Tests Taken: 24866
Published on: 30 Jul 2018
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
Tarnagul is a small town near Melbourne. The maps show the town's development over a period of time.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
You should write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Farmers within a country are often protected by tariffs - that is, special taxes on imported food. Such policies are necessary, and should be implemented wherever possible.
To what extent do you agree with this?
Give reasons for your answer, and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
The maps display how Tarnagul evolved over the previous century.
Generally speaking, there are two phases, one being the first half of this period, where the township develops farming and infrastructure* to become a dedicated producer of citrus products. However, the second half, ironically, sees this industry’s disappearance, with apparently declining prosperity, yet the town attempts to salvage former glories with attractions to reap the passing tourist trade.
Regarding this first phase, the original town is a small ‘one-road’ agricultural community surrounded by orchards and dairy pastures, amongst which a river winds, certainly suggesting a rustic charm. Five decades later, some industrialisation of the then dedicated horticultural* industry has begun, with packing sheds appearing alongside a new railway track.
Moving ahead 50 years, time has indeed extracted a heavy toll. With the railway closed, tracks removed, and fields fallow, the only vestige of the past is the possibly dilapidated station and sheds, utilised as a craft market, museum, and tourist shop. A similar initiative has seen the establishment of a riverside wildlife sanctuary and a park near the tourist premises, yet despite these ventures, the town has no new roads and has shrunk to an all-time low.
This is an Argument Question (give an opinion; argue a side), just like Test 1, Task Two.
My own country, Australia, has a long and rich agricultural history, and in that time, fairly stringent ‘tariff walls’ were often erected* to protect local industry and domestic food production. Whilst they are politically appealing, I nevertheless hold the view that such systems are unnecessary and ill-advised.
My main objection is that tariffs foster inefficient and uncompetitive farming practices, which are ultimately unsustainable. When farmers can rest complacently* in the assurance that foreign foodstuffs are excluded from the market, they have no incentive to streamline their own production. This inevitably leads to a bloated* and sluggish* industry, lagging behind other countries. A prime example is the heavily subsidised* British coalmining industry of the mid-1980s. Despite great public turmoil, this was eventually rationalised* by the then Prime Minister, Thatcher, in a bitter campaign, but one which history has long since vindicated.*
Another reason against agricultural tariffs is their unfairness to consumers, who must indirectly pay for this system. Tariffs are governmental decisions, usually in response to lobby* groups with political clout.* Yet farmers are not a privileged* breed, and however much their industry might resonate* with culture, history, or heritage,* they should be as much at the mercy of market forces as others. If Brazilian oranges, for example, can be purchased more cheaply, shoppers have the right to this access,* and prohibiting this is just blatantly* undemocratic.
Farmers, in particular, would argue that tariffs make local production viable, thus guaranteeing food security in unstable times. However, this argument is glib* and unconvincing. In a globalised world, gridded with efficient networks of trade and transportation, nations with paying markets can always secure* commodities from others, irrespective* of distance. My wife, for example, has purchased cherries from Chile, and online at that; the goods find their way to reach us with a mouse-click’s convenience, which illustrates a reality that all, including farmers, must accept.
For all these reasons, the agricultural industry should not be benefited by tariffs.