Recent comments by: R. Ambrose Raven

Agribusiness

Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
Extreme social and financial pressure on agriculture is to some degree a failure of industry policy - worse, the aim of the NFF and PGA and suchlike to destroy agriculture has become our industry “policy”. Many will of course deny that the virtually universal marginalisation of our agricultural industries is a failure of the market, just as they deny that the market itself is a social construct rather than being one of the Ten Commandments.
Agriculture needs intelligent policy not an evil TPP.
Barnaby, at least according to himself, appears to have removed all agriculture's problems.
Mike Introvigne makes many good points; implementing them as is would do far more good than harm.
Foreign purchases of farms especially highlights the abandonment of agriculture by our own government and the profit-seeking sector. Especially given climate change and our own diminishing – I repeat, diminishing - food security, farmers and farming need just as much of a safety net as we do – by direct government support for production cooperatives, regions and agriculture generally.
Wifey has at least provided a perfect example of farmers’ bankrupt thinking. Flogging-off the silver will only delay ruin.
Destroying CBH simply offloads even more debt, cost, and risk onto farmers. A commercial replacement wouldn't, for instance, set up receival points where the farmers are; you go to it!
Farmers and farming need direct government support for production cooperatives, regions and agriculture generally. Farmer ideologues – especially the PGA -are themselves are a real obstacle to any such renovation.
  Tier 3 future 8 Comments 8
When will you lot ever learn? WA farmers (led by the NFF and PGA) have worked hard to destroy the very compulsory equalisation and stabilisation schemes that you continue to deny you need in the name of competition and capitalism. Only a statutory multi-peril crop insurance authority model would work; insurance is never commercially viable for such a purpose without government support.
You didn't put yourselves here, but most of you worked hard to hasten the evil day. You succeeded; is that a problem?
It's so comforting to see a number of articles appearing to assure graingrowers how good these agribusinesses are for you - one call to sell grain is peace of mind.
Unlike AWB-Cargill, the pre-wrecked AWB not only gave peace of mind - except to the greedy and the extremely cunning - but had no incentive to cheat growers by closing pools early, inflating fees such as transport charges, or giving brokers secret commissions to recommend their product.
Let us applaud the NFF (Jock Laurie) and PGA Presidents (Rob Gillam) for their success in destroying orderly marketing.
Perhaps we should be aware that thesupermarkets didn't slash the price of milk so as to more than proportionately increase sales and profit; like bread, milk is a "loss leader" where the small loss due to the price cut is more than offset by the other purchases made by people enticed into the store by the prospect of cheap milk. It's like the advertising designed to exploit family togetherness by inducing children to pressure their parents to buy expensive toys, especially at Christmas and Easter.
Enthusiastically supported by a number of farmer organisations.
Cargill has as much interest in getting the highest price for grain growers as Coles and Woolworths do in getting the maximum milk price for dairy-farmers.
Destruction of statutory marketing authorities does not, is not and was never intended to benefit farmers (the biggest or most cunning excluded). It was all about robbing ordinary people (rural and urban) to feed the greed of the executives and the transnationals.
Great - coordination and cooperation really does matter.
An unprecedented water crisis (like the pressures on the Murray-Darling System, compounded by Turkey's exploitation of upstream waters and the loss of Golan Heights aquifers), plus food costs and shortages plus poor underinvestment in agriculture, rapid population growth and drought/global warming are big factors in Syria's violence - ignored by the media. Syrian agriculture wastes a great deal of water. Also as with the Murray-Darling, water theft is a serious issue studiously ignored.
What such people are really saying is that being half-hearted about this exercise will do nothing good. One cannot "solve" the interrelated Basin issues as though all one requires is some sort of wonder drug, then open slather as before.
What people don't so often recognise is that any good approach requires a well-funded Authority with skilled, specialised, permanent employees and a strong emphasis on balancing irrigators, urban needs, the science, and the whole system.
Yet, helped by the NFF, the Laberals have worked hard for decades to destroy such a public service.

Cropping

No, no, no, to the PGA corporatisation of CBH is another excellent and welcome opportunity to destroy local farmers and farming. We will all then have to pay any extortionate price that transnational agribusiness chooses to charge us.
Welcome to private enterprise, fellas.
After all, you didn't want that awful socialist/communist Australian Wheat Board telling you how things are to be done.
Enjoy your freedom to contract - in the queue at Centrelink!
For info of the hard right denialist ideologues, "WA's biggest grain grower John Nicoletti is $40 million in debt and cannot get finance to plant this year's crop as he joins the scores of farmers in the Wheatbelt at breaking point." Another glorious victory for the NFF and PGA. For such farmers, deregulation has meant ruin, not only as regards wheat but because no non-farmer is going to do anything for a group so obviously opposed to any sort of beneficial, collective action. John N. will no doubt soon be a pair of hands thankful for the minimum wage and trade unions.
Always impressive to see the consistency with which the PGA works to destroy farmers' livelihoods. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
blahblah indeed. Superannuation has the "independent monitoring agent", namely the trustee. Naturally they demand a good fee. None of them noticed the Global Financial Crisis coming, nor do any of them seem to have in any way actively protected superannuants interests.
Anyone wanting a single desk, or government for the people instead of the profiteers, is working very much against the current political culture. But it's a bad culture. Keep up the pressure.
See how Jed talks farming while Deregul8 talks ideology, perhaps because one is a farmer and the other is not. Farmer departures have been biggest in the dairy industry – the most extremely deregulated. Note, too, Deregul8’s typical Hard Right contempt for the departees – even though those who remain are increasingly marginalised, and Australia no longer producing sufficient fruit and vegetables to allow all Australians a healthy diet. Another glorious victory for the NFF and PGA.

General

Robb’s ISDS Mechanism is being used by Philip Morris against Australia on plain packaging and graphic warnings for cigarettes.
Robb omitted to mention that the substantial financial and political connections between the Liberal Party and Big Tobacco.
…1…in mid-2010, the Coalition ran a supposedly grassroots protest against plain packaging
…2…since 2004 – the Coalition received $280,000 annually from the tobacco industry.
…3…how real was Abbott’s Aug ’13 claim to stop accepting donations?
Indeed, much IPA misinformation has accompanied these campaigns. NFF would of course prefer open slather on CSG.
First thing exporting gas from the Eastern States did was to substantially increase ES gas prices to world market levels, typically paid by people who derived no benefit from the exercise. Left to themselves, the CSG firms would be just like Asia’s logging companies – loot, pay a pittance if necessary, then go.
A report by JP Morgan noted risks of reduced water supplies, reduced water quality, and of gas migrating to existing bores.

Horticulture

  Veg import shock 35 Comments 35
Mott wants to cut wages? Set an example, Mott - cut yours!
To quote the Centre for Immigration Studies in Washington: "massive illegal immigration [Mott sweatshop labour] can devastate America. It endangers national security, the social safety net, our most vulnerable citizens and the dignity of American labor. It challenges national cohesion and sovereignty, and it’s producing a population explosion with incalculably ruinous consequences to our environment and quality of life."
Magnificent whiskers on your fairy tales, Bill. You, the NFF and PGA are doing a great job for transnational agribusiness; we should acknowledge your commitment to the destruction of Australian agriculture.
China uses tariffs, so does the US. Our USA Free Trade Agreement is destroying local industry because it requires the virtual elimination of tariffs, yet the Americans are depreciating their currency, giving them a large and increasing trade advantage. Great allies. USAFTA is courtesy of sell-outs like you, Bushie.
Where are your suggestions, Bushie?
  Veg import shock 35 Comments 35
Tariffs, anyone?
I invite suggestions as to what method would be simpler but as effective.
Put a 25pc tariff on fruit and vegetable imports. In the same letter, formally withdraw from all - ha, ha, oh dear - "free" trade agreements.
America's depreciation of its currency by printing money is - perhaps as was intended - turning FTAs into a weapon for the destruction of our domestic industry to the benefit of the US.
Naturally the NFF and PGA are doing a great job for transnational agribusiness; we should acknowledge their commitment to the destruction of Australian agriculture.

COMMENTS

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My total income is from livestock production in WA as a 1 man operation and I agree completely I
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i was 15 years old when I went up to liveringa station in 1961.with j.drakebrockman . the old
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