the paddle wheelers to become stranded many kilometres from the actual river bed and sit for over a year before the next floods came through. The Menindee Lakes have become artificial impoundments and created unnatural water holding. The deaths of millions of fish was a usual happening in centuries gone by.
    The Care Bear, the paddle wheelers were very much at the whim of the flood waters and there was no certainty that the boats would complete their journeys.
    Tood, you may like to look at the subsequent history of the man who oversaw the building of the Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline. It is very difficult to get a positive business case for a north to south diversion water scheme with pipe line. It seems simple, but the infrastructure required is vast and the projected potential rates of flow would make little economic sense.
    Farside
    5th Sep 2019
    7:24pm
    Tood, you may want to read about the abandoned Bradfield Scheme that proposed to do as you suggest. Spoiler alert: it's not going to happen in your lifetime.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-18/fact-file-bradfield-scheme-drought-relief/11216616

    There is also a discussion thread on historical thought bubbles to restore Lake Eyre into an inland sea and have south-north canal linking Spencer Gulf via Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre to Gulf of Carpentaria.

    https://www.quora.com/If-a-canal-is-constructed-to-turn-Central-Australia-into-an-inland-sea-would-it-be-a-great-idea-or-a-dumb-one
    jaycee1
    6th Sep 2019
    9:46am
    I can never understand why they only have catchment areas in certain places. Why do they not have them in EVERY suburb - it's not as if rain only falls on the same area all the time!

    Why isn't all rain/storm / grey water collected and sent up the country? At various sections they could have filter stations that separate / filter the water. Any waste could be siphoned off to make fertilizer, the filtered water can then go into containment areas that are then divided for use .i.e rivers - farmers - further filtering for drinking etc.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:08pm
    Every genuine infrastructure activity is going to cost at start-up - you need to become business headed and look at the long-term effects - think of it - without the influx of cash into the Snowy Scheme..... and the railways - jeez - we'd have no rail lines to close down!!... the Harbour Bridge etc...

    And don't listen to the privateer politicians in sellout mode - they waste one hell of a lot of that cash on their pet schemes and in pumping up their mate's enterprises etc and not on genuine infrastructure for the general populace (hereinafter to be deemed 'the peasantry' (small letters)...

    It continues to amaze me that people will continue to accept the sell-off of a utility and then the doubled and trebled costs of use and still call it 'efficient' .... if a car ran that way it'd be in the wreckers or on Ebay as a 'classic gas guzzler'... as I said - if I left my car with a mechanic and came back to find he'd installed an engine that cost twice or three times as much to run - I'd sue and win... governments are doing that almost daily and there is no backlash... no public hangings or guillotinings, no assassinations... just more and more politicians retiring rich after a life of devastation of the lives of others and of their country ......
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:10pm
    A basic rule is that you do not look at start-up costs in isolation - and experience shows you do NOT use a 'privatised' approach to water supply - but you need to look at the overall costs/benefits over the life of the project - and without paying for overfed CEOs etc, boards etc and shareholders ...
    Tricky
    5th Sep 2019
    11:21am
    Deeming Rates to rise to force more pensioners and part pensioners off Welfare!
    Mootnell
    5th Sep 2019
    11:50am
    It is NOT welfare despite what the yellow backed politicians would now have you trained to believe. We have been paying in to a pension fund all our working lives (and still are). It is not the people’s fault the government decided to take the money and put it all into general revenue.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    12:21pm
    Unfortunately it is welfare as it is only paid to those who have no other means of support. Nothing to do with a pension fund you paid into all your working life at all. If you paid in nothing you would still get the same pension. So if you can prove you have no other means of support you get the pension.
    Paddington
    5th Sep 2019
    12:41pm
    Old age gets you the pension and nothing to feel ashamed of! If you are lucky enough to have investments and super etc then you wait until that is used up. Help others along the way no matter your own circumstances as well. Judgmental comments are unnecessary and hurtful.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    1:00pm
    I diverted my assets and bought a very expensive home before I retired so that I got the full pension plus benefits. My grandkids now all have houses with no debts which save them a fortune and I get an income by way of the pension for living in an expensive house. It's certainly a great way to keep and grow the wealth of the whole family thanks to our generous pension system.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    1:39pm
    It's PARASITES like you, VCBB, who are wrecking the pension system for the poor folk who really need it. Shame on you!
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    4:11pm
    Comments like yours certainly won't get you any friends on here VCBB.
    Horace Cope
    5th Sep 2019
    5:28pm
    Hey VeryCaringBigBear, the only people who disparage your legal adjustment of assets are those who are jealous. The family home is not, nor should ever be, part of the asset test for the age pension. Should you need to, a judicious downsize in the future should enable you to put a bit in super, give you a bit of cash to enjoy life with and still receive at least a part pension. That's what following the rules allows.
    Farside
    5th Sep 2019
    7:28pm
    way to go Big Bear, play the cards dealt you. If the game is changed to include the house in the assets test (perhaps as it should) then you will always have the option to consider your next hand and make your moves if the change is not grandfathered.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:24am
    VCBB - bullshit!
    Rae
    6th Sep 2019
    11:05am
    Haha Big Bear. Keep it up. There are actually people who did that. One of my mates did exactly that when she realised her decades of savings were doing her out of a steady income and all the lovely concessions. She built a lovely home and gifted the kids for their homes. Quite a good plan. Why should just the spenders get the rewards.
    Misty
    6th Sep 2019
    12:55pm
    How does that work Rae?, you can only gift a certain amount in a year to be eligible for a pension, oh and by the way not all pension receipients are spenders, some are very careful with their finances.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:17pm
    Social Security is not welfare... been there, done that....

    Such things as PPL and childcare etc may be welfare - they are, after all, outside of Social security - and that's it - they are NOT part of Social security, but are another trough the politicians have designed to help fill the coffers of their mates (look at the ownerships of such ventures as childcare, job placement, etc).

    Misty - had an online joust with an advocate of trusts the other day - I said, in simple terms, 'beneficiary' is not a job title - ergo no 'pay' adheres to the position.... maybe everyone should become a trust - that way Jo Worker could just pay her kids out of her income, and not pay tax on it since it is divided and is not her income....

    That way there are no questions about gifting or anything else...

    I also pointed out that 'trusts' were installed when only the wealthy could use them (still the case), and when only those same wealthy even had the vote - long outdated abuse of power...and overdue for the scrapheap of taxation history...

    This very concept and the blatant abuse to which limited franchise was put prior to universal suffrage*, has lead me to say that persona over a certain net worth should not be permitted to stand for public office, since they do not represent the majority.... a total inversion of the way things were prior to federation here...

    *apparently the 'betters' "suffered" the peasants to have a vote - it was a matter of noblesse oblige and not of Right .... but they still control where it goes....
    Farside
    6th Sep 2019
    3:18pm
    Misty, the trick to retirement planning is not to wait until your retirement date. If you want to gift any assets so they are not included in the pension assets test then you only have to gift them five years before applying for the pension.
    Horace Cope
    5th Sep 2019
    12:08pm
    The Murray Darling Authority is a complete shambles and this has been caused by the design of it. There are six governments (Qld, NSW, Vic, SA, ACT and Federal) involved in this with no one government having authority so there are different ideologies. The main problem with the MDA is the urgent need to flood the Coorong with fresh water when scientists have proved that the lower end of the Murray was always a saltwater lake. This urgency means that water is wasted by flooding the Murray and wasting the water that traditionally has been used for farming.

    There are speculators buying up water allocations and setting prices to farmers well above what has been charged in years past. This is a ridiculous position as all water should belong to the people, administered by a government department. Much has been said of the current drought but careful management would have provided more water for the towns along the Darling as well as irrigators rather than waste it by artificially flooding the Murray. There have been fish kills which attracts politicians full of promises but no idea how to implement those promises. Perhaps those fish kills may have been avoided if more careful management was permitted.

    I believe that the time has come to stop private investors buying and selling water, the Federal government to be the sole controller of the Murray Darling river systems and all other lesser governments to step aside. When six governments are in charge all we get is finger pointing and the blame put on the other government.
    Sal
    5th Sep 2019
    4:04pm
    Actually no water from the Darling is actually reaching the Murray so what happens downstream has no effect on the Darling. The users of the Upper Darling are the only people that can be blamed for no water in the Darling.
    Horace Cope
    5th Sep 2019
    4:51pm
    Sal, the water from the Menindee lakes, which form part of the Darling, were forced through. You're right, now the Darling is just a line of billabongs but if the Menindee Lakes had been left to do what nature intended there would be more water in the Darling system.
    BERRYUPSET
    5th Sep 2019
    12:31pm
    Does anyone know WHEN the PENSION RISE plus deeming rates change kicks in?I GOTTA EAT!!!!
    Paddington
    5th Sep 2019
    12:43pm
    The pension rise is 20th of this month so not long away. Supposed to be going up by 2.4% which is quite good. I think that means $7 or more per person per week.
    johninmelb
    5th Sep 2019
    12:44pm
    just type reduction in deeming rates into the search box at the top of this page.

    All the information you need is on this site. Easy to find using search.
    BERRYUPSET
    5th Sep 2019
    1:00pm
    Thankyou P.(Bear?) and johninmelb!!!
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    4:13pm
    Not good if you rent though BERRYUPSET as the govt puts the rent up with the pension increase.
    floss
    5th Sep 2019
    12:33pm
    Less water more people what a disaster looming lets change our immigration policy before it is does more damage to Australia.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    1:41pm
    I could not agree more. Zero immigration NOW! And encourage some groups to emigrate.
    Paddington
    5th Sep 2019
    2:09pm
    Maybe start with the grouchy old farts lol!
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:49pm
    Intellego- maybe we should start with the people who's ancestors invaded and colonised this continent some 40,000-60,000 years ago, followed by the people who's ancestors invaded and colonised this continent some 200 years ago, is your name on that list?
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:26am
    Paddo - let's start with the activist groups..... anyone disenchanted with the nation is welcome on the first boat...
    Farside
    6th Sep 2019
    10:05am
    TREBOR, don't forget the people disenchanted with the nation but not in activist groups ... reserve a seat for them on the boat.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:21pm
    Hmm - then we'd need to look at what constitutes their 'disenchantment', Farside - there is positive and negative disenchantment - so we need to define what is positive and what is not before we start shipping them out...

    If disenchantment is valid, they stay - if not they go....

    At the moment I prefer we make it voluntary..... those seriously disenchanted can go - those with the best interest of the nation at heart and who require change can stay...
    Farside
    6th Sep 2019
    3:23pm
    TREBOR, life is never as simple as what it may appear at first so happy pondering the intricacies of disenchantment. Could be a net earner for the treasury coffers to give people a thousand dollars, free cell phone and a one way ticket on the boat in exchange for not calling Australia home.
    arbee
    5th Sep 2019
    1:23pm
    So Riverina rice and probably cotton growers as well are worried about a lack of water for their crops. well, they are the ones who chose to use huge tracts of land with flood irrigation to grow crops where there is very little rainfall. They have built huge dams which inn turn take all of the water that used to flow downstream and irrigated our major food bowls. Rice and cotton should never have been allowed to have been grown in these areas. I have heard that 1 dam alone on Cubby station would fill 7 Sydney harbor's.
    Paddington
    5th Sep 2019
    1:51pm
    You are correct!
    Tood
    5th Sep 2019
    5:22pm
    Yes why don't we leave the rice growing to Asia where there is plenty of water, save the water here for fruit and veg, veg mainly the fruit over the years is rubbish, look at the strawberries for sale now, sour and only half ripe.
    Misty
    5th Sep 2019
    6:14pm
    And so huge Tood, makes you wonder if they are Genetically Modified.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:30am
    Have to be, Misty - the ex (I'm her carer) loves her strawbs and she threw out the last two lots..

    (sighs) when we had the property, the Salvos came out once a week to pick all our excess strawberries and give them to the poor... we had so many we were happy to give... and always happy to hear that children smile when their parents are poor, because of a simple treat....
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:30am
    I'll be putting some in here - but if this drought continues.....
    floss
    5th Sep 2019
    3:27pm
    Perhaps our stupid Government will now accept there is climate change taking place and will adjust our population to it.
    Arvo
    5th Sep 2019
    3:55pm
    Nah, floss, but there is a change looming to their salary with a 2% increase, they certainly believe in that and accept that change.
    Alexia
    5th Sep 2019
    4:50pm
    And yet we are bringing tourists from Japan with direct flights to and from Perth!
    So we will cater to thousands of people visiting WA and our water supplies are diminishing and more costly every term for us! And those people are better off than most of us here.
    What a criminal thing to do to Australians and all for the money!
    Tourism is an undesirable thing when we have fewer water supplies than we need, no matter what the government thinks as we are getting overpopulated for our resources and infrastructure, as seen in streets and highways.
    China is becoming a worry already as it seems there are more Chinese, Indian and other Asian people buying property than Australians and our schools are full of their children over the regular Australian population that was normal a few years ago.
    My fear is that we will become an Asian country losing our ideas, rules, laws and human rights as the majority of those countries impose theirs and we are seeing at the moment the reality of this in Hong Kong. I fear we are losing our identity as a country of Aboriginal and European inmigrant population and becoming an Asian controlled nation.
    In fact, my group of friends and family are discussing the possibility of leaving Australia, a country we love and returning to Europe or some other country where the Asiatic influence is not as predominant.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:34am
    Don't forget the Chinese billionaires (you don't get to be a billy unless you are on the 'inside' with the Chinese government) who get free flights here and get to land without customs, so they can gamble...

    **coughs** could the same strips be used to introduce a Fifth Column here? (yes) ...

    You're right - I've studied and worked security, terrorism and counter terrorism, Asian Pacific Basin issues, and national security....
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:40am
    ... and sometimes I'm certain I know more than the government bodies we hear so much about, but who have some serious faults.... especially in their recruitment style...

    **coughs** still available for employment - on MY terms and not yours... just for those who've interviewed me in the past....... but then, I am a patriot.....
    MICK
    5th Sep 2019
    5:47pm
    The story is a bit more complex than that Leon.
    Yes climate change means certain regions are experiencing severe drought/floods cycles but to add to that remember that OUR GOVERNMENT has allowed foreign companies and foreign governments to buy our most prized farming land in select drought proof regions. Guess what? These enterprises do not sell most of their produce in Australia and just like the gas industry the product is bound for overseas markets to feed foreigners.
    Ponder on that next time you vote irrespective of the mainstream media propaganda telling you to vote Coaltion as it grooms their political party. If food is getting scarce and expensive then ITS YOUR FAULT because you voted this bad bad lot back in. Don't even get me started on the fascist dictatorship currently being set up.

    Apologies to those who understood the difference between political parties and did not do as the right wing media was orchestrating. Most did exactly the wrong thing and just like gas prices so it will be for food in the coming decade.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:35am
    Ponder on that next time you buy a steak or wonder why gravy beef is $20 a kilo ........
    Rae
    7th Sep 2019
    6:49am
    The fishmonger explained why prawns are $45 a kilo with the excuse that millions of wealthy Asians love our prawns and are happy to pay those prices.

    All the seafood is getting expensive as we compete on price with the wealthy buyers.

    My costs for seafood have tripled over the past three years and some items are just too expensive now if I want to stick to the budget.
    floss
    5th Sep 2019
    5:57pm
    Great comment Mick you have summed it up so well.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2019
    9:21pm
    Thanks for the kudos floss.
    It makes my day when some readers actually understand what is really going on. Most of course just regurgitate the nonsense they hear on 'The News' (not).
    In the end we'll all pay for stupidity.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:37am
    Couldn't have said it better - well done, Mick.
    Hairy
    5th Sep 2019
    7:01pm
    Yes Mootnell bloody theives and liars .and they were voted back in because they were just a little better than the other thieves and liars.

    5th Sep 2019
    7:31pm
    I have had a busy couple of days so I haven't read everyones comments, BUT, I have vivid memories of the RECESSION WE HAD TO HAVE.. and they are preparing us! Stock up! and re-write your budget and bunker down ....here we go again....the things they are saying and talking about are soooo familar prior to the last recession. Very airy fairy suggestions and warnings, trying not to panic people. I just feel so sorry for the generation before mine, they are living on credit and have no skills under their belts to get through what they are about to battle. I remember working wonders with mince and fresh veg and saying yes to anything that was free ....the neighbours we had were fabulous we share fruit, veg etc from our gardens and shared great money saving tips. I fear for the young families today that do not have that friendship circles ....nobody knows there neighbours anymore they just work and come home shut the blinds and ....that's it! SAD I used to know all the neighbours around me and now the younger families have moved in and renovated existing homes and "hide" in them I just wonder how they are going to cope in the next few years.....bla bla bla...my rant for the week!
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    12:50am
    Chatting with a lady who relayed a story - her confidant is a government economist - his prediction, as he was telling friends in confidence, was a recession/depression in December, 2019.

    As for myself, Nostradamus Mk II, I've been calling 2019 'The Year Of Decision' :-

    .nationally, our people deemed they were no longer interested in 'progressive' policies (of exclusion and of minority rule);
    . Hong Kong blew up over one portion of democracy and civil rights (watch this space for a demand by HK for Independence);
    .Chinese government (not its people) continued its expansionist policies and actions;
    .the US matched Chinese tariffs and the Chines government (not its people who I like) raised the ante;
    .the global market showed signs of collapse and a need for life support;
    .international and national terrorism rose to new heights......

    WW III came closer and closer........

    Add to the list as you please..... I'm all ears.....

    6th Sep 2019
    12:13am
    Well - let's be honest - a budget is about to hit and maybe a few extra dollars around - so it it inevitable that costs will rise before...

    Every attempt at relieving the costs of living is either forestalled by the 'market economy' or is rapidly absorbed after the rise comes in...
    Misty
    6th Sep 2019
    1:27am
    What budget?
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2019
    2:53pm
    The federial budget on 20 September or whatever... the one where FedGuvCo hands out Maundy money .. it's an obligation on our royalty to hand out to their peasants... that's what I'm referring to ....
    BillF2
    6th Sep 2019
    1:06am
    It is ironic that, in a country that calls itself Christian, almost nobody believes there is a creator God, let alone believes that drought is not inevitable. We have been so brainwashed by the bulldust, called Evolution, that we fail to see the uniqueness of our planet - a planet teeming with a myriad life forms and all the necessities to support it, including weather patterns -in a sterile and hostile universe. Consequently, and stupidly, we dismiss as 'unscientific' (as if scientists have all the answers) the idea that there might be some intelligence that designed and instituted the life support systems, and therefore dismiss the idea that we can do anything about drought - except blame someone else. If we want to see an end to drought, maybe a change of mind and attitude is required. As parents, we are quick to tell our children that, if they want to receive treats or good things, then they have to behave. Maybe, just maybe, a change in our behaviour, coupled with an acknowledgment of where our water comes from, might see a beneficial change in the rainfall pattern and our ability to provide food for ourselves.
    Even if the acknowledgment of a creator God falls on deaf ears, as it most likely will, the idiocy of not providing as much storage as possible, both domestic and commercial, for this precious resource will only make matters worse. The principle behind the story of Joseph and the seven years drought in Egypt should be applied to both water and grain in Australia. But then, is there anyone sufficiently intelligent and capable of doing this in Australia?
    jaycee1
    6th Sep 2019
    8:36am
    In a country that gets as dry as Australia WHY are we growing water intensive crops i.e rice and cotton. It is nuts!

    6th Sep 2019
    1:45pm
    It's the marketing structure that is at fault - another example of how the globalised private enterprise paradigm is letting everyone down but is shareholders and those who live off it...

    Damn that lack of rain, though - I want my gardens again, but without a dam or tanks, I'm stuffed at the moment... sometimes I feel we should have stayed on the property...
    Incognito
    7th Sep 2019
    10:18pm
    I am wondering which foods they are actually talking about, I think we can still buy good quality cheap fruit and veggies and if we just stop exporting all the good stuff to Asia we would do better. Seems to me if overseas countries want to buy all our produce and pay more for it they put prices up for Australians. So much goes to factories to make packaged food which is devoid of nutrients. We can always start eating weeds, they are highly nutritious, like dandelions,just read some books about it, Europeans always ate weeds, we just trod on them and kill them with pesticides.
    BERRYUPSET
    9th Sep 2019
    3:26pm
    Aldi and the Farmers markets YAY!
    livenlearn
    9th Sep 2019
    3:03pm
    With all the indicators predicting a recession why can't retailers start supplying cheaper foods. No where can you purchase cheaper meats such as mutton and hogget. These were always cheaper than lamb and in many cases tastier. With the drought on surely the older sheep can be sold to help the farmers manage their stock numbers. Furthermore why is so much fruit and vegetables wasted because they are marked. Why can't these be made available sold cheaper than the perfect specimens?
    Instead retailers and wholesalers sell us what they want to sell and not what is best for the consumers and the famers!
    livenlearn
    9th Sep 2019
    3:03pm
    With all the indicators predicting a recession why can't retailers start supplying cheaper foods. No where can you purchase cheaper meats such as mutton and hogget. These were always cheaper than lamb and in many cases tastier. With the drought on surely the older sheep can be sold to help the farmers manage their stock numbers. Furthermore why is so much fruit and vegetables wasted because they are marked. Why can't these be made available sold cheaper than the perfect specimens?
    Instead retailers and wholesalers sell us what they want to sell and not what is best for the consumers and the famers!
    Incognito
    9th Sep 2019
    9:58pm
    You can already buy cheap fruit and veggies, check out Odd Bunch at Woolworths.
    Hoohoo
    9th Sep 2019
    6:16pm
    The problem is we have such limited & diminishing reserves of precious fresh water, but there's so much water wasted in CSG & coal mining, plus non-food crops like cotton. Rice & almond farming are extremely water intensive crops.
    Yet none of these uses for water count the cost of depletion of water when they're exported. They never count "The Alternative Foregone", that is, the benefits that may have been derived if the water was spent in food production. Nor does it measure the benefits to rural communities when small farmers are employed in food production, as opposed to the profits being leached out of the local economy (& country) into multinational mining companies' coffers.

    On top of that, corruption & downright boneheads have been in charge of water in this nation. The Murray Darling Plan is an absolute farce! It's only "Plan" is business as usual.

    Things are about to get a whole lot worse & we need our political leaders to start being brave & making hard decisions, NOT BASED ON SHORT TERM BUSINESS OUTCOMES. They need to be thinking about the country's future, not flaky voters at the next election.
    Incognito
    9th Sep 2019
    9:57pm
    More than half of fresh water in Australia is used in agriculture.


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