Bill Tatt: drought assistance may be doing harm to rural businesses

Stock and property:  The aid for drought-affected farmers is in danger of missing the mark and in some cases doing untold harm to people and business houses which were not meant to be hurt. Photo: File.
Stock and property: The aid for drought-affected farmers is in danger of missing the mark and in some cases doing untold harm to people and business houses which were not meant to be hurt. Photo: File.

Week Ending 14/09/18

An indication of the tough trading times facing the red meat industry is the recent collapse of Tasman Market Fresh Meat.

The organisation had 17 “warehouse meat style retail outlets” in Melbourne and regional Victoria and have now gone into voluntary administration.

The extent of the debt is yet to be released but the talk around the processing industry is that the figure could be as high as $38 million.

The receivers are still helping to sell the business as a going concern and save the jobs of the 150 employees.

Many reasons have been suggested for the collapse and they include fierce competition from the major supermarket chains, the model of a stand-alone meat outlet not attached to a shopping centre may have lost its appeal to the “time poor” shoppers, the cost of electricity and other outgoings would also have taken a financial toll.

Read past Bill Tatt columns:

​The aid programme for the needy farmers with assistance from multiple government departments, a wide-ranging host of charities and huge numbers of good people within the community is in danger of missing the mark and in some cases doing untold harm to people and business houses which were not meant to be hurt.

In my very small home community we have one supermarket, CRT store, mechanic with a great garage and a small contingent of other business outlets all servicing with varying degrees of success our village and surrounding districts.

Maybe some form of voucher system which allowed the farming community to source their requirements and allow business houses servicing that part of our rural community to remain viable and relevant would have been the answer.

Bill Tatt

With the arrival of food hampers containing everything from toiletries, canned food, dog biscuits, cleaning supplies and most other household essentials the local above-mentioned business houses have been reduced in many instances to eating the paint off the walls to survive.

Maybe some form of voucher system which allowed the farming community to source their requirements and allow business houses servicing that part of our rural community to remain viable and relevant would have been the answer.

Hay, grain and pellets etc. could also in the main be acquired in this manner.

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The end result to my way of thinking would be much the same.

The farmer fulfils his requirements and our shops are still here in our village tomorrow.

Towns like Baradine have already made national television describing the towns perilous state, they are far from being alone in this dire situation.

To make matters worse saleyard talk is that some person skimmed a $100,000.00 of the top of one charity organisation trying to help.

Vouchers or the like might just stop this type of behaviour.

Also making news:

Dubbo agents drew for 3370 cattle for their prime cattle on Thursday, September 13 once again prime cattle appeared to be in limited numbers with little cattle very hard to sell.

Pens of cattle with some weight even if in somewhat plain condition met with a better response than the previous sale.

Frame and some weight appeared to be the attraction. Cows sold to stronger competition.