An increasing number of Western Australian grain producers are committing to farming methods that avoid the use of extensive tillage and synthetic chemicals. One such producer is Nick Kelly of Hollands Track Farm near Newdegate in southern WA. Over the last two decades, Nick has focused on nurturing soil health by building and maintaining soil organic material to promote biological activity in his soils.
Suicide in Rural and Remote Australia: Mental Health Strategies cannot effectively Operate in Isolation
The incidence of suicide among people located in Australia’s rural and remote regions is increasing. Alarmingly, suicide rates of young Indigenous males are far in excess of the national average. National and State governments need to work together to implement the policies and strategies that have already been identified to address the unfortunate and disturbing trend that is gaining national prominence.
The health of our agricultural soils is declining caused by salinity, acidity and other factors. West Australian farmers, with support from government, are working hard to improve their soil and land management practices to ensure their ability to be able to produce the food needed to feed our future population.
While large multinational corporations traditionally dominate the field of corporate social responsibility, there is significant potential for small- to medium-sized Australian businesses to benefit their local communities by adopting effective corporate social responsibility practices. Indeed, many such businesses unknowingly already conduct programmes aligned to community support; formalising these practices can have significant positive effects for both the practising business and the community.
Opportunities exist for Australian farmers to develop and expand their farm business operations, with the objective of producing healthy and safe food for domestic and international markets. Key factors that will influence their business development will be incorporating both current and future technology in combination with automated food products, packaging and distribution systems.
The Honourable Jim Chown MLC, Member for Agricultural Region; Shadow Minister for Agriculture & Food; Regional Development; Royalties for Regions; Fisheries
The farming industry in Western Australia plays a major role in feeding the State’s growing population and that of the rest of the country. If our farmers are to continue to be able to meet the future demand for healthy and nutritious food, investment in diverse agricultural research and development programmes will be required.
The implementation of recommendations made in recent government reports would facilitate more effective firefighting and fire management, which could help to significantly reduce the disastrous effects of bushfires on Australian communities.
State-led conservation initiatives can only provide marginal gains in the face of the broader effects of climate change in Australia. Comprehensive Australia-wide strategies are needed to protect already vulnerable native species from those effects. These strategies must be implemented in tandem with the successful pre-existing State Government-led initiatives.
There is the potential for significant benefit to Western Australia through a new programme to expand the size of the State’s conservation estate.
The ability to meet rising food demand, in light of continuing population growth, is of increasing concern to the global community. In response, government, public and private enterprise, farmers and food producers and the wider community, must recognise and deal with a range of conflicting issues relating to our ability to ensure food security.