Mike Kelly, One Nation on agriculture

One Nation candidate, Mike Kelly.

1. While it may not yet be safe to say the drought has been broken in the Central West, we have had plenty of rain. However, we have just come out of an unprecedented 10-year drought. What are you and your party willing to commit to that will ensure water security for western graziers?

We need to stop this short-sighted nonsense that the drought is over so we don’t have to worry about water anymore. Another drought cycle will come again. For 25 years One Nation has been pushing for the Bradfield Scheme. During this campaign, I have contacted every Mayor in the electorate and asked them to sign a “Letter of Support” for a project I’ve nicknamed the “Backbone of the Bush”. It’s basically the hybrid Bradfield Scheme to commence implementation by 2028. We need to build it now. We cannot achieve $100 billion per year in Agriculture without a stable water supply.

2. A new local Agtech business in the name of OPS is starting to become the pride of the town. Agtech is quickly becoming a booming industry, what is your plan of action to help build innovation in the regions?

Nature, staffing, economic cycles and the woke, foreign-driven legislative agendas all throw massive challenges at the sector. However, technology can help all primary producers combat many of these challenges (excluding the woke nonsense). We need income to get the country back on its feet. Research and development costs are huge in the tech industry. Aussies are smart. I’d be advocating that the government becomes a funding partner for Aussie AgTech companies to develop patentable tech products to sell to the global agricultural industries for passive royalty income for the nation. And fighting the woke nonsense… that’s my job!

3. While many central west graziers do stock cattle, sheep and wool is a large part of our history and culture. The Queensland Labor State Government has committed to the Sheep and Goat Meat Strategy. What are your plans to support what was once the country’s backbone?

Being born and bred in Barcaldine, I’ve seen first hand how sheep (especially) have fallen from the mantle of being the backbone of the outback economies. Blackall once had 37 full-time shearers living in town. Now? Zero. In addition to supporting any initiatives that revitalize the sector (regardless of which party presents it), I personally believe the Longreach Ag College needs to be reopened with dedicated curriculums for this important sector. The current member spends nearly $1,000,000/year on office and admin expenses while closing the college. I’d close the empty offices and reallocate the funds to open the college back up.

4. With recent rains local graziesr have ended agistment and financially will be looking strong for some time. How will you and your party look to take advantage of this moment in time for local farmers?

We’re about to experience some much-needed good times and incomes from the sector. Now is the time to invest in the hybrid Bradfield Scheme (the “Backbone of the Bush”) to both drought-proof and flood mitigate our country forever. This one project can solve the drought cycle for every future generation while assisting in offsetting the carbon credits nonsense (to allow the big polluters to continue polluting). Permanent stable water will revitalize our towns, allowing us to repopulate, build houses, train local apprentices for trades, provide better medical services because the increased population warrants it, and generally thrive again.

5. Any last thoughts on the future for central west agriculture?

The biggest threat I see is the Net Zero 2050 nonsense currently being promoted by the Nationals and other major parties. It will decimate our industries with nonsense red/green tape and government intervention into what farmers can and can’t do trying to meet radical ideologies set by woke foreign entities. In front of a camera, the Nationals say they are against it. In February 2022, David Littleproud introduced legislation to promote the agenda further and is attempting to give the government the right to seize the farmers’ land if they are in non-compliance. The word “relinquish” is used 103 times.