In a Submission to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on the Impact of Peak Oil on South Australia
Summary, the South Australian Farmers Federation has stated that, and I quote, "The rise in 'Peak Oil prices' has had a significant affect on the farmers and rural communities in this state."
They explain that the effects have been experienced as:
"• Higher costs of farming and using machinery
• Higher costs of farm inputs as a result of petroleum products used in their production, for instance fertilizers
• Higher freight costs
• Supermarket Duopoly forcing farm gate prices down
• Higher transport costs affecting rural families for basic social activities for sport and relaxation
• Drop in volunteer labour due to travel costs
In their executive summary they state:
"Unless something is done quickly to address this situation there is a danger of farmers leaving the land and food production dropping. Recently the UN stated that lower production in developed countries and rising demand for food could cause serious global problems due to food shortages.
It seems incongruous to the SAFF that given the world wide situation that our farmers are finding it so hard to make even a reasonable living, when market forces should be driving the price they receive for produce up, not holding it down at a level below the increase in costs.
The South Australian and Australian markets need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency to ensure that fair market forces are allowed to operate in the state so that producers can earn a fair return for their effort and ensure their future viability."
The submission-writers recommend "that the South Australian Government:
• Review the fuel excise system with a view to reducing the excise levied on fuel
• Invest in research into viable alternative fuel sources.
• Create a system that ensures the supply of fuel to the state in general and to farmers in particular at crucial harvest / sale times
• Review the current system of moving freight, looking for an innovative new approach that can benefit all industries in the state
• Undertake a program to improve the ability of rural people to travel to basic family activities such as sport and recreation as well as other necessary travel
• Ensure the elderly in rural areas are supported to reduce the cost of travel to essential appointments
• Volunteers are supported."
Full submission is available here.