Recent comments by: Puzzled
Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm
David's article has some bad assumptions. There is no inevitable food shortage given the large wastage from supermarkets and the massive overeating leading to the obesity crisis. The claim that "human impact on the environment is mostly positive" forgets massive soil erosion, salinity and fertility loss. He should forget the 19 century myths on human development.
It is great that Australian Ethical is investing for social and environmental outcomes with good financial returns. That's a lot better than investments that pollute, exploit women and children or contribute to wars and sickness.
Alan Oxley appears to have missed the well researched evidence that most of the Murray Darling system will have far hotter and drier conditions in the future. He acknowledges that over recent decades the system has a history of low and non-existent flows.
So how will any irrigation water flow in a dry river Mr Oxley? Many doubt that the water rights sold under free choice by farmers will actually deliver any environmental water given the likely decline in rain over coming decades. It is the farmer lobby egged on by industry "experts" like Mr Oxley which have led to over extraction of water.
One of the biggest problems for local food manufacturers is that they are getting squeezed by Coles and Woolworths. The lack of fair competition and abuse of market power is killing local manufacturers just when they need to be investing for offshore opportunities. No wonder owners sell up to get out of this horror show.
The Federal Govt needs to limit the power of big supermarkets, have proper country of origin food labeling laws and get behind local manufacturers.
John Hines idea sounds good but if groups do their own thing you waste money on repeating investigations. As you know, wasting government money is a bad thing!! You also get poor research like the money MLA wastes on badly designed short term farm investigations.
Timbercorp is in cloud cuckoo land if they think they can sell their land at 'book value'. The reason they have $900 million in debt and only $600 million in assets is because they paid too much for land and services.
Having bid up the land prices to squeeze out other buyers is not a good reason for anyone who follows to pay uneconomic prices for agricultural land to produce commodities (whose price continues to fall at 2pc per year).
The main Victorian fire to cause human losses started near Kilmore and burnt across grasslands and then through pine forests and plantations before burning in the bush. None of this had anything to do with the so called environmentalists' agenda. In the Ash Wednesday fires at Hamilton in 1983 the fires burnt accross drought stricken paddocks and bare stockyards igniting the dust to 'start' again on the other side. Most of the people harping on about the trees need to answer this question first: 'What attracted people to live in the bush in the first place?' The bloke who cleared his property of all the trees was decidely unAustralian as he did not work with the community he had joined. If he wanted to live in a bare paddock why not buy one in the first place?
Nice to see economists saying good things about rural R&D. How about the government apply the same rigour to road building projects, or increased migration. Every time I read a report about some road project the cost benefit hardly breaks even and then years later you read that the road actually cost more than budgeted. In other words most road projects are very bad investments. Of course, State Governments are cutting rural R&D and spending more on freeways.
This decision appears like others designed to boost housing development by selling land. Most State Govt managers are more interested in selling research locations than funding R&D. While Wollongbar has been useless for 30 years the other sites have been doing a great job under difficult funding situations. About time the pollies and senior managers at DPI backed Smart Australia and supported good scientific R&D. If the managers cannot do this they should find employment elsewhere.
What is the problem for all these free marketeers? If Victorian agriculture is so profitable then they can buy water from other States. If Victorian agriculture is not so profitable they should sell water. Lifting the cap will help both types of trades.
Nice to see results from a 165 year study. The organisation somehow has been able to safely store and keep the records for grain samples over the professional lifetime careers of at least 5 or 6 end-to-end staff. Now what is happening in Australia? In Victoria for example, the DPI is closing its research institutes. What is happening to Victoria's samples of wheat, wool etc? Will we ever be able to do such a study using samples originating over 165 years? Can any current agricultural scientist expect two 3-year grants in a row? Can we expect the private sector to provide 165 years of evidence? Does the present view that private providers should conduct research stack up over the long term when small private companies will disappear on the retirement of founding staff?