Category Archives: Dairy farmers

Qld LNP and ALP controlled by ‘Big 4’ banks

Party duopoly throw farmers to the wolves

The Queensland Government’s Farm Business Debt Mediation Act, which it is spruiking in a media release today, is a ruse to cover the fact it has completely failed to address the farm debt crisis.

“It’s another frightening example of a government putting ambulances at the bottom of the cliff,” Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said.

Rural Debt Chairman Robbie Katter says the ALP and LNP have denied farmers a development bank suitable for primary production to alleviate crippling debt levels of much of the industry

Robbie is warning people not to be fooled by the Government’s ‘solution’ which comes into play next month. “A farm debt mediation mechanism doesn’t solve the debt problem, it just means that when the farmer is finally completely crippled by debt, they can shut their business efficiently. It’s a complete slap in the face to the entire agriculture industry,” Robbie said.

In March this year, the government and LNP refused to support KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which would have addressed the unsustainable levels of farm debt, which is bringing Queensland’s agriculture industry to its knees.

“Through the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce that I chaired in this parliament, it was clear that the debt problem is massive and that a significant response from the Government was required to address it,” Robbie said.

“In 2015, I thought the Palaszczuk Government was serious about identifying solutions to address rural debt issues with the formation of a Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce. I was wrong. Just like the opposition they prefer to leave it to the market. This approach has delivered a declining sugar industry, a decimated dairy industry and some of the most expensive gas and electricity in the world.”

“Governments intervene in markets all the time. Between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, there’s about $5 billion worth of low-interest loans to help stimulate the industry. However, when it comes to supporting agriculture, and particularly family enterprises, the Government doesn’t want to touch it”.

“Instead of supporting KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which was created off the back of extensive investigation and consultation, and would have made a real difference to fixing the rural debt problem, the government pushed through its mediation act to make it look like it was doing something,” Robbie said.

“It’s a disgrace. It’s just another example of how little the major parties care about anything that’s happening outside of Brisbane.”

Dairy Australia Chairman admits that wife is on the board of Murray Goulburn

Conflict of Interest

Australia’s dairy industry is spiraling to oblivion as farmers battle producers for fair milk prices. Believing their primary voice, Dairy Australia quoting, “projecting the national services body for dairy farmers and the industry to help farmers adapt to a changing operating environment, and achieve a profitable, sustainable dairy industry”, are but a toothless tiger.

With dairy farmers struggling to make a sustainable living, are casting serious doubt upon this so called arm of dairy farmers to tackle monopoly puppet masters from Australia’s largest dairy industry milk producers “Murray Goulburn Co-operate Co Limited”, retailing “Devondale”, dictating pricing their way or take to the highway.

Inquiries by Senator Jaquie Lambie reveal that Chairman of Dairy Australia and a Director of Murray Goulburn Co-operate Co Limited are married and operate a 700 cow dairy in Victoria.

natalie-akers-murray-goulburn-dairyNatalie Akers was elected to the Board of Murray Goulburn in 2011. She is a member of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee and Supplier Relations Committee. Natalie is a dairy farmer, milking 700 cows at Tallygaroopna, in northern Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Public Policy and Management with Honours, a Bachelor of Arts and has completed the Fairley Leadership Program. Natalie has pursued a professional career in agriculture, including water policy and dairy research and development. Natalie is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

geoff-akers-dairy-australiaChairman of Dairy Australia Mr Geoff Akers is a dairy farmer from Tallygaroopna in Northern Victoria. He has extensive experience in dairy research, development and extension. He worked for Victoria’s then Department of Agriculture (Target 10 and Operation Mid Lactation) and at the Kyabram Research Institute. He spent four of six years on the Murray Dairy Board as Chairperson and two years on the National Dairy Alliance Board. He has also served as a Director of Australian Dairy Farmers Board, a Central Councillor of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria and is a former Chair of the Victorian Farmers Federation Water Council. He is also a former Director of the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project

 

Jaquie Lambie’s newsletter published …

jacqui-lambieDuring Senate Estimates, I raised conflict-of-interest concerns with the chair of Dairy Australia, Mr Geoff Akers, who admitted that his wife was on the board of Australia’s largest dairy manufacturer Murray Goulburn.

Normally I wouldn’t inquire about the personal lives of any person in organisations that receive taxpayer funds, but given hundreds of Tasmanian dairy families are facing ruin because of the way the Australian dairy industry has been managed – I stand by my questioning of Mr Akers during Estimates Hearings.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners state that, “conflict-of-interest is a gateway to corruption”, and given the dangerous mess that our Dairy industry is in – farmers right now must be given a guarantee that their representatives, running Dairy Australia are acting solely in farmers’ best interests
– not the interests of other parties.

It’s important for all Australians to establish if Dairy Australia is a truly independent body, given the taxpayer contributes tens of million to its operations every year.

No fresh milk by 2028? New bill for fair price to farmers

shane-knuth-milk

A new logo would be put on milk bottles to help consumers identify if it is sourced from a farmer who was paid a fair price, under proposed laws by Katter’s Australian Party.

Shane Knuth said the bill, which will need the support of one of the major parties and crossbenchers, establishes the eligibility criteria and legal protection for the voluntary system.

“Queensland dairy farmers are in a crippling financial crisis,” he said.

“The deterioration climate of the dairy industry is making it crucial to pass legislation that will help keep dairy farmers afloat.

“The fair milk price logo informs consumers where the milk is produced, that farmers were paid a sustainable price for the cost of a litre of milk, and that it’s Queensland’s fresh milk.”

‘No fresh milk by 2028’

Mr Knuth said an average of 50 farmers left the industry each year, going from 1500 to just 430 in 15 years.

If the trend continued there would be no fresh milk produced in the state by 2028, he said.

“Deregulation, natural disasters, and the dollar-a-litre supermarket price wars and unsustainable farm gate prices have slashed the number of Queensland dairy farmers.”

The bill now goes to the Agriculture and Environment Committee for consideration before it is debated by the Parliament.

It is unclear if the KAP bill would be passed, with the government and opposition coy on their intentions.

A government spokesman said Minister Leanne Donaldson would assess the merits of the bill after it was considered by a parliamentary committee.

Opposition’s agriculture spokesman Dale Last said the LNP had a strong record of supporting Queensland farmers.

“We’ll be keen to take a closer look at this legislation as it’s considered by the Parliamentary Committee,” he said.

-ABC – http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2016/10/13/new-bill-fair-price-farmers/

Dick Smith, Bob Katter and Ian ‘Macca’ MacNamara oppose sale of Kidman to Chinese

Selling Kidman pastoral empire to the Chinese is ‘complete madness’, say Dick Smith, Ian McNamara and Bob Katter

Dick Smith says Australia’s agricultural land is becoming more valuable and should not be sold to foreign investors.

by Matthew Cranston AFR

Australian entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith has called the imminent sale of Australia’s largest landholder S.Kidman & Co to a Chinese company an act of madness and says that with the value of agricultural land rising, Australian super funds should be competing to buy the cattle stations.

Speaking from his 1214 hectare property outside Canberra, Mr Smith, who funded the first major book on his “hero” Australia’s greatest pastoral king Sir Sidney Kidman back in 1987, said he was shocked that Australian investors could not compete with foreign investors.

“I am totally opposed to a sale to the Chinese. It’s complete madness,” Mr Smith told The Australian Financial Review.

“Farming land is going to be incredibly valuable – it is going to generate a lot of wealth into the future so you don’t want all that wealth creation to go overseas.”

Pengxin chief executive Andy McLeod and Gary Romano chief executive of Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co

S.Kidman & Co, which has cattle station holdings covering 11 million hectares, was placed on the market for sale in April last year with EY. The company was expected to sell for more than $325 million.

Chinese group Shanghai Pengxin, which has successfully purchased large farming properties in New Zealand where foreign investment rules are much stricter, was S.Kidman & Co’s preferred bidder for the business.

But the sale was prevented from going ahead late last year on the grounds that part of the landholding was within the Australian Defence Force’s so called “green zone” – the lowest security rated area of the Woomera rocket range.

The land that was within the security area, namely the world’s largest cattle station Anna Creek, has since been carved out of the overall S.Kidman & Co portfolio of land, allowing for the sale of the remaining business.

However Mr Smith said using the security concern as a reason to prevent the sale was a “furphy”. “I really don’t understand why the major parties are ok with still selling it off. Nine out of 10 people I speak to are opposed to it.”

Other Australian investors have been enthusiastic about buying part or all of the S. Kidman & Co landholdings including transport magnate Lindsay Fox.

Mr Smith became one of the top ten shareholders in Australia’s second largest landholder – the Australian Agricultural Company – back in 2012 because he didn’t want to sound like a hypocrite for suggesting that Australians compete with offshore buyers for our agricultural land. He still has that shareholding.

“The Australian super funds surely they could buy Kidman. Even the prime minister could put in $1 million, I could match it and put $1 million in.”

At the same time that Mr Smith opposes the sale of S.Kidman & Co to the Chinese company – he is also against the sale of Australia’s largest dairy farmer known as the Van Diemen’s Land Company. That company is currently owned by a New Zealand local government but is about to be sold to a Chinese businessman Lu Xianfeng​.

“Don’t get me wrong if that Chinese businessman wants to be an Australian citizen and bring his money in and live here and have his wife become a member of the Country Women’s Association and he becomes a member of the Rural Fire Brigade then he should be allowed to. But selling to offshore is just wrong – you may as well not have borders.”

The Chinese based company looking to buy S. Kidman & Co – Shanghai Pengxin is controlled by Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming – a $3.4 billion listed company, majority owned by billionaire Jiang Zhaobai. It has been looking to add beef cattle to its agricultural operations.

On Tuesday, the Board of Hunan Dakang announced that its chief executive Gary Romano had resigned. It is understood that Mr Romano would continue as a strategic adviser for Dakang in Australia and on the company’s S.Kidman & Co transaction.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/selling-kidman-to-the-chinese-is-complete-madness-says-dick-smith-20160125-gmdqp1#ixzz41p62qqL7

Greens only support dams for animals, humans can perish

Water is essential for all life, and happily it is abundant on our blue watery planet

by Viv Forbes, science writer

However, salty oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface and contain 97% of Earth’s water. Salt water is great for ocean dwellers but not directly useful for most life on land. Another 2% of Earth’s water is tied up in ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow, leaving just 1% as land-based fresh water.

To sustain life on land, we need to conserve and make good use of this rare and elusive resource.

Luckily, our sun is a powerful nuclear-powered desalinisation plant. Every day, solar energy evaporates huge quantities of fresh water from the oceans. After a stop-off in the atmosphere, most of this water vapour is soon returned to earth as dew, rain, hail and snow – this is the great water cycle. Unfortunately about 70% of this precipitation falls directly back into the oceans and some is captured in frozen wastelands.

Much of the water that falls on land is collected in gullies, creeks and rivers and driven relentlessly by gravity back to the sea by the shortest possible route. Allowing this loss to happen is poor water management. The oceans are not short of water.

Some animals and plants have evolved techniques to maximise conservation of precious fresh water.

Some Australian frogs, on finding their water holes evaporating, will inflate their stomachs with water then bury themselves in a moist mud-walled cocoon to wait for the drought to break. Water buffalo and wild pigs make mud wallows to retain water in their private mud-baths, camels carry their own water supply and beavers build lots of dams.

Some plants have also evolved water saving techniques – bottle trees and desert cacti are filled with water, thirsty humans can even get a drink from the roots and trunks of some eucalypts and many plants produce drought/fire resistant seeds.

Every such natural water conservation or drought-proofing behaviour brings benefits for all surrounding plants and animals.

Tinaroo Falls Dam wall, 80klm south west of Cairns. Its 440,000 megalitre storage provides water for life, farming, hydro-electricity, human consumption and recreation. It cost $12.66 million to construct in the mid-1950’s and has returned several billion dollars and huge amounts of fresh produce to the economy

People have long recognised the importance of conserving fresh water – early settlers built their homes near the best waterholes on the creek and every homestead and shed had its corrugated iron tanks. Graziers built dams and weirs to retain surface water for stock (and fence-crashing wildlife), used contour ripping and good pasture management to retain moisture in soils, and drilled bores to get underground water. And sensible rules have evolved to protect the water rights of down-stream residents.

Rainfall is often a boom and bust affair. Much fresh water is delivered to the land surface suddenly in cyclones, storms and rain depressions. But “The Wet” is always followed by “The Dry”, and droughts and floods are normal climatic events. People who fail to store some of the flood must put up with the drought.

Greens should learn from the beavers. Strings of dams can moderate flood risk, as well as creating drought sanctuaries and secure water for graziers, towns, irrigators and wildlife. Modern cities could not survive without large water storages for drinking water, sanitation, gardens and factories.

Fresh water is also necessary to produce fresh food. We can have fresh milk, butter, cheese, meat, vegetables, nuts and fruit; or we can irrigate the oceans and import fresh food from more sensible countries. And without fresh water and fresh food, there will be no local food processing.

Those infected with the green religion believe we should waste our fresh water by allowing it all to return as quickly as possible to the salty seas. They fight to protect beaver dams and natural lakes, but persistently oppose human dams and lakes. Some even want existing dams destroyed, while wasting billions on energy-hungry desalination and sewerage re-treated plants, pumps and pipelines.

They also want to prohibit man’s production of two drought-defying atmospheric gases, both released by the burning of hydrocarbons – carbon dioxide which makes plants more drought tolerant, and water vapour which feeds the clouds and the rain.

Green water policies are un-sustainable, even suicidal.

Humans must copy the beavers and “Build more Dams”. And help the biosphere by burning more hydrocarbons.


Further Reading:


“Dung Beatles ate our Climate History” or “Droughts and Extreme Weather are Nothing New.”
by Dr Bill Johnson:

Dung beetles ate our climate-history!

Only one city water supply dam has been built in Australia in the last 30 years:

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/all_this_water_may_wash_away_our_dam_madness/

“We must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.”David Foreman, a founder of “Earth First”.

Trickery and Puffery in climate spending claims:

Billions spent on irrelevant climate pledges: http://joannenova.com.au/2015/12/billions-of-dollars-on-irrelevant-pledges-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-the-climate/

Green Climate Fund a slush fund for dictators:

http://fee.org/articles/the-uns-green-climate-program-is-a-slush-fund-for-dictators/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fee_daily&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuK7JZKXonjHpfsX87uokWKSg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YEBRcZ0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEBS7TYRKtst6cMUw%3D%3D

Professor Ian Plimer in Westminster

Here is an eloquent summary of climate matters by Professor Ian Plimer, addressing a meeting organised by the Global Warming Policy Forum in a committee room in the British Houses of Parliament. (Can’t let him loose on the politicians themselves, can we?)

Also, here is a review of Ian Plimer’s latest book, “HEAVEN AND HELL” – how the Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty:

http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/11/plimer-pope/

“The entire trillion dollar climate change industry rests on a single hypothetical assumption. The assumption is that emissions of CO2 by humans drive global warming. To this day there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.”

Andrew Wilkie warns Parliament that Australia is becoming a police state

This is a must view video for all Australians with Independent MP Andrew Wilkie exposing the police state government we live under explaining each section of deprivation of your freedom in his speech to parliament December 2015.

You now have information we are a police state and make an informed decision at the next Federal election polling booth to return your Australia from a police state run by decades of a duopoly government system, to the democratic Australia handed to you by your forefathers that you have voted away.

Another win over imported milk supplies for KAP Member Shane Knuth

KNUTH SOUR OVER IMPORTED MILK

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Shane Knuth

A nearsighted state government switch to use imported milk at the Lotus Glen Prison has left KAP Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth fuming.

Mr Knuth said he was recently informed the corrections facility, located in Queensland’s dairy country is providing imported UHT Milk from NZ for consumption rather than fresh milk.

Incredibly in 2012 the Government had auctioned off a self-run dairy belonging to the facility which provided over 1000 L of fresh milk a day.

The dairy was also used by the corrections centre as a training facility for the agricultural industry.

“Just three years ago Lotus Glen had the ability to produce its own milk, now the government can’t even source locally produced, branded Dairy Farmers milk,” Mr Knuth said.

“If our own government won’t invest in Queensland how can we expect business and consumers to? ”

Since the imports have been confirmed Mr Knuth’s office has been in contact with the Premier and the Agriculture Minister, waiting on a response.

“ My electorate is in one the best milk producing areas of Queensland, this is lunacy,” Mr Knuth said.

“Buying in UHT milk from overseas in the name of cost cutting will hurt our regions in the long run.

“Rest assured that I will bash on the doors of the government until this decision is reversed and demand that locally produced milk is the milk of choice,” he said.

My electorate at Athertonis in one the best milk producing areas of QUEENSLAND – I’ve received advice that a state government department is buying in UHT milk from oversea…s because it’s cheaper and cost saving – Rest assured that I will bash on the doors of the government until this decision is reversed and demand that locally produced milk is the milk of choice.

Within hours of this media release hitting the airwaves, State Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne contacted the Lotus Glen Prison near Mareeba, telling the manager to stop buying NZ milk and buy local milk.

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