by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : Feb March 2010
In Tasmania today The large retailers supply a good ser vice to their customers but we delude ourselves if we think they create wealth. It is primary industries and the con str uction sectors that do -- retailers just sell things that have already been made. If they source products from the local area they can assist in creating wealth -- but when they don't, they take it away. In the last ten years, large retailers have done more than any other business to strip wealth out of Australia. By focusing on price above all else, we have allowed the destruction of much of Australia's food manufacturing and replaced it with products from overseas. The excessive concentration of retail power has cut diversity until there's no longer a platform for new small businesses to commence. The capacity to create innovation and for small producers to build scale has been stripped away. We only have a small secondary market in Tasmania but we have some fantastic fresh produce suppliers such as Houston Farms, Forth Far m Produce, Premium Fresh, Field Fresh and many others who supply nationally and globally. Tasmania has been an absolute leader in quality foods and wine but any small new-start business finds it almost impossible to break into the market controlled by the major retailers. We have to find ways to enable this capacity. People want to know where their food comes from and many want to buy local. These are complex areas of public policy that will not be solved with simple populist solutions. They are issues affecting us all in regional Tasmania and it is our behaviour as consumers and voters that will have the greatest impact on the behaviour of the major retailers and policy makers. We should never lose sight of our individual capacity to create change. If we are not prepared to act in support of those issues we care about, we shouldn't be surprised if nothing changes. I am proud to live on the North West Coast. It is one of the most caring communities I know. When something goes w rong, the statistics show that the Coast is among the most generous, despite it being one of the lowest socio- economic regions in the country. When someone is in trouble, people will always speak up for them. The dairy industry dispute has show n that Tasmania is a genuine community -- it rallies to support other Tasmanians and is a lesson for larger organisations. The r ules that apply in Melbour ne and Sydney don't necessarily transfer to Tasmania. Cur rently, ‘my slice of the island’ is a farm in The Don, just on the western side of Devonport. Our children have grown up now, so it's just the two of us at The Don. As far ms go, ours is not ter ribly productive. Of the two hundred and twenty-five acres, all the good land is sow n to pyrethrum. From our house we look out to the sea and back to the mountains. We have a two kilometre river frontage on the Don River. Fifty black cockatoos come and feed in the pine trees visible from the kitchen. There is a huge gum tree outside our lounge room, where wedge-tailed eagle often rest 30 metres from the window. There are white cockatoos, all manner of hawks, native hens and wallabies. You couldn't get a much better environment, particularly when you consider we are the farm next to tow n! Extraordinary biodiversity and only ten minutes away from the Spirit of Tasmania berth. We don't spend hours driving to work or home. You're always connected with nature. There's a sense of peace in what you do and I think it's having that capacity to quickly chill out, to have time to think, to see the world in many different ways that is useful. If you give yourself enough time to stand still and have a look at what's going on around you -- the natural things -- it's better than anything money can buy. Having grown up by the sea, I have always had a need to be close to it. We enjoy sailing and my wife and I have also done most of the walks around Tasmania. In particular, I love the far north-west corner and West Coast of our island. The fury of the sea and the wilderness exudes a spirit that bonds us to our European ancestors. They needed incredible spirit and mental toughness to sur vive the journey across wild seas towards this unknow n place, confined in ships for six months or more with only a few hours a day on deck. You'd have to be a fairly strong type of person to leave the security of your homeland to come to a place that really nobody knew anything about. That's our heritage -- it's in our genes and it has shaped our character. That's the spirit of this community and it's a pretty bloody decent community, the North-West Coast. I don't doubt its resilience for one moment. Richard Bovill's 2005 Fair Dinkum Food campaign highlighted his belief in the future of Australian agriculture and resulted in the award of Tasmania's Australian of the Year. Led by Richard, a team of farmers drove tractors to Canberra -- the final rally of 130 tractors and 2000 people put country-of-origin labelling on the national agenda. Tourism Tasmania and Garry Moore Tourism Tasmania and Garry Moore 43 February / March 10
Dec Jan 2010
April May 2010