Article by David Southwell courtesy of the Daily Mail.
Gina Rinehart has issued a grim warning that Aussies face huge price hikes and fresh food shortages unless the burden of climate change policies are lifted from farmers.
During an address in Bali on Tuesday, the mining magnate made the ominous forecast to mark National Agriculture & Related Industries Day, of which Ms Rinehart is the founding patron.
Australia’s richest person, who owns millions of farming hectares, said governments need to cap what agriculturalists spend on achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions to $200,000 – or the entire nation faces dire consequences.
‘Otherwise, farmers will have to leave agriculture, and as a consequence, Aussies will see huge food price increases and fresh food shortages,’ Ms Rinehart said.
Ms Rinehart, who is the executive chairman iron ore exporting giant Hancock Prospecting, said Australia’s agriculture is the ‘envy of much of the world’ but is ‘haunted’ by the cost of climate change policies.
‘Don’t blame the farmer for needing to try to pass on to Australian householders the multi-millions of costs they’ll each face, for installing solar power, batteries and multi millions for electric vehicles, and fines,’ she said.
The mining billionaire claimed the burden government over-reach and interference fell most heavily on the ‘essential’ primary industries of agriculture and mining.
She also expressed fury at not being able to clear land, normally for environmental reasons, in a way that might curb bushfires, due to government red tape.
‘Government tape drowns us, won’t even let us keep our families, staff, pets, homes and investment safe through adequate fire breaks, my blood boils over on this one,’ she said.
‘Fines and even jail if we try the bureaucracy blocks us or hinders us at every opportunity. Projects succeed not because of government but in spite of it.’
Ms Rinehart said governments continuing to focus on the wrong things were hurting Australia.
‘Pandering to minority group activism, the Left and the Greens abetted by virtue signalling, effects political decisions and policy, instead of costs, common sense and economics,’ she said.
‘Unfortunately, politicians too often forego common sense and real leadership, for noisy public activism.’
She painted a picture of Australia being the ‘cusp of greatness’ in the late 1960s to early 1970s.
‘Government was wary of taking on debt, our nation was developing well, migrants were arriving from Italy and Greece especially, and settling in well, working and contributing, in numbers that worked, bringing with them a desire to succeed in their new country, not wanting Aussie taxpayers’ welfare,’ she said.
‘Our population was educated, skilled and industrious. Government was far, far less intrusive and the welfare state as we know it today did not exist.’
However, she argued that all changed with the election of the Whitlam Labor government in 1972.
‘Trade unions impatient to claim an even greater share of what they saw as this prosperous future, helped to elect a socialist government led by Gough,’ she said.
‘Policies were put in place that favoured trade unions and popular agendas rather than common sense.’
In the speech, she also called for an end of ‘discriminatory limit on work hours’ to let pensioners, uni students, veterans, disabled and nonviolent non-dangerous prisoners help fill labour shortages’.
Ms Rinehart fortune has been estimated at $34.41billion.