Recent comments by: Jock Munro

Grain of Truth

The Liberals are well and truly 'on the nose'in Rural Australia.
They will never be forgiven for voting down the single desk with the Rudd Government.
As time goes on and the deregulated wheat industry continues to exhibit all of the bad characteristics that were predicted, the hatred for the Liberals will increase.
Tony Abbott ,who told several distraught wheat growers on the day the wheat industry was deregulated, that lowering the price of wheat would be a good thing, might well be picking up on the bad vibes.
Not surprising that most Libs would sell off the farm.
08/08/12 08:46 AM

Canberra Comment

Craig Emmerson is a text book academic and the definitive party insider who has won a Federal seat through being a member of the Labor machine.
Craig Emmerson supports the sale of our farming land and one of our key comparitive advantages to foreign Governments including China and Qatar.
The Labor and Liberal Organisations are dominated by individuals who are not representative but are part of an urban political elite who are so far removed from reality that selling off the farm is quite acceptable.
John Howard,Peter Costello and Bob Hawke are also very supportive of the sell out.
06/03/13 07:03 PM

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

The cattle industry would not exist but for foreign investment ??!
09/12/15 11:42 PM
If selling farms to foreigners was such a good idea then why do so few nations allow it to happen?
08/03/15 10:42 PM
Thank you for your kind words Bushie Bill.
farmed, as far as I aware the super markets are prevented from gouging in NZ by legislation and a good structural arrangement.
04/11/14 10:37 AM
The Kiwis have nailed it with co operative principles and legislation.
Stop trying to achieve some type of economic purity where all prosper because it wont happen.
Producers need some form of protection or a frame work which gives them equity,
29/10/14 02:01 AM
And there is no need to copy New Zealand in dairy-we can just keep going backwards and allow them to embarrass us.
There was no need to keep our wheat marketing arrangements either.
We now have lower quality wheat for export with a reduced relative value and we are down there with the pack where as once we were number one.
It all makes sense.
28/10/14 09:31 PM
Rational Ag Policy,
You have fallen for the spin-the AWB was rewarded for performance-Wheat Industry Benchmark. -look up the old WEA site.
It is the merchants that have been gifted our industry that are showing a true lack of commitment.
22/10/14 12:54 AM
The undemocratic nature of director appointments is taxation without representation.
These bodies are rife with cronyism.
All levy payers must be able to participate in an open democratic election process including nomination for election.
02/10/14 04:20 AM
The merchants have found a very good stooge in Deregular Bsc(ag)-a great mouth who is prepared to destroy his own industry on behalf of the rich and powerful.
The key thing about dereg is that he keeps on spruicking for the merchants.
If CBH is ever sold off he will be the first grower off to the coast.
21/09/14 09:46 PM
Having a wheat single desk with legislation meant that Australia and its growers marketed our wheat to best advantage and we were the best in the world.
We now have merchants controlling our industry and our quality reputation has been trashed and our wheat is losing its relative value.
If having a single desk is 'socialism' and merchant control is free market I will take socialism every time.
17/09/14 09:21 PM
Why argue with a zealot?
30/07/14 01:33 AM

Get Muddy

Well written Pete- spot on and the majority of Australians would agree with you.
30/09/15 03:27 AM
If being afraid of the consequences of allowing foreign governments to buy Australia's key assets and speaking out about it offends you Sam, I will gladly state that I belong to the Xenophobic know nothing's.
And whilst you are singing the praises of the Chinese you might like to reflect on the fact that you can write the things you have here and be called a know all smart Alec at worst- in China you might get yourself put away for a little while!
29/09/15 12:34 AM
We had an iconic wheat brand through our grower single desk national pooling arrangement-we had a global quality reputation that was the envy of the world.
I don't recall Sam defending it at any time.
16/06/15 08:52 PM
Warren Truss is very well respected in the Parliament across all parties.
Move to Joel's electorate and vote for him next time Sam!
13/05/15 11:50 AM
Australia had a unique and world acclaimed wheat brand until the Rudd Government and the Liberal Party abolished the single desk legislation on June 23rd, 2008.
I cannot recall Sam Trethewey stepping up in the defence of the system as so many of us did,
It brings to mind the old saying that talk is cheap!
25/12/13 02:38 AM
NFF is a dead duck whilst it has corporate membership.
Despite there being widespread opposition to the sale of Graincorp to ADM, we have heard nothing from the NFF because Graincorp is a paid up member.
26/11/13 12:20 PM

A matter of opinion

Let's hope so Chic.
10/06/15 08:11 PM
Well Chick our single wheat desk certainly worked-it was so good that the rest of the world were determined to get rid of it.
The Fonterra co op seems to work-NZ has been described as the Saudi Arabia of world dairying.
I would have thought a voluntary Auswool co op with AWI's backing could most certainly work.
But if you are happy with Australian wool growers competing against each other for a price in a merchant controlled environment then so be it.
It is certainly shrinking the industry.
At this rate of decline there will be nothing left in a generation.
09/06/15 07:13 AM
No Chick, we did not have a single desk for wool.
We had a price support scheme.
I asked you for your thoughts on an Australia wide wool marketing co operative - please answer the question.
08/06/15 08:46 PM
Okay Chick - how about we growers empower ourselves and market the clip as a nation wide co operative?
04/06/15 12:17 PM

Burrs under my saddle

Pete 'bangs' into our politicians and structures at every opportunity but he refuses to back the Nationals that are as open and democratic as any organisation.
Pete was involved in a grains organisation that was anything but democratic.
15/09/15 07:49 PM
A majority of Australians would share Pete's views on foreign investment and the sale of our farms to foreigners.
Our urban elite political masters know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
30/08/15 09:28 PM
If Labor supports gay marriage why didn't they bring it on when they were government.
The wedging now is being done by Labor and not by the government.
24/08/15 12:18 AM
Well written Pete.
Rather than attacking Barnaby Joyce, perhaps you should organise a meeting with him and go through the figures.
Barnaby is arguably the best Ag minister that we have ever had and it must be remembered that he is having to deal with the urban political elite free market zealots in the Liberal Party.
15/08/15 10:05 PM
The Nationals have much credibility and more influence than they are given credit for- key positions in government including deputy PM.
Do you all want them to go the way of the Democrats by disappearing or to behave like the Greens?!
04/08/15 05:40 AM
Yes Qlander- if all regional voters supported the Nationals we could put both Liberal and Labor in their place.
03/08/15 11:24 AM
So the Nationals drop out and lose all of their ministries including deputy PM-you must be kidding.
09/06/15 07:03 AM
So Peter Mailer is 'laying the boot 'into Barnaby once more.
Perhaps Pete should try just a little bit harder and get himself elected into the Federal Parliament and then he could show us how to how to deal with the free market urban elite Liberal zealots who out number the Nationals by a considerable margin.
As Barnaby has said-''Politics is a brutal numbers game''.
05/06/15 08:40 PM
Don't be fooled by Pete Mailer's long winded opinion on producer representation.
He is all about corporate style representation which will see an unrepresentative few decide what they believe is grower consensus on any subject.
The old Grains Council which was torn down by SAFF, VFF and Agforce during the single desk debate, was one of the world's most successful grower advocacy organisations.
It will take years for grower representation to recover but it will happen when grain producers across Australia experience a deregulation induced disaster.
18/06/14 11:46 AM

Bush Matters

Did you know that AWB Ltd was 'one of the best' at managing growers' risk through its hedging programs?
It also had a sea freight chartering service and a seat in the Chicago exchange which I believe, was sold under the then Chair of AWB I Ian Donge's watch.( $15 million price tag).
My informant is telling me that we are approximately $45.00 behind this year without the national pool.
07/08/14 01:24 AM
PAYG, growers still controlled the company AWB Ltd and it was as good a marketer as we are ever likely to see.
Its constitution clearly stated that pool deliverers were to have their net returns maximised.
Unfortunately many growers were influenced by the spin that the merchants promoted that AWB LTD was beholden to shareholders first.
AWB LTD was dual class share company and was listed on the stock exchange.
It was under extreme statutory scrutiny by the WEA(Wheat Export Authority).
The mega merchants that, thanks to Labor and Liberals, run the industry now are under no such oversight.
20/06/14 04:20 AM
Well written Barry O'Sullivan.
Deregulation means power to the big end of town with nil obligation to anyone except their shareholders or owners in the case of some mega merchant grain traders.
See the NZ Dairy industry which has enshrined legislative and co op principles with Fonterra.
They have 37% of world dairy and are going ahead at the same pace that we are falling behind.
18/06/14 10:10 PM

Out of the shadow

Joel's comments are about all we could expect from the urban political class from Labor and Liberal.
19/10/15 03:14 AM
Joel wants less farmers and potential National Party voters- he knows that the Liberals cannot win and maintain government without them.
24/09/15 10:40 AM
So there you have it from Joel!
We just keep on flogging off our farms and business' to foreigners and everything will be okay!
09/08/15 09:02 PM
Joel and his urban elite Labor colleagues would be pleased to see the rural sector contracting.
They would like nothing more than to see the Nationals lose seats because they know that the Liberals cannot win government without them.
02/07/15 12:25 PM
Barnaby is the best fried that Australian Agriculture ever had, Mr Fitzgibbon.
You Labor people have no other agricultural interest than to make trouble between the Liberals and the Nationals.
31/05/15 08:34 PM


Most would rejoice at the opportunity to sit on the CBH Board and especially committed grain growers.
What an outfit that it has proven to be.
Our system in the East has been virtually destroyed by a corporate ethos- CBH reportedly saw GrainCorp as a 'train wreck'and not a good purchase.
28/09/16 02:47 AM
You had better check your sources ATB!
27/09/16 10:53 AM
Don't fall for the corporate spin- check out the costs in the East first before making any comments.
23/09/16 03:06 AM
It looks as if the Australian public have had the wool pulled over their eyes and we are continuing to hock our precious farms.
21/09/16 03:16 AM
You cannot be serious- come over to the East and see what a mess GrainCorp have made of their company and how they have gouged growers and ran down their assets.
The audacity of GrainCorp in trying to persuade WA growers to sell off their co op!
Fortunately WA growers can see through them.
Well done.
20/09/16 10:10 AM
Former Ex AWB Ltd national pool manager David Johnson would know that the deregulated wheat market is little more than a sham and a dog fight that the growers are paying for.
There is every likelihood that there will be market failure after this harvest as significant tonnes of wheat remain unsold because no one body is responsible for the disposal of the crop.
15/09/16 09:47 AM
Recognise but gouge them (the growers) and maximise returns to shareholders!
If growers fall for this they will have no one to blame but themselves for the consequences.
24/08/16 04:42 AM
Graincorp has been a problem from woe to go- grain producers of the Eastern States erred by not setting it up as a co op when the first organisation was purchased from the NSW Government.
31/07/16 11:57 PM
The usual suspects are involved in the Brazilian initiative !
Cargill ,ADM and Bunge.
These are the same mega organisations that now have a stranglehold over our grains industry.
Perhaps someone could explain how out future prospects could be enhanced by this scenario?
19/07/16 09:54 PM


Forward selling grain is always a risky proposition and we are now seeing further evidence of that fact.
In a forward contract the grower also carries all of the risk.
22/09/16 08:46 PM
When growers are taken to hell and back through market failure as a consequence of deregulation we will finally see some common sence and purpose.
At present the various farm representative groups and the trade are talking a whole lot of rot.
Many of the farm leaders are carrying plenty of baggage because they were supporters of deregulation and the loss of grower equity in the
market place- they will either have to change their tune or resign from office.
The merchants are doing as you would expect- just protecting their patch and positions of strength.
13/09/16 06:26 AM
We now know that the bureaucrats that are in charge of these organisations that recommend deregulation are taking home huge salaries- there are reports of salaries of 800 thousand dollars plus.
The rice single desk might be the only one at present but it is only a matter of time that the nation's wheat growers demand theirs back.
06/09/16 07:33 AM
Here we go again- more advice from a brains trust on how grain producers might manage in an industry that is spiralling out of control due to the obligation free power that the middlemen now hold.
15/08/16 02:20 AM
So Mr Hightower is confident that prices won't get any lower but we all know that talk is cheap!
24/07/16 07:49 AM
No Boris- this single desk was not compulsory acquisition.
The grower had choice but the export task was in the hands of the national pool manager and it was a highly successful arrangement that put our small nation at the very pinnacle of global wheat marketing.
Why anyone would wish to send Australian wheat growers to the wall when there were high global wheat stocks is beyond comprehension.
21/07/16 08:48 AM
Well written Phillip- the non believers are in for a nasty shock.
We had it 'nailed' when our single desk national pool was in operation- no amount of belligerence and ignorance can destroy that fact.
Even traders are saying that the single desk should never have been abolished.
19/07/16 10:01 PM
AEGIC should have stuck with weather forecasting!
Fiddling around with grain quality and technical services when the industry is firmly in the hands of middlemen merchants is a complete waste of time and funds.
18/07/16 10:54 AM
Playing with paper won't market the whole Australian crop nor will it maintain quality standards or promote good service to our customers.
13/07/16 11:44 AM
Okay grainer but who is responsible for selling the Australian crop?no one.
Who is responsible for maintaining our quality standards?- no one.
Who liaises with customers and who ensures that growers are receiving the right information on what to produce?- no one.
This is your free market- What a sham!
12/07/16 12:12 PM


Will the other candidates for the GGL Board election be given the same opportunity as Dan Cooper had in writing the above election piece?
Was Dan Cooper given any assistance by any Fairfax journalist in producing this article?
12/09/16 03:57 AM
Daniel Cooper was a strong supporter of wheat market deregulation and the removal of grower control of AWBLtd,which eventually lead to our iconic marketer falling into the hands of mega merchant Cargill.
Daniel has the fanciful idea that the industry's woes lie in the supply chain and that we can promote our wheat but not have a single entity controlling the marketing of our crop.
Growers beware- Daniel and his colleagues will put their hands in your pockets and extract a promotion levy which will not make an iota of difference to your bottom lines.
11/09/16 04:19 AM
John Crosby was a supporter of wheat deregulation which enabled merchants and middlemen to take control of the industry -perhaps we should take his musings with a grain of salt!
05/09/16 10:19 PM
Pete should stop trying to split the conservative vote - he could even try becoming a member of the Nationals and attending a conference and joining in on the debates.
He also try pushing through his policy ideas in a very democratic process.
31/07/16 11:54 PM
Heffernan's boots won't be hard to fill.
He achieved very little and when push came to shove he did what he was told by the urban political elite that control the Liberal Party.
01/09/16 09:37 PM
Deep down Richard Colbeck would be a true free market zealot Liberal and of no real value to the production sector.
13/08/16 04:25 AM
Senator Sterle is no friend of agriculture- a committee that he chaired in 2008 recommended that the wheat single desk be
be abolished despite 80% of growers wanting it to be retained.
The whole senate enquiry was a disgrace and the behaviour of the liberals and labor was despicable.
17/07/16 05:58 AM
The NFF has been a stepping stone into the Liberal Party - Andrew Robb is a good example.
The NFF philosophy fits nicely with that of the urban elite liberals- they are no friends of the Nationals.
05/08/16 03:25 AM
Both Peter Tuohey and Fiona Simson would fit the NFF presidential mould in that they are very comfortable with our farms being flogged off to foreigners.
Tuohey even describes those who object to the foreign takeover of our key strategic assets as bigots and racists.
02/08/16 05:19 AM
Well said Michael.
This was a disgraceful decision- why did your State Nationals counterparts allow this to happen?
08/07/16 11:45 AM


Cargill must shake their heads with disbelief that they could snare the jewel of the Australian Wheat Industry.
Brendan and his cohorts should hang their heads in shame.
01/03/16 12:09 AM
Mr Stewart actually steered AWB LTD away from growers and the corporates took over with Cargill being the eventual winner- a terrible travesty but a symptom of a Nation that has well and truly lost its way.
The audacity of Stewart to pontificate on farmer representation.
28/02/16 07:10 AM
So now do we sell our mango farms to the Chinese?!
Our political urban elite decision makers seem to believe that if we have something that the Chinese or other foreign interests want we just sell the land to them and let them produce their own.
22/09/15 08:28 PM
  Veg import shock 35 Comments 35
The NFF just don't appear to comprehend the hypocrisy of the farm sector being fully exposed to global competition and protectionism, whilst our domestic economy is protected by a regulated wages system and rules and regulations regarding health and safety and food quality.
24/12/12 12:51 AM
Excellent contributions.
Our domestioc market should be used as a basis for our exports not as something to completely undermine the industry with cheap imports and unfettered market power of the supermarkets.
18/12/12 03:25 AM


So we who pay a compulsory levy can stay at home and watch a communist proletburo style sham election take place!
How thoughtful of the MLA commissars.
06/11/15 08:02 PM
John Carpenter,
The problem is the producer representative organisations- they love this system because they can get their cronies elected .
18/10/15 09:47 AM
The MLA Kremlin has spoken - you producers that pay compulsory levies to fund the outfit shall have choice but it will be our choice!
George Orwell wrote of these things in Animal Farm.
11/10/15 09:02 PM


Thanks Bushie Bill-not in the least bit surprised that the extra risk and uncertainty that has been placed on growers has now being felt by the machinery industry.
Wait until we have silos full of wheat that the merchants cannot sell because there is no receivor of last resort made worse by the fact that our reputation for quality and service has been shot to ribbons.
The only winners out of this are the big multinationals like Cargil and Glencore.
They must have trouble keeping the smiles off their corporate faces.
The Labor Government and the Liberals should hang their heads in shame.
29/06/12 11:01 AM


Our ex-merchant banker PM will be loath to stop the foreign onslaught as agents, consultants and money lenders rub their hands with glee.
How can we have an Asian food bowl when we are selling the actual bowl.
28/09/15 03:20 AM
No Jocular- they don't have to take it with them just as occurred in ,colonised Africa and many Asian nations such as Indonesia that was controlled by Dutch East India.
What was the American war of Independence about?!
15/09/15 09:33 AM
Great news Cargill and any other foreign entity that wants a piece of Australia as more of our farm land goes out the door.
And the experts who manage this country will tell us that we need foreign investment as they continue to allow the sell off prime highly developed assets.
14/09/15 12:23 AM
When is this going to stop?
How will we pay off the Government debt if we keep selling our key strategic assets to foreign governments?
Why isn't this property being split up for Australians to purchase?
18/02/14 12:23 PM

Rural Lifestyle

Well spoken by a true champion Barnaby.
Convincing the Liberals will be the biggest challenge-they are more interested in the big end of town then the small business and family farm sector.
06/10/14 12:58 AM


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Sorry did i get it wrong..? Rankins Springs is still open..?!
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No doubt a few frosted Freddies out there who will wish they had taken a closer look at the AGC
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Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole

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