Mining or farming: What do the Nationals really stand for?
Barnaby Joyce's return to the leadership and his hard pro-mining stance raise questions about the future of an increasingly divided National Party. Honorary Professor Geoff Cockfield from the Institute for Resilient Regions and the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at the University of Southern Queensland, explores these issues against the backdrop of current international developments and the downturn in the market for coal, the relationship between Australian farmers and mining companies and the history of the National Party.
Environmental markets can't compensate for decades of government neglect
This year's federal budget included an A$32.1 million scheme to promote a so-called "biosecurity stewardship" scheme. Dr Philippa England from Griffith Law School tells us why the scheme is a lose-lose project, failing the majority of farmers and the environment. Evaluations have shown that such schemes are expensive, time consuming and often unworkable. They don't replace investment in sustained long term government funding for projects that we know are effective in protecting the land and biodiversity.
Reema Rattan, Liam Armstrong, Carly Dober and Judith Peppard