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‘Like taking oxygen out of someone’s lungs’: Our farmers under siege

Alan Jones is fighting for justice for three farmers who are at risk of losing their livelihoods.

“The dust has barely settled on the election,” says Alan, “and the farmers are under siege.”

“They’re called farmers, and you ask simply ‘who cares?’ The answer is apparently nobody.”

Wayne Pritchard, a grazier from Charters Towers, says he learned from the local newspaper on Thursday that his bank is going to sell him up in 28 days.

He tells Alan he’s met with Rural Bank in the past to discuss the issue, but nothing has ever come to fruition.

“They’ve promised me they will fix this problem on numerous occasions and yet here we are.

“As we’ve all learned, banks don’t follow procedure. They seem to be able to breach policy and procedure and their own codes of conduct, and yet nothing gets done about it.”

Another farmer, Dan McDonald from Charleville, tells Alan he’s still fighting a $112,000 fine for using the mulga on his own land to feed his cattle.

“Essentially it’s our grass, that’s the feedstock of our business.

“Our stock, our business can’t survive without it. It’s like taking oxygen out of someone’s lungs.

“It bewilders me that we could be in this situation.”

And Terry Hall, a drover from Central Western Queensland, is fighting to save starving cattle by getting them across stock routes through the Maranoa Shire to feed on the other side.

But local bureaucrats won’t allow any cattle to walk through ‘their’ shire.

“I can’t understand them,” says Terry. “The feed’s there, use it. It’s a stock grounds, it’s supposed to be for travelling stock.

“They keep saying they’re trying to save the feed. I don’t know why anyone would want to save feed.

“We’ve been in a drought for three to four years, if there’s feed there, use it.”

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