AS CHINA'S leader Xi embraces a new five-year plan, he is welcoming a new era which focuses his country on strengthening its own internal market and shifting away from decades of export-oriented growth, while weaning off its reliance on supply chains elsewhere.
During this phase we will see Australian businesses progressively "decoupled" from the past efforts of China to integrate with the West.
For regional Australia the impacts are potentially significant.
Further frustrating the situation is that every time China recognise commodities which can become decoupled, it is using the opportunity as a chance to show the world it is less beholden to Western demands and interests (for example, retaliatory tariffs on coal, wine, cotton, barley etc for Australian demands for a COVID inquiry).
I believe it is in our national interest to recognise the status quo has changed and look to developing a new future for this country.
We need to act now to mitigate the potential effects from the decoupling of Chinese trade.
Australia will always be a country focused on export-oriented growth, but with China no longer wanting to remain our market, a global market saturated with goods, we need to start looking to value adding raw commodities onshore.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Making fabric our of cotton, steel from iron ore and coal and beer from barley for example
I would like to see our business leaders given strong signals from the government that is what is required for our nation to remain strong into the future.
I would like to see taxation policies adjusted to encourage such investment.
Regional communities are reliant on new jobs being created before markets disappear.
'Mad, bad politics'
I AM always stunned at the lack of knowledge and or will of our local, state and federal governments, and their bureaucratic paid puppets, who consistently show little understanding of agriculture and its contribution to the economic prosperity of this country.
Whether it is at local, state, or federal level, our farming organisations seem incapable of getting their industry genuine support to enhance productivity and help rebuild the national economy, at a time when it is so desperately needed.
While we get ridiculous rhetoric about a farming industry worth $100 billion by 2030, (who can forget that we are going to be, apparently "the food bowl of Asia") such bizarre statements are not matched by meaningful genuine policy.
apologies here to Suzanna Sheed and Helen Dalton, both doing a great job despite vicious attacks from both sides of the political fence.
Even at local level farmers struggle to get support. It is simply mindboggling to read that the local council at Deniliquin, a community that relies so heavily on agriculture, is going to close its cattle saleyards without consulting those affected. Good grief.
Decisions likes this are being made by elected representatives with limited farming knowledge, or if they have any such knowledge they have simply forgotten who elected them in the first place and have been blinded by the flashing lights of money poured in from state and federal politicians anxious not to see the "swing" in the last elections get any bigger.
Alternatively such decisions are being made on recommendations from bureaucrats with even less farming knowledge and an eye on the next gravy train "grant".
As a result, life for the hardworking farmer unnecessarily becomes just that little bit more difficult This, after years of government made drought whilst water flows past us to South Australia. Go figure.
At federal level, this must be simply the greatest fraud committed on a country.
If one looks back in history water has surprisingly been behind many a war in and against countries.
If we are to reach said goal of an industry worth $100 billion by 2030 we can't do it without water (or is the plan that we will sell almonds and South Australian grapes only and that is how it will happen?)
Water management is arguably at its worst point in the history of federation, with massive quantities wasted in the name of "environmental flows" (the city voter just loves anything that says "environment").Such "flows" at times have been clearly shown to cause environmental damage!
Meanwhile, we have a federal government which simply won't fix the problem, led by a Water Minister (Keith Pitt) and an Environment Minister (Sussan Ley) who appear more concerned with toeing the party line, looking after their own term in parliament and future pension (that yours and my taxes pay for) than calling for and doing some much-needed action to support food production.
After nearly 12 months in the job, Mr Pitt has finally decided to visit the NSW Murray. What does that tell you?
His performance in the water portfolio has been extremely disappointing and hopefully this visit will give him a broader understanding of issues being faced.
In 2021 we need action to fix the water management mess that governments - led by the Federal Government - have created.
Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, when the federal government needs to step up and show some authority over the States it instead goes missing.
It would be a welcome change if this attitude was reversed and our failing water management was acknowledged and addressed this year.
Finally, Edward River Council, you should be ashamed of yourselves. All the big puffing chests with new roundabouts and seats outside IGA and yet you try to close down the sale yards and put up our rates out on our farms by up to 30 per cent.
My father in law would turn in his grave if he saw the results of the wonderful "merger". The old Conargo Shire was cashed up and well managed without political handouts.