Farming, homelessness on Greens’ South West agenda

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Tom ZaunmayrAugusta Margaret River Times
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VideoAustralian Greens leader Richard Di Natale warned of a Federal Election fought over fear and greed at the launch of the WA Greens campaign in Perth

Sustainable farming and tackling the hidden homelessness crisis will be front and centre of the Greens’ pitch to Augusta-Margaret River voters as the Federal election campaign goes into overdrive.

The Greens have unveiled an $80 million “green farming” plan to provide subsidies to farmers who improve yield without degrading land. A voluntary whole-of-paddock rehabilitation and restoration of Landcare funding would also be rolled out.

Speaking on a visit to Margaret River, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said agriculture would suffer if climate change was not addressed. “We need to invest in environmental subsidies and support the approach that Greening Australia has taken with a lot of farmers, which is the whole-of-paddock rehabilitation,” she said.

“It is a tragedy that our globally known Landcare movement has had such funding cuts over the past years.

“While rehabilitating, we foresee there would have to be some support payments while that’s occurring, but we also know the benefit to increasing production through well-managed land.”

Ms Siewert said the Government could not afford to ignore the lack of homelessness and domestic violence services in Margaret River.

“I know some people would find this unbelievable, but homelessness has been raised with me on a number of occasions,” she said.

“There’s this idea from the Eastern States that Margaret River is a well-to-do area so you don’t need these services, which is not true.

“These issues are masked because this is a tourist area, because wealthy people come and play here.”

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