Recent comments by: LTF

Grain of Truth

Gregor, you have explained the ADM failure pretty well. I think there was too much emphasis by them and GrainCorp on the need for foreign capital. It is just capital needed. Why limit it to foreign capital. CBH as you say, is a good case study. It is arguably, the best overall grain bulk system in the world all built on local capital with grower ownership. All capitalists want is a good, secure investment. If ADM can see that in GrainCorp, then GrainCorp should be able to sell that message to any investors. If not they are doing things wrong. A better CEO and Board is needed.
03/12/13 10:31 PM

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

Obviously Bushie Bill is not aware that the biggest democracy and economy in the globe has no minimum wage system in the vast majority of states. The few US states which do have a minimum wage have it set at $10/hr, which is way below the level in Australia. Most of the countries we trade with of course have open market rates which turn out to be way below ours. Yet most of those countries have growth rates well above Australia's. Hence they are now moving in here and buying up all our wealth creating assets. So our system is failing fast.
18/12/14 12:29 AM
No Bushie you are wrong. If you want labour market deregulation bushie, then that is your call. All farmers and small business people ask for is equitable treatment. If you and your ilk, are so passionate about inflated costs linked with regulated labour, then you should be prepared to accept having to pay extra taxes so that all in the community share the burden of your demands. Maybe then you will see the light. The same principle applies to the ABC. Let those who want it, pay for it. Most of us don't want it.
16/12/14 02:33 AM
Who said we should deregulate labour markets. While it is about time they faced up to market reality it is not what is being suggested. The suggestion is to remove the welfare component of regulated, inflated, non market labour costs and conditions from the expense account of individual businesses and put it on the budget of all taxpayers via the State & Federal Governments' Welfare Budgets. If taxpayers so badly want us to continue to have the highest & least productive labour force in the world, then they should be happy to pay for such madness.
14/12/14 11:41 PM
If we are going to have free markets, and if free markets are the answer to prosperity and progress, then how can you have half the participants unregulated and the other half regulated with guaranteed incomes and restricted output or contributions? Only a half whit or a shonk would try and defend such a nonsense.
12/12/14 03:27 AM
QLander has it well summed up. The elephant in the room that David has done nothing about and apparently does not care about, is input and supply chain costs. They are all well above global market rates in an environment where producers are forced to carry the welfare component of the inflated, regulated Industrial Awards system within Australia, but yet forced to cut incomes to the totally unregulated and corrupted global market level. Sort that issue out David and you might just start to earn the millions your 6 year subsidized term in the Senate is costing taxpayers.
11/12/14 07:15 AM
Consolidated says, "competing with you is a breeze". If ever there was an example of naivety, it is one Aussie wheat export grower, seeing his fellow wheat growers as his enemy. How myopic is that? That is, exactly as myopic as the international mega merchants, now controlling our industry want us to be. They want us to fight each other for their bid, and not to unite and make them compete hard to get our wheat. That is exactly why they hated us when we had the market power to negotiate with them or bypass them under our single export desk. Our rivals are the US & EU Govts who corrupt prices.
22/10/14 08:50 AM
David, so you got a raw deal in and out of parliament over your stance on levies. Welcome to the jungle.
I have little doubt your stance was valid and that it was not reason but prejudice that cost you.
However, I think you should not sweat the small stuff. If you think half of our levies are wasted, how much of our taxes do you think are wasted? That should be your number one target. You said yourself in campaigning, that we need smaller Government. Well what have you done so far to reduce our taxes and our Government? Nothing, as far as I can see. But please prove me wrong if you can.
03/09/14 03:36 AM
Randall, I am sure you are well meaning, but Australian farmers are still among the most efficient food and fibre producers in the world. If they were able to produce without the impost of Australia's regulated, artificially inflated input costs and supply chain costs, linked to our protectionist labour awards system.
What our consumers are doing more and more is buying goods from countries like Vietnam, China and South Korea where input costs are at globally low levels. This is proof that our consumers have had a gutful of our protectionist labour awards system.
06/08/14 11:40 PM
David, when will we see an article by you attacking the worst example of Government regulation in Australia? I refer to the worlds most regulated and costly labor market. After all you claim to be a fighter for small government. Yet the biggest target for you is the one you never attack!
Don't waste our time with the sort of useless debate herein, until you prove your sincerity, by attacking very the regulations, you sailed into government campaigning against.
29/07/14 09:53 PM
Wilmar have a large operation in (PRC) China JFT.
Not only that they have tentacles deeply into many countries via joint ventures (including with ADM), and other similar arrangements. Their global size and foot print is so powerful as to intimidate national Governments and they do not have a rosy environmental or ethical record. I am not condemning them on that basis. It is just that we all need to know the details of global corporations moving into our lives, because of the power and control they may have over us, whether they use it wrongly or not.
07/07/14 01:50 PM

Get Muddy

Very good point Qlander.
18/08/14 11:52 PM

A matter of opinion

If renewable energy is cheaper than coal, why is it that our electricity prices have been lifted to pay huge subsidies to solar and wind power developers and operators? The Gillard Govt has locked us into contracts and subsidies paid to those erecting wind turbines of $400k per tower for 25 - 75 years. That is up to $30m for each wind turbine. If the power from wind was cheaper than coal, they would need no subsidy. It has been proven over and over that our cheapest power comes from coal. Cut all subsidies to power generators and make them stand on their own. Had a gutful of the subsidies.
15/05/14 09:47 AM
Commodity markets are forever going up and down, but probably not going up as far as down! GFA is right though. We have to address this issue of subsidized or artificially set labor rates. It is ludicrous that we are so out of kilter with our competitors and even more ludicrous to think we can go on like this without a total melt down and soon.
31/03/14 01:48 AM
what the hell benefit can you show to farm gate returns simply via changes to digital technology that is sending our government into massive debt Mr Norris? From current information that will not add a single net dollar.
06/01/14 03:44 AM

Burrs under my saddle

I very much like this story, Peter. However, you started off by criticising Joe Hockey's Budget and then got off onto GDP usage problems.
It was my feeling that Hockey aimed to rein in expenditure by government so as to reduce our deficit of taxation expenditure over taxation income. Isn't this a very good means of enabling us to pay less in taxes in future. And isn't that a very good way of households increasing their wealth by Govt taking away less of their income?
My only problem is that instead of using the $7 Doctor payment to reduce debt it is going to a Govt research account.
18/05/14 01:16 PM
Truth is it is not farmers who are getting a free ride. It is the farmer who is made to carry the huge cost burden of regulations which transfer income away to others in the supply chain and input cost sector. Probably at least 30% of our income is stolen by others in the community via such regulations as artificially high labor costs. Take those away before you start counting any assistance to farming of which there is virtually nil..
05/05/14 01:36 AM
The common mistake made by our urban critics is to talk about farmers rather than farming. By doing this we fail to address a failing key Australian industry. If we look at the farming industry statistics, we see that 20 years ago we had about 45,000 grain growers. Today we have about 10,000. So about 35,000 less families are being supported directly by farming. Why? Many reasons. But as JFK said "farmers must buy at retail and sell at wholesale". In that retail price are all the regulations and "Award rate subsidies" to labor but none to the labor of farming. Take off the blinkers and look.
05/04/14 09:51 PM

Bush Matters

Interesting this article has surfaced again from June. Barry is right. It is nigh on impossible now to get any open debate about the failing economic rationalism that is spawning multi national oligarchs, taking control of our local infrastructure and supply chains, since market deregulation. It is a lie to talk about market deregulation as free trade. Free trade is only in place when all parties are free to buy and sell their goods, services and products free of Govt intervention. While ever our farmers & employers must pay for inflated regulated pay and conditions we don't have free trade.
03/10/14 04:54 AM
Deregul8, how two faced are you. You preach ideological deregulation and yet you favor the most draconian entrenched regulation of non market based industrial awards, possibly in the world.
25/06/14 07:16 AM
Even in the bastion of free enterprise, USA, there are limits on the size to which a bank may grow in terms of market share. Australia says it is for true competitive forces but has no plan to ensure that Corporations do not take over whole market segments killing off competition without ant legal impediment. aka Coles (Wesfarmers) and Woolworths. Or GrainCorp, Cargill, Big 4 Banks etc.
12/06/14 11:21 PM
If farmers are too blind to see that the WWF is nothing but a natural enemy of meat producers then they deserve to be thrown into that Witches Cauldron.
02/05/14 10:38 AM

Out of the shadow

w ch, have a read of all the comments from readers on the topic of cuts to the ABC budget over the last two weeks in all publications. You will find that you are swimming against the tide and are in the minority on numbers. On logic and facts you do not have much of a feather to fly with. All other Government run operations in the commercial arena have been or are being privatized. There is absolutely no reason why ABC should be treated any differently. If you love it so badly then you pay for it. I've had a gut full of paying for blood sucking, empire building, public servants..
01/12/14 02:02 AM
The only reason the Labour left and Greens Pollies are jumping up and down about the trivial cuts to the massive budget of the ABC is because it is their lifeline to getting elected all the time. Not only do they milk the workers via suspect funding, they milk ALL Australians money via the ABC to push their left wing Green agendas and bag those of the conservatives. Facts are that ABC is no different to any other Government operation in the commercial arena. It should be privatized like all the others. It should have a 100% cut in public funding and float or sink on its own in the real world.
30/11/14 10:57 PM


Actually Pete Rothwell is making an excellent point. That takes all the sting out of the author's critical questions.
However, we still have to see the outcome of current investigations by the Abbott Govt into the mode of operation of foreign owned companies in Australia using transfer pricing as a way of lowering Australian operations income for tax purposes? We all know what the foreign owned operators have been doing for years don't we.
26/05/15 08:16 PM
WA wheat industry is only what it is today because of the way it was developed with help from the national Australian Wheat Board single desk marketing system from 1949. Prior to all the research and extension work made possible by the trusted position the AWB, with global processors, the WA crop lagged way behind the national average in quality and milling yield terms. It was largely the availability of NSW & Qld high grade wheat which opened the door to markets for WA wheat. Prior to the 1990s WA was also unreliable in terms of large export quantities and needed ES wheat to prop it up.
17/12/14 05:50 AM
Tugger, I love your comments even more than bushie bill's but not for the same reasons he gives. I love them because you are most likely right and have summed up the big mouthed egotistical nobody better than most.
08/12/14 04:32 AM
Coles CEO, John Durkan, is full of it. Any rise at the farm gate for produce is a tiny percentage of the retail price of food. Take bread. In a $5 loaf on Coles' shelves, the farm gate cost of the main ingredient, wheat, is about 10 - 12 cents. In a $3 bottle of milk, the farm gate cost of the milk as between 30 and 50 cents. Meat sold at Coles for about $30/kg costs about $2.50/kg at the farm gate. The consumers already add about 20 times the cost of the raw material in what they charge via their labour component within input and supply chain costs of all goods and services in Aust.
19/11/14 10:21 PM
MarkR, just shows you how much money is on loan against asset value versus annual income eh? Also shows you how much of the farm and equipment the Banks own and how much we don't eh?
10/11/14 11:58 PM
This FTA with China is not about principles. It is about votes. Robb and Abbott will sell out local small businesses including farmers to get cheaper products into Australia while at the same time hamstringing all Aussie business with the harshest and most costly set of labour and environmental regulations on the planet. If Abbott had any principles he would allow local business to perform under the same low cost low regulation conditions as in China.
04/11/14 10:31 PM
I listened to the interview and have to give credit to Andrew Robb for ability to handle Alan Jones in full flight. Robb's advocacy skills from his old days on the CCA enabled him to put up some pretty good points about the history of foreign owners of land in Australia. However what he avoided saying and what Alan failed to raise was the need to get our own house in order before throwing locals to the wolves. Australian farmers are forced by Govt regulations to operate under the most inflated regulated costs while exposed to the lowest global prices. No wonder we cant afford our own land!
30/10/14 12:26 AM
So if that was your submission bushie bill, and you can't see any recognition of it, you now know how valid and relevant it was in the whole mix of community submissions. Seems like it was as relevant as your posts on this site.
28/10/14 02:25 AM
It is treason for our Government to talk about removing all barriers to global trade into and out of Australia while they preside over regulated conditions which hamstring local businesses ability to compete globally. Before Aust Govts even consider exposing our local wealth creating industries to unfettered and corrupted global markets, they must remove all local regulations which inflate our costs above lowest global rates. Once they do that, it would be a whole new ball game. Get rid of all regulations which have any welfare component and our producers will beat global competitors.
27/10/14 04:18 AM
As I said Bushie Bill, all were invited to contribute their ideas to the Green Paper. Unless you have records of all the 700 plus contributors and the philosophical backgrounds of all 700+, you may not assume to know what range of ideologists have expressed their views. Instead of ranting, get off your butt and make your own submission.
27/10/14 03:04 AM


Better to have farmers totally at the mercy of the mercenary international traders and overseas Governments market intervention policies and practices than for Australian growers to form any kind of alliance eh Boris?
08/06/15 08:10 PM
Looks like you have suddenly found a few relatives Jock. Bill certainly knows what he is talking about. Can't say the same about cousin Jack!
Bertyboy, you are also very wise.
25/03/15 07:06 PM
Unadulterated hairy chested rhetoric, Jack.
24/03/15 06:05 AM
Your explanation about D8, X Ag S, is obviously correct. No one with a level head and open mind, could possibly be as dogmatic and ideologically pathetic as D8 is if he were not what you say he is.
22/12/14 01:45 AM
Current wheat bids in Australia are already quoted by independent market experts writing in this paper as undervaluing the true value of our wheat. This is supported by other quotations out of USA where their export bids for equivalent grades of wheat have been well above those in Australia. It is so easy for farmers who have little or no international market intel and who are at the mercy of mega trading companies, to be suckered into thinking they are getting the best deal going when they are actually getting below full value.
17/12/14 09:21 AM
D8 your propaganda is not supported by the facts. The facts are that the vast majority do not believe the current system is better for them than the Single Desk was. This was shown by this very newspaper only a matter of weeks ago.
11/11/14 12:32 AM
A big reason why our rail infrastructure has not been upgraded since Federation and is at worlds highest cost, is that we have the highest cost and most restrictive regulations in the world. Countries like China have been building many new rail lines and trains over the last 20 years. They do not constrain themselves with the high cost regulations we do. They now have rail transport that is as quick and efficient if not more so than air transport. So long as we oppose reform in our regulations like labour and environment we will continue to hand over our country's assets to foreigners. WAKE UP
09/11/14 11:54 PM
Pay Attention, by all means keep hiding behind non GM canola to sell GM Canola. You know it and the world knows it. I have nothing personal against GM canola, but face facts, the market does not demand it and in many cases refuses to take it. Not a very good advert for GM Canola. You make a market take a crop just because you say they must, and just to prove nobody wants it, you have to discount it heavily to sell it and while you do that you put the non GM canola crops at risk of being tainted or rejected by premium buyers.
03/10/14 01:53 AM
As you say Incognito, "hypothetical". What value is hypothetical markets when you have real production costs and loans to be repaid and you need real grain to deliver first? Hypothetically, what if you sell forward and don't have a store full of grain to supply against a contract? If you just want to play hypotheticals, why bother the risk of farming at all? Just play the paper markets and see if you can beat the big boys? No weather risks and no capital outlay involved then?
27/10/14 02:53 AM
Total quantity of Aussie wheat production at 25- 30 mmt versus world wheat production 650mmt may be small at 3.8%. However with 15 -20 mmt of exports out of 130 mmt, Australia has a major impact with 15% of the trade. Take that 20 mmt out of play in a bad drought and there is no doubt it impacts world traded prices big time, particularly when carry over stocks are low. When there was a single desk, the power of that 15% of trade was much greater in favor of us. Individual growers have little or no strength to leverage that position.
23/10/14 02:24 AM


The vast majority, being hard working honest Australians, paying taxes and not bludging on the Government purse, have had a gut full of the extremist animal bleeding hearts fringe dwellers. Please hurry up and get the Bill passed through parliament so the hard working tax payers can get on with their legitimate and rightful business.
23/03/15 11:27 AM
This story argues that dams are of no use in our future agricultural production plans. It uses the argument that the water emptying into (salty) oceans is more important than catching much of that water for agricultural use. It does not support that argument with logic or reason. It overlooks the point that water in dams also finds its way back into the environment via various forms of productive agricultural activities. There is no doubt in my mind that dams are a vital part of any improved system of production and sustainable land usage. Go forward as promised Barnaby.
23/10/14 01:21 AM
I also agree with Inverell and Pepper. BG, don't you realize that the Govt would have more funds for the poor and needy, if the already rich capitalists where not being funded by Govt to lose money on useless RET's while at the same time increasing power costs for those least able to pay.
31/08/14 10:28 AM
Barnaby is up against with many of his Liberal Coalition colleagues showing no interest in anything to do with agriculture. Frankly those in that category are a disgrace and deserve to lose the next election. Notwithstanding all that I would rather have Barnaby as Agriculture Minister than anyone we have had, going back as far as John Kerin in the 1980s. I certainly do not want Joel Fitzgibbon. He would be a disaster if the current Labor bunch got back in next election.
02/01/15 03:25 AM
One would have to say this article is a good example of the culture of rural people on the land. It is more important for them to go at each others throats based on their own ego, than to get together to come up with genuine solutions for the massive problems facing farming in Australia. Mr Joyce may not have achieved the high level of handouts suggested by Bob Katter, but as Barnaby says, it is up to Agriculture to win their case with those representing the rest. That will not be done until the likes of Katter get inside the tent and pee out instead of standing outside peeing in.
05/12/14 06:15 AM
If it the right thing to do to privatize all other Government funded operations in the commercial arena, then why isn't it just as legitimate to privatize the ABC. Instead of cutting its budget by a paltry $5 million p/a it should have been cut by 100% p/a. Ratings show that only a tiny % of people view it or listen to 95% of its programs. It is a total waste of taxpayers funds. Lets follow the ratings and get it off the taxpayers' expense sheet. It is just an empire for left/green public servants. While you are at it sack Turnbull too, for doing nothing to fix the ABC.
01/12/14 12:08 AM
@Inverell, if bread was at $25 for a loaf made here, then none would sell. It would be imported from China or somewhere similar where they would buy in cheap wheat from subsidized countries like USA or EU and use cheap labour to make it and sell it here for $3.20/loaf. That is what the Andrew Robb Free Trade deals are all about. Meanwhile, as you say it would cost them Government if they dared to bring in equity reform and open up the labour market and put the biosecurity and environmental regulations on the same basis as China's. Its about votes not principles. When will that get out?
04/11/14 10:23 PM
Inverell, I can see what you are trying to say about the Coalition wanting to keep food prices low. You go on to say that is costing farmers. That is where we part company. In fact the prices at which farmers deliver to buyers at the farm gate is very low. 10 cents of wheat in a $3 loaf of bread, 40 cents of milk in a $2 bottle. Look at the farm gate prices. No change in 50 years. Look at employee costs up x 30 times in same period. Totally out of whack with global costs. If that was held down in line with farm gate costs we would really have free trade, cheap food and a stronger economy.
04/11/14 06:09 AM
No further comment needed David Flemming.
28/10/14 10:08 PM
Archibald is right. People were/are sent out to set up productive units on virgin land. They were no different to residents who went out & bought millions of building blocks. They both resulted in removal of native fauna habitats. The resident does not tolerate roos, dingoes, wallabies, bats, emus, living or feeding on their housing lot. But they seem very passionate about demanding farmers must provide feed and habitats for all manner of pests. Farmers should not be required to baby sit city residents' beloved native pets, unless they are about to pay the costs. Wont happen will it so *#%
18/09/14 06:24 AM


Interesting point of view Nathalie that "we should not eat animal meat because animals are living beings, so we should only eat plants". So do you think plants are not living organisms too. On basis of your argument, plants are dead or have no feelings. How can you be so sure of that? To be safe, you should restrict yourself to eating only minerals because they are inert and not alive. What about a couple of salted rock cakes for breakfast and a cow pad or two for tea? That should fit with your point of view and give you all the nourishment you need. Might even give you rocks in your head!
21/08/14 01:33 AM
Livestock farmers who maliciously mistreat their animals could not possibly do so for long and stay in business. Livestock contractors who do so could not survive long working for farmers because they would not get repeat work. Any instances of malicious mistreatment of animals on farms is minimized by commercial reality. Apart from that, any farmer who does not like animals, is unlikely to last long in the game without severe mental health issues, driving them out of business. Leave the odd case of animal mistreatment to the law and relevant policing authorities.
29/07/14 04:44 AM
MP Tony Pasin, I agree with your statements on animal welfare 100%.
Chick O, I think you are being a little naïve. There is currently no war of mischief and terror being waged against restaurants.
28/07/14 11:24 PM
Chris Delforce says, "The fact that the industry is so angry tells me that I must be doing something right". How sick is that?
It is akin to saying, if I was slandering his reputation with straight out lies, and he was very angry, I must be doing something right!
15/07/14 09:54 AM


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NO ships with live animals should be leaving Australia. This industry is animal abuse and animal
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we are happy to have Aldi in katanning doing business with WAMCO we also wanted and in great
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This is a disgrace but what can you expect from a Liberal Government that insists on making
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