It’s been a big week. We have mustered and drenched cows, harvested sorghum and drafted off a mob of steers for the feedlot market. This old girl is tired to her bones, and feeling battle weary too after having to take on the chin the Qld government’s new vegetation management laws that are a slap in the face of every good, honest hardworking man and woman on the land.
I have ranted and raged against these laws. Voiced my views on social media, joined Twitter and taken part in a virtual rally and learnt how to use a hashtag. Quite a learning curve for an old chook like me! I have responded to people I don’t even know who tell me I’m a greedy, vandalising destroyer of the environment who just wants to rip every tree from the ground, kill koala bears by the thousand and end all life on the Great Barrier Reef. Telling my side of the story has sapped every remaining ounce of energy I have.
Imagine if a farmer stood up and said, all those folk from the cities live in squaller, they don’t take care of their pets, they don’t look after their environment and they are greedy people who only care about earning a dollar at any cost. Well, I feel that’s how farmers and graziers are portrayed in social media these days.
I am left feeling battered and bruised. I have no fight left in me and I feel hurt and humiliated. Who are these people who have such little regard for my family, my property and my lifestyle? More importantly, where did this arrogance and ignorance come from? I would never presume to tell anyone how to live their life or make assumptions about their credibility.
It’s just such a blatant lack of respect from the public in general and our elected officials in particular. Generations of firsthand knowledge guides the man on the land in his decision making every day.
What I would like to say to each and every one of them is, hello, I don’t know you. I don’t know what you do for a living, whether you’re passionate about it, or it’s just a way to support your family. I don’t know if you learnt your trade at your grandfather’s knee, if you use best practice or if you are lauded overseas as innovative and progressive; you could be a leader in your field. What I do know is, I would never presume to tell you how to do your job – whatever it is. I would want to walk a mile in your shoes first, learn all there is to know before making judgement.
Having said that, I do feel a little better. It’s time now to walk out into the sunshine, smell that air that carries with it the essence of cows, grass and soil. Time to remember; I’m the lucky one and governments only last as long as their integrity. Once that runs out we will still be standing strong, united and confident.