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Comments on Road Map to Australian Food Security  

The following  are comments made on the liberal party's website under the heading

Road Map to Australian Food Security up until 10 July 2011.  It was at but has since been removed. There were some very sensible comments on the site, perhaps the liberal party didn't want to hear them?

This has been posted out of my concern for Australian food security as discussed on .  I see agritourism as a way to reconnect with farmers with eaters so have created .     Barry Green

This initiative is a comprehensive plan to boost Australian Agriculture and ensure the Nations food security both now and into the future.

The Coalition recognises that primary producers are the cornerstone of any civilisation and has stressed that no major civilisation has survived without a prosperous, efficient and sustainable food production system.

The Policy includes:

- Increased Research and Development for primary production funding of $150million over three years;

- A $5 million four-year scientist/researchers pilot programme offering grants of up to $50,000 for specialised research, mentoring or further study;

- Grants totalling $50 million over four years for farmers undertaking water-saving activities for stock use;

- $20 million over four years towards a large scale Feral Animal Control Programme;

- A Saltbush Planting Programme to provide up to $100,000 matched dollar for dollar per annum per farm enterprise and up to $250,000 per established nursery per annum;

- $8 million for a “third party” auditable map of Australia’s Agricultural Production carbon footprint;

- $2 million for a “Green Tape” audit of all environmental legislation and regulations;

- $15 million for a Bio-security Flying Squad to provide urgent additional resources when a bio-security risk is identified.


Anne R. 07/08/10 10:17 AM Report Abuse
If something isn't done to help our people on the land soon ,how can we expect them to remain there. We should show more consideration for farming families and help them with crop rotation and further teaching for their children in agriculture and animal husbandry. They are our future too.

Withheld 08/08/10 10:13 AM Report Abuse
We need to invest in our own country and stop cheap, poor quality food being imported from other countries that undersell our own farmers.
I know there are safety controls in place stopping importing of food from some countries, but I have heard that the importers get around this by importing the food to NZ and re-packaging/re-branding the food, so that it looks like it has originated in NZ. Why does the government accept such poor standards for our own people?

Tamateena 09/08/10 02:21 AM Report Abuse
I feel that we should take a very strong stance on growing GM foods, we do not need them, they will contaminate our food supply, and once the damage is done there is NO reversing it, we should also consider our insects that will also be contaminated, you only have to look at the problems with the bee colonies in countries such as the USA who grow a lot of GM food crops, and are now importing bees. Do we want to be another USA, please NO. We need to grow more organically, be kind to ourselves as well as the the animals and plants we live with, PLEASE stop listening to the big multinational companies, they are only out there to make money, while destroying US and the ENVIRONMENT, PLEASE STOP GM FOODS.

NessB 11/08/10 06:56 PM Report Abuse
I have two things I would like to add here, firstly that I think farmers need all our support, but why are we allowing the continuation of lawn farming when it is a waste of our precious water resources?
The other is, I think we need to show more of a commitment to ensuring our farms and agricultural land remains in Australian hands and not foreign owned as we may find in the future when resources become more finite and we need the food grown in Australia to stay in Australia, that food grown in Australia gets wholly exported by the foreign owners. Not a future I want!!

Diana V Turner 12/08/10 11:04 AM Report Abuse
We Liberals are missing the huge point: Australian laws allow overseas investors to buy our arable lands in piece chunks under $213 Million price tags. It is mosaic piece buying, looks innocent now but it isn't. Soon O/S investors ( China and Singapore, etc) will link the purchases to wholesale major sections. Our farmers and graziers will become tenant farmers on their own former lands. Crops and livestock will go overseas. Tenants will be paid poorly, receive less of their own production for themselves, while food prices will keep rising for us all.

Liberal gov't. must stop O/S investments in our land. NZ allows only leases which can be stopped suddenly. Our food security is urgent - just like water.

Mervyn Jacobi 19/08/10 12:03 PM Report Abuse
Our Australian farmers need more thought from our governments, I suspect they have a 5 or 10 year circle to cover droughts etc, if not, why not? Too much thought has been given to the mining section, and there are several problems from that, the reciprical imports are found to be in conflict with the goods we had been producing before, and the result has been the destruction of our manufacturing industries as well as the farming. As the mining commodities are non-renewable and non-value- added, I can't see why there has been such a hullobullo about it, although I realise some people would jump in and take shares if they thought they would make a killing out of it, and of course, they have and expect to be protected. The thing our government has to decide, do we want our own manufacturing industries and farming or are we going to rely on our mining exports to carry us until our resources are exhausted, what then?.

Simon Pratt 20/08/10 09:17 AM Report Abuse
Will this put an end to the imported Banana issue...

Jennifer Watters 24/08/10 03:00 PM Report Abuse
Stop importing fresh food from overseas - it is just too risky in terms of quality, health, supporting our growers and bio-threats. Improve food labelling requirements for country of origin of INGREDIENTS as well as final product and packaging.

Additionally, overseas ownership of Australian land - from house lots through to large parcels of arid land - must be stopped immediately.

Mervyn Jacobi 25/08/10 01:03 PM Report Abuse
As far as the foreign ownership of our land, I believe that the decision and ruling politicians made in 1971 could have a lot to do with it, the made a ruling that the CEO's of business buying into Australia would pay the same tax as they would have in the US, and vise versa. so our stupid politicians have been chasing the US tax system ever since and they promised it would be carried on to other countries. Consquently, our country and economy is very much in the hands of foreign companies, our treasurers and PM's don't have and haven't had enough integrity, intelligence or courage to stop this stupidity.

chris nowland 10/10/10 11:49 AM Report Abuse

Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis

From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’Ítre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.



Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

Jeff Elsum 22/10/10 10:21 AM Report Abuse
The Minister for Agriculture was asked in Parliament why there had been an increase the import of fruit and vegies. His answer was "well that's mostly due to processed fruit and vegies as we do not have many processing operations in Australia" In Tasmania they have in the last couple of years shut down 2 major processing plants in the last 2 years. I have said years ago when the 2 big Supermarket chains start importing food we will not be able to feed ourselves in 10 years. The farmers not only have to put up with drought flood and pestilence their worst enemy is the Labour Government. The Murrar Darling needs help the Labour party will organize that help like they organized the BER and the Pink Batt Scheme. Wake Up Australia

Mervyn Jacobi 23/10/10 04:25 PM Report Abuse
WE have - with the approval of both the labor and Liberal parties, been receiving foodstuffs, clothing, tools, and all sorts of goods at reduced costs in accordance with the reduced price of our non renewable, non value added mined resources which are exported and the result is destroying our manufacturing industries and our food production. The gas producing outfits which are polluting the underground water supply around our farming areas, are adding to the destructive pattern which has been introduced by the mining companies, and approved and applauded by both the Labor and Liberal parties. Neither party has shown any intelligence, integrity or concern for the plight of the farmers their workers or other workers nor for any body else. This is a problem, that the people have to look into when the next election, both the State and commonwealth, the people can only put up with so much.

Greg Jones 28/10/10 11:27 AM Report Abuse
Primary producers specialise in growing produce or raising stock. They are not specialists in marketing or market dominance policies major supermarkets use.
I believe Supermarkets must be specifically prohibited from setting prices to be paid for produce such as milk and meat and cereal crops.
We should have a national board which acts as broker for farmers, and prevents supermarkets and take away food chains from dictating prices. If they all have to buy from the board (perhaps a primary producers product board) they have to accept prices set by the board and not play one farmer against another as happens now.

Jeff Elsum 28/10/10 01:03 PM Report Abuse
Thankyou Mervyn Jacobi and Greg Jones We all agree that we are approaching a very difficult time for Australia to be self sufficient in food and almost everything else imported. The newspapers in general are usless at puting stong arguments against the supermarkets because of the advertising revenue. We seem not to have any real campaigners with any forsight beyond a 30 minute TV program. I am only new to getting on line and making comment so how do we get our message out to real people, with real families and needs. Because the Supermarkets in Australia all work on goods in and goods out within a few days it could be argued that with the right management we could nationally boycot and picket supermarkets for a couple of days, until the government actually does something positive for our food producers. It's only an idea but lets at laest start to talk to some one it would also make a great news grab.

Mervyn Jacobi 29/10/10 04:57 PM Report Abuse
ave been reading in our newspaper, regarding the obscene salaries being taken by the CEO's and upper executives of the Banking community. Joe Hockey has also mentioned the same thing, and I am sure that most if not all of the community would like to see that the costs regarding banking and really, the costs of all the goods and services should be brought back into the area where they can be considered as decent and respectable. You probably are unaware of this, but the Liberal treasurer in 1950, Harold Holt, worked on the tax to find a suitable level to restrain excessive salaries and other incomes, and discovered that a top tax of 66.6% was very successful, the only thing he did not realise then, was that the level of finance taken, was more than the amount needed to cover the costs of government. To overcome this discrepancy today, there would need to be virtually no tax on taxable incomes up to about $30,000, while the top tax would be 66.6% on taxable incomes in excess of $450,000. I realise that you would not contemplate this, as I believe that most of the party would be strongly against such a move nevertheless, give it some thought and if you realise that such a tax would also cause a reduction in the costs of the goods and also services. I also believe that it would cause great relief with the economy and employment. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the mining exports are any good at all for Australia, as the payment for exports is by reciprocal trade, and the reciprocal trade has been all the goods that our factories had been turning out before this mining exporting had began, before 1970. Ask around to all the old tradesmen where they had been working, I don't believe you would be able to find any of the factories for the manufacturing any more, and just remember that the rule regarding the unemployed now, is if they are working regularly only one hour a week, they are considered as being employed. If the original rules were adopted, we would still have an unemployment level of about 17%, just the same as back in the days of Whitlam. I hope you and Joe Hockey both have the integrity, intelligence and decency to help drag the workers and the economy out of this mess. Am I wasting my time, or are you honestly going to try to save our economy and workers.

BenL 16/11/10 08:24 AM Report Abuse
I think we also need to stop importing a lot of food products from overseas and keep it local. I also think that all unhealthy foods should have a higher tax on them and healthier foods subsidised so that lower income families can afford to eat healthier instead of resorting to a family meal at a fast food joint because it’s cheaper to feed their family that way instead of a nice healthy home cooked meal.
This could possibly be a minor stepping stone to preventing obesity in the population.

Spec 16/11/10 09:29 AM Report Abuse
I heard that the liberal party didnt get even $1 in donations for the past several years? And have spent nearly 230 million in a secret anti music campaign something about this "& But RR thing" from getting out into the open. Could this money have been butter spent? also is it true that they have resorted to importing drugs like ice to keep the party afloat.
Carina Reid 20/11/10 12:57 PM Report Abuse
Far too much arrable land is being encroached upon by expanding urban developmnet. We need more inner city high rise to accommodate our growing population and restrict wastage on infrastructure to outer urban development.

Gabor 27/11/10 06:51 PM Report Abuse
More investment is needed in the Murray-Darling basin, perhaps including channelling rainwater from northern Australia (that would otherwise flow out to sea) into the basin for irrigation purposes. Foreign investment in agriculture has the potential to increase output, but potential investors should continue to be screened to ensure that their investment is in hte national interest. Asia is experiencing growth that looks set to continue for some time into the future, and Australia is geographically well positioned to enable the Murray-Darling basin to becom the food bowl of Asia, henc the need for policies which promote investment in it.

Mervyn Jacobi 02/12/10 08:55 AM Report Abuse
Our economy relies on a number of things,
(1) The control on the prevention of obscene salaries and other incomes which adversely affect the costs of goods and services. - The responsible of the Government and its treasurer.
(2) Imports and exports - we are exporting - and over exporting non value added, non renewable resources, and allowing our large companies to import manufactured goods that our own factories had been manufacturing (before they were destroyed by the big companies buying only imported cheap goods). The responsible of our elected government.
(3) The News media must be responsible in its reporting for our economies sake, They are just another big company more concerned with their own increasing wealth, They are a foreign company from the US, just here to gouge wealth out of our country like they do in their own country.
These problems have been carried on for at least forty years, and have involved too many governments consisting of mainly Liberal/National and Labor parties, and they have failed. We need more than just a change of government, we need a change in the requirements of persons allowed to nominate for the position to be in Government.

paladin 21/12/10 11:51 PM Report Abuse
As a Chef in a five star hotel I see and use Australian produce it is the best in the world.

but I now too much food coming from overseas and the qulity is bad.

cdeverist 12/01/11 09:15 PM Report Abuse
We need to get all Australians passionate about local produce. Its a big dream that the Australian people could change the market place, but why not make it a reality? We need advertising, education in school, businesses...everywhere! Let's get Australians passionate about Australia, and stop eating junk! Only through the people can we turn back the flood of cheap and sensless imports.

Mervyn Jacobi 04/02/11 09:44 AM Report Abuse
I am totally against the exporting of Australia's mined resources, as the only returns we get for them is foreign manufactured goods we had been manufacturing ourselves. Unfortunately our “So intelligent party politicians” seem to consider that the mining consortium are more important than our own people engaged in manufacturing, those people who – after spending their early life in building up the industries for their own livelihood and the economy of all Australia, are now condemned to the scrap heap along with their dependants. The Parties which have been in power – particularly since 1970, have consistently showed they have no intelligence or integrity, and through their ignorance – or is it corruption, have constantly maintained that our export of these non-renewable, non value resources are the mainstay of our economy. They are continuing to destroy our economy, and to protect themselves against legitimate intelligent attacks, are claiming a faulty “Global economy”, and yes it is, but only because the politicians in all the countries in the world are too ignorant to learn the lessons from their earlier venture of a high top tax. Look up “ History of US taxes”, “History of Australia's taxes” and “History of taxes in UK”, then “Taxes around the world”. When taxes are above 66.6%, excessively high salaries are avoided and prices of goods and services are lowered. When the top tax gets be low 45% or even 50%, a recession is likely and when it is below 40% and as in the US 34% has allowed salaries as high as $US 100 million, but also causes extremely high unemployment and associated crime, when the economy of a country gets bad, crime flourishes, more often as a matter of urgency to fight to provide existence for self and family.

Mervyn Jacobi
13 Marlborough St
Sherwood. 4075

Mervyn Jacobi 06/02/11 09:41 AM Report Abuse
Gabor, your prayers seem to be answered, Let us all know when you have had enough, I think that our Queenslanders have had enough by now, so do not ask for any more, or you might be in trouble with a lot of people.
Jack Pipsam 23/02/11 09:26 PM Report Abuse
This should really be something out now, guess Labor are silly sallys

ZOMG first post by me!

cabat10 24/02/11 03:29 PM Report Abuse
An observation over the last few years...

China has been purchasing producing land all over Australia for a few years now. Remember any "organisation" from China is really the Chinese government.

Land suitable for food production is a limited resource. My concern is that in the future, we will not have enough arable land to provide for us. I would guess that China is not purchasing this land to look after our future food security.

I can't blame the farmers for selling to them. They are in financial difficulties and are being thrown a lifeline by China. In the long term though, we may all regret that so much arable land has been sold to overseas interests.

Just how would you get land back from an overseas interest, especially if it was a foreign government?

I think a plan for Australia's food security is incredibly imnportant and certainly would be amongst the most important long term issues we must deal with.

Mervyn Jacobi 04/03/11 12:39 PM Report Abuse
It is ironic that apart from Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating, the rest of the Prime Ministers and treasurers have been lawyers, and they have all been the biggest lot of whimps possible. We had the best treasurers and,prime ministers in Ben Chifley and Harold Holt, Unlike the present mob, they were for our farming and manufacturing industries, the ones since 1971, have been destroying both the farming and our manufacturing as well as small business. I won't give either labor or the liberal parties a vote next election, probably just a nasty comment on the ballot paper. The party senate members are only prostitutes, they do not aim to look after their state or territory, only their party, they are useless, only capable of pulling their party out of being defeated or causing the governments decision to be defeated. Our governments are a disgrace to us, the people.

C Athol 08/03/11 11:19 PM Report Abuse
I feel we need to ensure that Australias food and water security is protected by restriction of foreign investment in farm land and companies. It may even be prudent in the long term to enact retrospective legislation that forces sale of farm land and companies already under foreign ownership. My concerns are 1. We need to feed ourselves first and foremost and 2. The wealth created from food exported from Australia needs to create wealth for Australians, not just wages.

Mervyn Jacobi 09/03/11 09:22 AM Report Abuse
Look at facts, both of our parties are promoting the export of our non renewable, non value added resources, mainly coal and iron ore. The reciprocal imports we receive – clothing, tools, trains, cars and trucks and many more, all goods we had been manufacturing previously, is obviously destroying the industries that our workers had been employed in. The latest range being imported, seems to be fruit and other foodstuffs, all, not really competing, but like the other goods, subsidised, or otherwise had the price decreased due to the low price of of the export price of our coal. In a report by Bloomberg, they say Pohang from Sth. Korea, paid an estimated $US308.70 / tonne for coal, while BHP Billiton, sold Premium coking coal (same type of coal), for $US98 /tonne. In the Commonwealth Hansard 1957 about October, the Minister for Mines claimed that coal (no particular grade) was worth 40 pounds ($80) per ton. This converts to $1024 /ton by 2008. When you have 60 ships waiting in Dalrymple bay to load coal and another 15 in Gladstone port as was published last year, there can be no doubt that the price or more probable, the royalty is too low, yet I believe that Anna Bligh was going to increase the royalty and the government threatened her that if she did, they would reduce the amount the Commonwealth would be giving the State as its share of the States portion of taxes etc. Get it into your head, our political parties are either brainless or corrupt, they do not look after Australian manufacturing industries or the people.

Michael Daniels 16/04/11 07:26 PM Report Abuse
I note that one of the initiatives introduced in support of the food security policy was to spend "$8 million for a “third party” auditable map of Australia’s Agricultural Production carbon footprint". Perhaps the map makers, whilst they are there, could create a simultaneous map identifying property ownership by country. This would serve as a very useful tool to prevent certain nations capturing strategic arable land. I also like the idea of leasing the land rather than selling the land. We want foreign investment that generates wealth and work for our citizens. Investment that only makes a vendor farmer wealthy is short term gain for long term pain. We have seen how foreign countries operate tourism facilities in Australia. Foreign airlines drop in tourists that hop on to a foreign owned tour bus company that check into foreign owned hotels and purchase foreign produced toy Koala Bears.

Barry Green 14/05/11 08:48 AM Report Abuse
It is encouraging to see the comments on this site, I just hope that the politicians read it.
We have a small farm at Donnybrook in WA, it could grow quite a bit of fruit but to do so would not be economically rational as I can earn much more working FIFO with no risk. There’s lots of issues here, we spend billions of dollars on imported defense hardware because the government perceives a threat from the north yet we are happy to allow companies and governments from these countries to buy our mines and farms and to put our farmers out of business by buying food from overseas. A countries ability to feed itself is fundamental to its security, there is no point in having a defense force if we can’t feed our population in a time of conflict.
We might have a surplus of meat and wheat, but we also need fruit and veg to stay health, these are much more labour intensive industries so can’t compete with mining companies for labour. For maximum nutrition, fruit and veg need to be fresh and grown close to the consumer. Both major parties are pandering to foreign mining companies, the wages these companies are able to pay are destroying sustainable locally owned businesses in manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. Booms always finish, when this one does there will be 30 plus million of us standing around a bloody great hole saying what do we do now?

It used to be said that when America sneezes, Australia catches a cold, I fear that if China sneezes we’ll catch pneumonia. State and federal governments are going into debt while foreign companies are raping a pillaging this country, what has happened to the clever country?
Getting back to local issues, we like to think that we have a free market economy, but a free market requires multiple players at all levels, a duopoly is not a free market.
I think many of the problems the farming community face result from a lack of communication between farmers and consumers and that agritourism has a place to play in remaking this connection. With this in mind I have created which is now receiving over 1000 visits per month so obviously people are interested.

Barry Green 14/05/11 12:23 PM Report Abuse
It is encouraging to see the comments on this site, I just hope that the politicians read it.
We have a small farm at Donnybrook in WA, it could grow quite a bit of fruit but to do so would not be economically rational as I can earn much more working FIFO with no risk. There’s lots of issues here, we spend billions of dollars on imported defense hardware because the government perceives a threat from the north yet we are happy to allow companies and governments from these countries to buy our mines and farms and to put our farmers out of business by buying food from overseas. A countries ability to feed itself is fundamental to its security, there is no point in having a defense force if we can’t feed our population in a time of conflict.
We might have a surplus of meat and wheat, but we also need fruit and veg to stay health, these are much more labour intensive industries so can’t compete with mining companies for labour. For maximum nutrition, fruit and veg need to be fresh and grown close to the consumer. Both major parties are pandering to foreign mining companies, the wages these companies are able to pay are destroying sustainable locally owned businesses in manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. Booms always finish, when this one does there will be 30 plus million of us standing around a bloody great hole saying what do we do now?

It used to be said that when America sneezes, Australia catches a cold, I fear that if China sneezes we’ll catch pneumonia. State and federal governments are going into debt while foreign companies are raping a pillaging this country, what has happened to the clever country?
Getting back to local issues, we like to think that we have a free market economy, but a free market requires multiple players at all levels, a duopoly is not a free market.
I think many of the problems the farming community face result from a lack of communication between farmers and consumers and that agritourism has a place to play in remaking this connection. With this in mind I have created  which is now receiving over 1000 visits per month so obviously people are interested.

Barry Green 11/06/11 12:58 AM Report Abuse
Is there anyone home at the Liberal party, or are we all talking to ourselves? I put up two copies of the same message because I received an error message the first time. The repat message is still up so it doesn’t look as if anyone in the party bothers to read our comments!

Mervyn Jacobi 11/06/11 09:13 AM Report Abuse
The fact that there have been sixty ships waiting at Dalrymple Bay and another fifteen at Gladstone, proves that our coal price is too low, a clearance sale. The damage being done to our manufacturing industries proves that, and our government jumps on the claim that our unemployment is a remarkable 5%, but doesn’t tell people that the workers can only get work for two or three days a week, the employers want to keep their good workers, don’t won‘t to lose them, and hope we get a good intelligent government before too long and drag us out of this miserable recession. It is hard to believe that Wayne Swan could see at the earlier summit that our economy was better off than the US because our top tax of 45% could handle the economy better than the US top tax of 35%. I can’t understand his mentality though because he still hangs on to that low intelligent 45% top tax, the liberal party is just as bad, intelligence and integrity are not present in the limited brain space of their parties..

Barry Green 12/06/11 06:27 PM Report Abuse
G’day, Merve, great talking to you yesterday. It’s nice of the Liberal party to provide this private chat room for us!
I think we have a real problem in Australia that is documented in Lindsay Tanners “Sideshow, the dumbing down of democracy” . Anyone from either side of politics who is concerned for Australia’s, future rather than just getting into power, should read it. I think all political parties have been duped by the marketing industry. The fact that we have a hung parliament despite both sides spending millions on marketing is evidence of this ripoff. Whatever the polls say, on election day Australians couldn’t pick between the two options.
The tricks that political parties use seem to assume that we are all stupid. Tony Abbot might be playing political entertainment game but I’d prefer to see a leader with intelligence and the wisdom to articulate policies for the long term. There is much more discussion on Malcolm Turnbulls’ website than there is on this site, which suggests to me he has a better understanding of the new media than the Liberal machine.

Come and have a holiday in WA before it all gets sold off and exported to India and China, 

Samuel Volker 28/06/11 08:18 AM Report Abuse
The idea is conceptually sound, however, the devil is in the detail. I believe that it still needs some work.

Mervyn Jacobi 28/06/11 09:23 AM Report Abuse
, I have always believed that a higher top tax was necessary to restrain excessive incomes, Wayne mentioned about these high incomes of CEO’s but didn’t do anything about it even though they cause higher prices and services, and that is what we have got now. Add to all this, the excessive export of our non-renewable, non value added resources has added to the already loss and destruction of our manufacturing resources.
I am not in any way in favour of the path the labor has taken, and I do not trust whatever plans Wayne and Julia have made, because all I can see is another unnecessary tax looming which will not in any way significantly affect any “Global Warming” to our benefit, just made living costs harder to cope with. Quiet bluntly, I would sooner see Wayne kicked out or stabbed if that is the way they work, and a more sensible tax system put into place. I suggest a top tax of about 65% on $450,000, intermediate tax of 45% on $135,000 and the low tax of 5% on $30,000 and zero tax on the first $30,000 until it has been found to need it higher or lower. I have trialled this, and consider that it would do all the things that are needed, control excessive salaries and allow wage earners to live decently. Try it yourself. If you have an e-mail I can forward a copy to, I can do that but I believe you have people available to make up such a program.
The present personal tax we are operating with has allowed excessively high incomes and caused paupers with factories only having sufficient available work to employ their workers only two or three days a week, and do this because they don’t want to lose them. Unfortunately this gives the government the statistics to claim that unemployment is only 5% when in reality, it is more like 12% or 15%, and that does not supply enough in the pay packet, to pay a mortgage or even pay the excessive rents that are coming into fashion.
The excessive export of our non-renewable, non-value-added resources have opened the door to thousands of tonnes of the goods we used to manufacture here ourselves, and this has been destroying our own industries for the last forty years or more. Look at the Chinese clothing and other such goods and tools which are proliferating to such an extent that many of our own factories have already forced to close, one obvious is the clothing factories which were employing so many of our ladies young and mature, and teaching them much better things than getting drunk or going on drugs, and the same with our males. The stupid decisions made by our members of parliament, have not given them much alternative option.
Mervyn Jacobi
13 Marlborough St
Sherwood. 4075

Mervyn Jacobi 28/06/11 11:27 AM Report Abuse
My wife and myself took a trip or two to WA a few years ago, and had a lovely trip with one your coach operaters up to Shark Bay and down to Margaret River, Albany and Wave rock. We actually only had a few days in Perth though, however we did enjoy the trip, we may do it again if I can get into better health. I am eighty one, and would like to get more mobile, but that does not seem to be happening. If these parties get a better tax system to make life a bit easier, you might see us over there.

Mervyn Jacobi 28/06/11 12:24 PM Report Abuse
I wish the parties would make use of the internet and look up these sites “History of tax in the US”, “History of tax in the UK” and “The taxes around the world” They should be able to get the records of the history of tax in Australia, but a portion of it is on the internet if they care to look. Unless they are a bit more out of intelligence than I believe, they will see the years the countries were in a depression and in one or in a recession now. All they have to do is learn from history, but you know the old saying, “ the only thing we learn from history is - we never learn from history”

John Hawley 30/06/11 11:43 AM Report Abuse
Good policy for agriculture - if it is ever implemented. Many countries are buying agricultural land to safeguard their food supplies. Unfortunately Australia seems to be selling agricultural land to overseas interests so there seems to be a conflict between your policies and what is happening. The Liberal Party has good policies - if you can implement them and not just talk and show pretty pictures (as labor does) you will not have to worry about elections.

Mervyn Jacobi 30/06/11 12:57 PM Report Abuse
John Cobb, I would say that all Australian’s want our food production areas grown by ourselves, so why have so much of these areas been sold off to foreigners. I doubt that our Government has any idea of just how much is now in foreign hands. You cannot say that the Liberal Party has not, because it has been going on for more years than the Labor party has been in power. I know that some of these countries need arable land, for instance Japan with a population of about one hundred and thirty million, has only about 1% of land suitable for crops and at the moment would dearly love to be able to buy all the food they need from us, but that sort of result doesn’t seem to register with our Government.

Barry Green 30/06/11 01:48 PM Report Abuse
The policy becomes academic if we sell our farmland to foreign interests. See: 


Mervyn Jacobi 01/07/11 08:39 AM Report Abuse
A house divided is a house in turmoil, and this applies to our house of parliament. Irrespective of what motto or other saying you look at, they all point to the fact that not one of our political parties even thinks about what is the best decisions for the benefit of our people and our country. The present turmoil in Greece is a good indication, there is no thought for the population, and yet the population is fighting its own people instead of those causing the problem. The same here, if we only had a committee, no parties, just a committee of concerned residents who want good government, we would not have the stupid decisions that are being made now so that some people and companies can get filthy rich whilst others are really forced to live in the street or in hovels or are destroyed entirely..

researchill 01/07/11 04:16 PM Report Abuse
OK, so this is a good plan BUT..................

There needs to be a plan to stop farms beinbg purchased by Chinese companies.. the major issue with Chinese companies is that they often act as arms of foreign policy for the Chinese government.

Vertical integration of the supply chain for minerals and food resources by Chinese interests will leave Australian governments with little influence to affect resources being diverted to Chinese companies cutting out all others.

This is already happening around Gunnedah (ha... Tony Windosr has even sold his farm)!

This for me is a major concern, many fams are now no longer owned by Australians, and thismove by Chinese companies is very different to past ownership by western companies!

If this is not stopped... policy will just be words on paper, and government a paper tiger!!

Fix it now!

Mervyn Jacobi 03/07/11 11:16 AM Report Abuse
AK Myrtus , Is certainly throwing the ball back at the obsessive fanatic wimps. Too many people have quickly forgotten why the Liberal Party lost the 2007 election, and the memory of its poor attacks against the Australian workers has certainly diminished in their mind, if they have one. There is no argument that the Labor party is totally devoid of concern for the Australian industries and their workers, Just the same as the Liberal. I agree with him that the Politicians, who have been in Parliament, should never have been allowed in there in the first place, and those who have been getting in should have to survive on the unemployment income, or show that they can hold onto a real job where they have to show their true value. To join any party, it seems that all you have to do is to sign a promise “that you will agree with the decisions of the majority”. Why the Majority, they are not and never ever have been the most intelligent of any community, and looking at the apparent level of intelligence of both the majority of the remarks on this site, and that of those in the political parties, they have proved my point.

Terry Walsh 04/07/11 10:41 PM Report Abuse
We must secure our food, our food producing lands, whilst ownership is not spoken above a road map for Security of food must include foreign ownership must be regulated and controlled properly.

Offending those who have already invested here in not a reason to avoid this issue.

Land ownership caps should be instituted for non resident and foreign corporate, government and state owned companies, and buy back of land already in excess of any land cap should be undertaken.

Change of use from agricultural production to other uses must also be controlled and regulated.

I support all of the points above, this requires a forward thinking strategy with achievable steps and implementation must begin within the next 5 years.

Mervyn Jacobi 05/07/11 02:27 PM Report Abuse
Of all the parties - Oh well, the three parties, just which one do you think you can trust to prevent the sale of our land. Certainly they could lease a portion, but I see no reason that our farmers and graziers could not sell their produce and gain the profits from that, and we would still own our land. I despise those in power who have passed the resolution to allow this to happen, and I bet not of those in power either this party in power now or even later, will have the integrity to protect us. They haven't previously, and they won't now.
aurora 10/07/11 11:21 AM Report Abuse
I never understood why in this country we of all things had to import food. I am sick of going to the grocery store and having to deal with inferior quality food all whilst paying a premium price. We are gifted with good rich soil and we are throwing it all away.

Other nations have food security programmes and it's about time we do too. We need to ensure that we can provide for ourselves and not rely on the rest of the world to feed us.

If the Liebor Party was serious about 'Climate Change' they would see how ridiculous it is to import food half way across the world onto our dinner plates when we can grow it at home. Think about how energy intensive it is to ship and transport things that we can grow here.
Simon May 10/07/11 02:36 PM Report Abuse
Food security is also a big part of our National security package which will help protect us against international risks. The best way to hedge these risks is with a long term focus on land management and new technology to allow crops to produce higher densities, with lower water demands and over a wider climate range.
Some areas are not sustainable for producing food crops and rather than supplement farmers every year we should open up new areas for farming while rehabilitating unsustainable farm land.
There is no shortage of water in the north if have the will to manage it strategically. The density of farming along the Murray has exacerbated water shortages for a number of years. This area can be highly productive but the efficiency of production is under threat from the intensity. Parcels of land should be reclaimed to reduce the stress on limited resources.

Mervyn Jacobi 10/07/11 03:42 PM Report Abuse
Our treacherous governments are allowing foreign companies to buy blocks of our land and Mining contracts so that they can take a very prominent place in the destruction of our economy. The further closing of more of our industries shows that these members of the political parties have as much allegiance to Australia as the Taliban. It is unfortunate that our forces are over in Afghanistan fighting George Bush’s enemy, rather than being back in Australia, fighting our own enemies. When our Government forgets about destroying our industries with the reciprocal imports from the mining exports, and starts to work towards rebuilding the economy of Australia I will know we once again have true Australians in our Parliament, we don’t have any yet.

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