Dear Valued Interested Persons,

Below is Brett’s email to Scott Morrison on 19th February 2019 and the Federal Government’s response dated 29th April 2020 stating amongst other things:

  • ‘Your idea’s regarding stock insurance will be considered as part of the development of this plan’

Agriculture Ministers debate from the National Press Club of 8th May 2019 here – at the 7 minute 15 second mark Hon David Littleproud refers to an Australian Agriculture Centre of Excellence

OBA Consulting has submitted an expression of interest in being involved in the Australian Agriculture Centre of Excellence referred to

Additionally please find below from the Queensland Floods of February 2019:

As at April 2019 the number of Livestock that perished is said the be approximately 500,000, representing approximately 1/56th of Australia’s 27,000,000 head of cattle and according to Agforce, the area effected is twice the size of Tasmania at 32.74 million acres (13.25 million hectares / 134.48 billion square meters).

Cattle seeking refuge from rising floodwaters on a pond embankment in Queensland, Australia, February 2019.

A story from Laine Keough – QLD Farmer:

“Here at Taldora station, these cattle were trapped up on yards due to being washed up against them and the gates breaking. Chopper pilot Snow and I had to swim in the water to try and open the gates and move the cattle. We managed to get this mob out. An example that we all do what we can to help the livestock and help each other. But now those cattle will possibly starve.”

Brett’s view’s on Government recovery packages in relation to Livestock loss are as follows:

  • Bailout measures are reactive and retain reliance on the Government to compensate Farmers post loss;
  • Government investment in premium subsidies that assist those that take the prudent steps to transfer exposure to loss via insurance or other means of risk transfer prior to loss greatly assists Farmers to ‘plan for loss’;
  • In relation to the circa 500,000 head of cattle with a book value of circa $500,000,000AUD lost consequent to flooding in QLD in February 2019 the $3.1AUD billion North Queensland Flood Recovery Package* from the Government only addresses QLD Farmers and is reactive;
  • A solution is required nationally that assists those that adequately ‘plan for loss’ for the 27,000,000 head of cattle in this great country of ours nation-wide;
  • Brett’s view is NOT that the Government is not providing financial assistance to Farmers – it is providing financial assistance – the problem is the financial assistance is at the wrong chronologic end of the problem (ie post loss);
  • Costs associated with premium subsidies prior to insurance or risk transfer solutions being taken out, which ultimately safeguard those who proactively take the prudent steps to mitigate their financial exposure to extreme weather risk are needed and are far more productive and efficient that bailout packages post catastrophic losses which can often suffer significant dilution by the time they reach the Farmers pocket consequent to supply chains and other factors – an issue Brett saw seen firsthand for other recipients of funds as National Insurance Manager at Australian Red Cross from 2009 – 2012;
  • North Queensland Flood Recovery Package: $3.1 billion over five years to support the North Queensland livestock industry, as it recovers from severe flooding earlier this year. Includes: Up to $1.75 billion for financial institutions to provide interest rate relief for business loans to flood affected primary producers; $1 billion for loans through the Regional Investment Corporation to assist with damaged crops, restocking and on-farm infrastructure; and $300 million in grants to primary producers (with a cap of $400,000 per producer) to assist with damaged crops, restocking and on-farm infrastructure.

Brett remains resolute on the journey to materialising a solution for Livestock Drought and Flood risk transfer for the betterment of this farming
generation and those to come!