Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Queensland decision ridiculed

This was published today in the Canberra Times and the Brisbane Times and perhaps other newspapers across the country.  It is a comment piece written by John Birmingham and it paints an accurate picture of the Queensland Government decision to cave in to big business.

It’s hard to imagine anyone getting excited over the prospect of squeezing 10,000 chickens into something like a suburban block.

But the local minister for chickens, John McVeigh, seems very excited indeed at the prospect. As no doubt are the giant egg producers who’ve been lobbying for years redefine ‘free range’ eggs as ‘free to make enormous sodding profits from a lot of gullible punters and even grumpier chickens’.

If the industry could only sell millions more tasteless pale little yellow eggs from sad old cluckers imprisoned in closely packed sheds for the same price those free range hippies are selling their bloated inconveniently tasty golden eggs of goodness, why, the giant industrial farming companies which make up most of membership of the Australian Egg Corporation Limited would make a lot more money.

You can see why a state government with close ties to an industrial agribusiness like factory-scale egg producers would want to give them a free ticket to cash in on people’s desire for a half decent goog into which to dip their Vegemite toast soldiers. But I can’t see why we’d let them get away with it. This is such a blatant shakedown.

For some people, including most genuine free range farmers, it’s a matter of ethics, of not treating the chooks poorly. But even if you don’t much care about that, you should totally care that these bastards are trying to sell you a vastly inferior product at a grotesque mark up simply because their mates in the government have tipped them the nod to get away with it.