It’s all well and good to say that you have the policy to transition animal agriculture farmers away from the industry.
Actually explaining something that is possible is a totally different thing.
This is where the Australian Vegan Party is different.
Below is how, we will help those in the animal agricultural industry to transition away from it, and into something that is genuinely sustainable.
Funding for this will come from levies that will be placed on the animal agriculture industry to reduce the amount contributed by the taxpayer.
These levies may include:
- Fee for NLIS reportable transaction
- Increased fees for inspections
- Increase in leasehold rents on land used for animal agriculture.
- Increase in payroll tax for industries involved in animal agriculture.
Audit And Assessment
The business owner(s) would contact the department (name of the department hasn’t been decided yet), to express an intent to transition away from animal agriculture.
The next step would be to do a complete audit of the property, and business as it currently stands.
The current financial viability of the business will be assessed, along with the personal and business debt of all responsible persons.
The usability of the land and any infrastructure would be assessed.
At the end of the audit process, a non-binding assessment of the land would be presented to the business owner.
This assessment would include things such as:
- Options for land use based on location, soil type, state of current buildings, etc.
- Estimated time frame for transition from start to finish.
- Training and future employment options for current staff. (If staff are to retrain, they would be offered subsidised training through a local TAFE/RTO).
- Any other relevant information
- Terms of transition
If the owners of the business agree with the terms, they would then apply for government assistance to transition the property.
The agreed terms of transition would include such things as the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) taking an interest in the business and property. This would mean that the Government via QIC becomes a partner in the operation, and will retain this interest until such a time as the “contribution amount” is repaid, and the land has fully transitioned away from animal agriculture. This means that it can only be done with suitable business structures, and not sole traders or trusts.
Once the agreement has been executed, and a seven day cooling off period has passed, the transition will begin.
On day one, no more animals will be purchased or sold for any reason, with all commercial activity ceasing.
Depending on the size of the property, and the number of animals within it, the property will either become part sanctuary part other purpose, or the animals will be transferred to sanctuaries that are already established.
The transfer of animals from a property in transition to another location would be exempt from any NLIS-like fees or any others that the animal agricultural industry are likely to pay.
Financing the transition will be through a mix of private/public finance/grants.
The property owner would apply for a transition loan from the Queensland State Bank (name may change (QSB)) at a negligible commercial rate. (The Australian Constitution allows for the states to establish their own banks within their borders. And thanks to the recent royal commission, we have seen how they can’t be trusted).
The government via the QIC would contribute the rest. This would be the “contribution amount”.
In addition to this, any current finance arrangements would need to be transferred to the QSB to ensure the property is not repossessed by the lender.
If this is not able to be done, legislation will be enacted to ensure that no property is repossessed by a lender while in transition.
Finding new meaningful work for the employees of the property in transition is always going to be a challenge.
Once the process is started, the employees will be spoken to, and alternatives to current employment are discussed.
If these require upskilling, the employee will be able to access subsidised AQF training. (Usually at the cert III or IV level).
Employees undertaking further training will continue to be employed by the organisation in transition, with 75% of their wage subsidised by the government.
Once they have finished their training, they will transfer back to the newly established business.
Options For Land
Save for 100% rock, there is bound to be some way that the land can be used that gives something back to the environment, and the community.
These uses could be eco tourism, land rehabilitation, other crops, plant-based aquaculture, etc.
The only limit is our imagination.
Regardless of what the land is transitioned into, finding meaningful employment for those who used to work on the farm will be a priority.
This Is The Starting Point
The aim of this document is to provide a starting point for other political parties to create a genuine plan for transitioning farms away from animal agriculture.
While it is here as a post now, this plan will change and develop as time goes by.
So, make sure you watch this space.
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