A SMALL livestock farmer is keen to sell her meat in the Northern Territory and wants the Government here to help small producers.

Holtze farmer Noel Padgham, 84, runs goats, chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle at her 129ha property, Amalthea Downs. The former politician, whose daughter Kezia Purich is a Country Liberal MLA, said the potential industry for small farmers was going to waste.

"There's no small animal meat that can be sold on the local market as there's no small abattoir for sheep, goats, pigs and poultry," she said.

If a mobile abattoir catering to small farmers and their livestock was available, many small farmers across the Top End region would be able to sustain small businesses and grow, she said.

Ms Padgham said she would produce two wethers - male goats - per week to start with, but soon could increase production. "And I am just one of many," she said.

"If it started, people would get on the bandwagon."

She blamed red tape for tying up producers. "There are too many rules and restrictions," she said.

"Why can't the Government support this primary industry development when they support the oil and gas companies without thinking about it?"

Small farmers pumped money through the local economy through spending on fencing, fertiliser, plants and stock feed, she said.

"But people with land, it seems, are all looked on as if they are going to break the law with regards to fencing, stock, weeds, firebreaks, etc.

"Why doesn't the Government use the carrot and not the stick? Many pieces of legislation can be brought down to the realities of food production," she said.

Maria Billias, spokeswoman for Resource Minister Kon Vatskalis, said several small abattoirs, generally in remote areas, were supplying the local market. She said establishing an abattoir was a matter for the private sector, but the Government had officers to provide technical advice. The Department of Resources did not respond.


Personal Response:

Farmers have it tuff here in Australia with all this "red tape," which many Australians refer to as the "green tape." It seems no matter what you are doing as a farmer or primary producer, they are out to get you. Maybe if they went and spent some time they would understand how difficult they are making it for these people to survive... where's the sustainability in that? Isn't being green all about sustainability? Humm... I've come to broaden the idea of sustainability to much more than the impact humans are having on the environment Is it sustainable to run people out of business-- is that not contributing to more poverty? For rules and regulations to contribute to the idea of sustainability, they need to provide benefits to both groups... not just one. The people running around putting up all this red tape are happy, yet they are forgetting the affects their selfish decisions are making. I believe that sustainability is also about sustaining our relationships with each other, which has been an important factor to our human prosperity. 

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