Recent comments by: Victor
Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm
This is very glib and simplistic economic rationalism. We have seen the recent result of letting the market run rampant, the GFC, and our government sensibly intervened. We want many more safeguards from government to prevent this happening again. To do so however is not incompatible from reducing subsidy and support to farms which have proved to be unviable. A better discussion would be a National Inquiry Into Agriculture which develops a coherent plan. Unfortunately for the Coalition such an inquiry would alienate some supporters and have to engage climate change so will never happen.
Yes this is an issue which almost everybody can agree upon. But it seems the National Party are perpetually stoned without even smoking the stuff. Perhaps if it ever comes out of its torpor it can support it too.
If only life was so simple. The fact is that Australia's taxation levels are lower than most of the top OECD countries and the government provides a range of quality services Australians take for granted such as Medicare, education, welfare including for the aged, infirm, returned veterans. They all require public servants to administer. Or does David wants us to emulate American style capitalism, brutal for the unemployed and the working poor and fabulous for the rich and the corporations. I am sorry David but you have little to offer the Federal parliament and may your term be short.
As a former veterinarian perhaps Mr Leyonhjelm could follow the export of these animals to slaughter abroad. Would he then be happy to stand by and watch the cruel slaughter of animals? Saying other countries don't insist on humane practices and therefore why should we is morally bankrupt. Imagine the outcry here if our local sheep and cattle were slaughtered to these base standards.
Yes David John Howard got it really right too when he delivered Telstra to the private sector and it has tried to stifle any serious competition ever since. If it had not been privatised the state would have controlled the hardware, transformed it with the NBN and unleashed a rash of distributors into the market. Isn't the situation with power poles exactly the same? Government should run monopolies, the issue is how to address efficiencies with them.
So this is the level of scientific understanding Mr Leyonhjelm is going to bring to the Senate for six years. If he is a believer in science I too hope he'll reject the cuts in science funding which will impact heavily on agriculture. Or is he more concerned with his rampant free market ideology than the facts?
So this is how Mr Leyonhjelm embraces a sensible international initiative. Sustainable cattle farming is an important issue and we should not dismiss it. Soon Australian taxpayers will pay his salary because some voters couldn't tell the difference between the Liberal Party and Liberal Democrats and I think he got the donkey vote in NSW. I would be very humble if I was in his position.
A matter of opinion
Ever reported a farm theft in NSW? I did and was met with supreme indifference by local police who didn't even bother to attend.
Burrs under my saddle
I agree with Peter but the Coalition must also stand up to the mining lobby and embark upon a transition out of coal. Alternative energy technology is now equal if not cheaper than coal and farmers going off grid is fast becoming a reality. But the Coalition is trying to undermine this as well. Barnaby should go to Germany and meet Angela Merkel, a die hard conservative with the best economy in Europe and see what the Germans are doing with their energy policy. The Coalition has simply lost the plot on this.
I'm sorry Peter but the legislation to prevent land clearing is based on sound scientific principles. No farmer has a right to do whatever he pleases with his land just as city land owners are subject to strict development rules. Australia farming has been the poorer for indiscriminate land clearing which has led to a raft of issues and widespread land and water degradation. Either implement sustainable, educated land management as good farmers do or get off the land. There are no excuses for what occurred.
This was not a typical third world regime kickback story. Flugge and AWB were trading when there was a trade embargo agreed upon by the UN Security Council against the Iraq regime. It was strictly enforced and followed by our wheat trade competitors. It wasn't just about kickbacks. This trial will make a lot of retired Coalition politicians very uncomfortable.
Come on Mr Turnbull give this deal to the Productivity Commission which has offered to scrutinise its advantages and disadvantages objectively. And publish the deal please for public scrutiny. So far the only people outside of government who have seen this deal are major American corporations. So much for transparency.
I haven't heard any public outcry when European and UK companies bought farming land throughout our history. Interesting too that it is OK to sell farm land to the Chinese but not Ok to ensure by legislation that Australian rural workers get first preference on same properties under the Australia/China Free Trade Agreement. The Coalition won't publish the treaty for public discussion. Why?
So Barnaby Joyce that great defender of Cubby Station is going to look after water. The Nationals were part of the problem with water, over allocating and with little regard to environmental flows. It has been a disaster and created a political nightmare for politicians. The reality is that to deal with water in a viable, rational and sustainable way means that some farmers and local towns will suffer. It is no different to what manufacturing enterprises have to face in urban centres. In the long term agriculture becomes more viable.
Sorry but it is sensible to maintain water within the Environment portfolio and not move it to Agriculture. Water is a concern for everybody not just agriculture. The mess we have in the Murray Darling Basin and elsewhere is because too many water licences were allocated combined with the self interest of the States not caring less about those downstream. The Nationals need to accept a few hard decisions must be made about the viability of many agricultural enterprises just as city based manufacturing have had to. One only hopes a lot of these Nats retire soon and a new generation emerges.
So the Coalition has negotiated this trade agreement in secret and refused to provide details. Now when it appears that there is no statutory obligation to find local workers for importing them we are told that Labor and the unions are destroying the agreement. We have already seen massive abuse of visas for foreign workers and little government intervention so why trust them now? Yes for skilled foreign workers but only after a compulsory and meaningful search for locals first. I agree with Labor and Penny Wong on this.
The current draft of the Aust/China FTA does not protect Australian workers and does not impose mandatory laws which force companies to properly advertise before seeking workers offshore. Chinese electricians for example will be able to work here with no local competency test and no language test. The Coalition is way out of kilter with the public mood about free trade agreements. Yes for free trade but not at the expense of local standards and local workers, particularly young skilled workers.
Captain it is more likely that the Coalition will sell out the general population through large US pharmaceutical companies trying to extend and protect patents, trademarks and other intellectual property. This will come at huge costs to Australian consumers including farmers. The lack of transparency is completely anti-democratic. We should all know who are the vested interests and what they seek long before anything is signed. The Productivity Commission is ready and able to assess all this but is ignored.
Andrew Robb's failure to provide any transparency is in complete contrast to the United States. All Australians are entitled to know what is being negotiated and the Productivity Commission has the resources to review the draft. What is Andrew Robb scared of and whose narrow interests is he serving?
Bill Shorten is dead right about the lax importation of foreign workers. There should be rigorous labour testing before a foreign worker is given preference over a local one. Why are we supporting our children through university to find that there jobs are taken by foreign workers and particularly workers from State owned Chinese corporations who are completely controlled by their employer and wouldn't dare complain? Such workers include IT and engineering graduates and skilled tradesman. Get on you Bill for opposing this scam and shame on the Coalition.
It is good to see a Coalition senator acknowledging the importance of science. The fact is too many water licences were issued based upon politics and ignoring the science. To conserve this resource there are farmers who will have to leave and farm practices that are eliminated. Barnaby Joyce was quite happy to see local car manufacturing closed down but when its comes to economic realities for National Party voters rationality goes out the door. Scientists have a great deal more integrity than politicians.
The Coalition's poor handling of the inadequate protection to workers under this proposed agreement pretty much sums up why it is a crook government and has no nose for the electorate. Australians do not want foreign workers imported here doing jobs which Australians can do or young Australians can be trained to do. All this scare mongering by the Coalition and failure to negotiate just turns a win into another political loss. This mob is clueless.
Thank you ABC. What Robb proposes is outrageous for Australian workers. Let's just let any country start businesses here with no obligation to employ Australian workers and no legislation to enforce that foreign workers can only be imported because we do not have the skilled work force available or the apparatus to train or retrain local workers. It is absolute stupidity and clearly not in Australia's interest.
You are right Over the Hill about base load but huge progress in Germany with all these integrated technologies and base load dependence will steadily decline with these technologies. Good on Labor for having some vision on all this. Meanwhile if anybody can sell me a domestic farm size methane system to put our cattle to good use would be great. Chinese suppliers seem to be the solution.
Sorry Barnaby but your team leader has said that "coal is good for humanity". Australia has enough coal that it doesn't need to threaten productive agricultural areas. If Abbot had any guts he would have intervened. But he will do anything to cling to power and not offend powerful friends. Australia is the great loser in this with a backward looking leader and a hapless National Party.
The Greens are dead right. We urgently need a national corruption agency along the lines of ICAC in NSW. Why shouldn't we know who this mystery former politician was? If the allegations are false then he can defend him. I think the electorate is pretty sick of the lack of transparency in politics and the secret or undisclosed deals or arrangements with vested interests. It can lead to the death of a democracy such as ours.
Qlander. This means 40% of Liberals, a big minority, in House of Reps & Senate have rejected Abbott just 16 months after the last election. Abbott is now a dead man walking and what Truss said is just waffling bollocks. Don't the Nationals and the Liberal right understand that Abbott's policies combined with his personality are a toxic blend. Abbott will go shortly and if his successor has any brains he/she will try to move the Coalition back to the centre and rebuild the Liberals as a centrist conservative party. If they haven't got this message then it will back to opposition in 18 months.
Albro, your figures are correct but the most damning figure is the size of political donations given to the Nationals and the Liberals by the coal industry. Brandis plays their tune to the detriment of other viable agricultural enterprises. But it won't continue as market forces will overcome coal as a commodity much sooner than anticipated. The banks will not finance these new mines.
Well poor old Barnaby has stitched himself up. The greyhound cruelty has revealed that it is sometimes in the public interest to trespass. And perhaps Barnaby can stop apologising for multi-national food companies who have done everything possible to stop clear and transparent food labelling and obscure the real source of food. It has been the Coalition that has tried to water down rules in the name of "too much red tape". Sorry Barnaby but it is time you went back to your accounting practice.
Please add me to the 11 farmers. I would rather prefer the views of a team of highly educated and diverse scientists with a mass of skills than farmers. European Australia owes its existence to science and the technology which created our agriculture. So why not listen to them now?
So under the proposed free trade agreement the Federal government is prepared to admit Chinese electricians to work here with no proven equivalence of skills/standards to Australian electricians. This is complete stupidity and dangerous. Labor is quite right to insist on local certification for trades.