Ag's annus horribilis
THE YEAR began with great promise – a White Paper (not delivered), additional funds for R&D (money cut), a new drought policy (failed), a foreign investment register (still waiting), and a decentralisation policy (which turned out to be a half-baked plan to pork-barrel in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate).
Hands off our Auntie, Mr Abbott
LAST week Tony Abbott effectively turned off the microphone that is tuned into rural and regional Australia. His Government has taken the axe to Auntie.
Excising the FF from DAFF
FISHERIES and forestry are important areas of the Australian economy, yet Barnaby Joyce dares not speak their name.
Cause for confidence in live export
FEW issues raise emotions more than the live export sector. Proof of that can be found in the 'in-box' of most members of parliament.
Time to change status quo
I HOLD a deep-seated belief that a healthy, vibrant and prosperous rural Australia is central to our country’s economic and social well-being.
The unkindest cuts to our ABC
THE Coalition’s record on rural and regional communications has been one of failure. When it comes to the ABC, they're letting down the bush.
Decision time on port code access
THE most complex issues can often be made simple by applying good public policy principles, like the regulation of bulk grain ports.
Bush students hit again
THE Abbott government’s restructure of higher education could significantly disadvantage rural and regional students and institutions.
Winning rural hearts and minds
A LITTLE over a year ago a newly re-elected Prime Minister asked me what position I would like to hold in his Cabinet.
Not bowled over by 'boom' talk
BARNABY'S declaiming of Australia as an “Asian food bowl” as “ridiculous” was an admission that all the governmental talk has been just that: talk.
Rising above the fray
AUSTRALIAN politics is in a bit of a mess, thanks to a winner-takes-all style. It’s become a brawl: left-right, conservative-progressive, rich-poor, city-rural.
Ag in policy wilderness
I’VE been waiting for Barnaby Joyce to take the credit for the Nick Kyrgios win over Rafael Nadal - he seems to have already claimed just about everything else.
Codifying fair play for farmers
FARMERS' and suppliers' relationship with retailers Coles and Woolworths has been an enduring topic of debate.
Can't see the wood for the trees
AUSTRALIA is well placed to be a major provider of wood and fibre products to a Asia, but it will only happen if we are smart about it.
The flaw in Barney's plan
COULD Barnaby's proposal to move his ministerial office to Armidale be a cunning taxpayer-funded plan to put decentralisation back on the agenda?
Death by a thousand cuts
THE consequences of Budget cuts will be acute, but nowhere more than in rural and regional Australia, says JOEL FITZGIBBON.
Drought strategy on 'borrowed' time
IT'S raining - the best time to be thinking about drought policy. And a good place to start is to identify where we have certainty, says JOEL FITZGIBBON.
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