Recent comments by: Peter Comensoli

Agribusiness

I understand why Canberra SHOULD be a better location...but it's not. Such a pity that policy makers at all levels confuse location with effectiveness and efficiency. In the end, shifting deck chairs doesn't keep ships afloat.
The Minister is wrong saying there is no need for a formal advisory Board but he's right to infer that the one we've had has been useless...as any fruit grower affected by Qfly would testify!
Dear Puzzled, yes, I've got lots of problems with peaches and not getting into grain issues. Just observing that Joyce has made a wise call endorsing both of the bodies speaking for grain and thereby demanding their union. Disunity is practiced widely by our many rep bodies but it is the scourge of farm representation, whatever you produce, because it weakens us all. Hope Joyce does the same thing with all the hort groups too.
Huh...good call Barnaby. Two unrepresentative bodies representing an industry makes for one slightly more representative voice by forced amalgamation.
The pattern fits: Nats want icons in their electorates and NFF wants more power in Canberra. Meanwhile, farmers want efficient operations wherever they are. That's the issue, fat RDCs and oversimple lobbyists should be in the sights before we decide where they are located.
Joyce is right to delay. He should demand the R&D Corps get 'farmer-focussed' instead of 'researcher-focussed' before he releases a cent. That means giving truth to the mantra of 'grower/producer ownership' and to the link between research priorities and field requirements. Extension is the missing elephant in R&D able not only to place findings in the filed but to send messages to researchers. In NSW, you wouldn't know, these days, that we once led the world in Extension services. Thanks LLS!
Cost of the new application fee + cost of property + capital appreciation + Australian rental returns relative to China + Australian foreign acquisition rules relative to every other Western Countries = no change at all, really. A cheap brownie point for a beleaguered Government but pointless public policy.
Good idea and bad idea. Good idea to get some paid professionals to help. Bad idea to put the whole thing in their hands. I don't think our national farm leaders can franchise out their most important role for at least the next year: designing, testing and redesigning with their peers a single national body.
To the fire fighter and Bill: when expenditure falls then revenue needs are not as high. Pretty simple really. Maybe we could start with privatising the NBN, shutting down the Regional Australia Institute and stopping wasted water buy-backs. We DO NEED tax reform but we DON'T need it in little bits that are each distortionary. How about phasing down negative gearing or putting CGT on private housing sold before 15 years? Raising or broadening the GST without a wider debate of tax will hurt the economy and distort consumer spending against food.
Like his half-baked 'free' trade agreements, Robb has backed an inflationary and over simple idea that by putting GST up and income tax down the economy improves. Sorry Andrew, the best solution is to slash Government spending rather than to penalise private consumption. Loading low-income earners with more GST on essentials when most of them pay little income tax anyway is a recipe to change consumption patterns away from things like fresh produce delivering heavy penalties to the farm sector. Yes, please reform the whole tax system but don't tinker!

General

I agree with John that we shouldn't substitute debate with personalised attack. The tragedy of John's speech is that he can't see the fault in his logic nor listen if certain others try to point out theirs. It is a revealing passage about what's wrong with modern politics.
OK, let's all vote Independent, ALP or Green...I mean, seriously!? This isn't about MPs or government it's about the relative capability of our lobby compared to that of mining or, well, nearly any other actually. We've done plenty of bleating and they've done plenty of achieving... Sorry, but the pattern fits. Look at us vs the Greens on veg or us vs the ALP on labour cost/benefit. We farmers are too lost in our own little internal issues to be capable of dealing with the large ones. It's very serious but also very endemic.
Had a little read of Windsor's book. I knew Tony from when he was on the NSW Farmers' Council. He's always left me with that uneasy sense that he is either ten steps ahead, ten steps behind or running a different race! A very good local Member who can be thanked for stamp duty exemptions and just terms compensation for farmers in NSW during the hung Parliament of Greiner but he really stuffed-up federally. His oxygen came from Nats' uselessness not from his own usefullness. We'll see more Windsors dividing the rural voice whilever we see so little of the Nats...
It's a Black day when rural communities vote Green or Red on a single issue and, as a result, end up with Green and Red policies on every issue. Probably a 'Blacker' day when the Alternative gave them a sense that they had little alternative! I feel very sorry for the most honourable politician I know, Thomas George of Lismore.
Senator, not just the Federal Court but the Commonwealth Bank too. Are you also going to change the law so the CBA will find it harder to withdraw funds from stale mining projects? Will you make sure that same law makes the rest of us pay the risk margin of the banks on these projects? Why not let the Government in Delhi decide our laws? Just at the moment I think it's only the long history of ALP ineptitude in the bush and fear of the Greens' red agenda that keeps regional Australia voting Conservative.
So yesterday.
Lobbyists are photosensitive: they break down when exposed to light! The test will be whether politicians behave like mushrooms and thrive on the composts they are fed in the dark.
Good analysis Mick but I doubt the wisdom of using FMDs to secure more debt. Also, raising the FMD max to $800K helps an end of our industry that doesn't need that kind of help. Don't be too dismissive of the value of accelerated depreciation. Nothing sold more utes than Rudd's GFC write offs proving that farmers' spending patterns are easily influenced by immediate tax breaks. Replacing utes with fodder and irrigation gear is pretty smart and been on our wishlist for years.
If I said "politicians have been known to rort their travel claims" and got an otherwise credible publisher to print the accusation as a story the two things would happen. Firstly, all politicians would lose credibility with the 'consuming' public and, secondly, rational people would expect the accuser to report their specific accusation to energetic compliance authorities. So, Mr Pitt, thanks for slurring the credibility of our industry in general with your commentary and I presume that you have some facts to refer for investigation. That's the Qld LNP again...is it any wonder!
Usually, Malcolm, when the competition is cheaper then you have to match their price to retain market share. It is counter-intuitive for Australia Post to charge more and expect the same custom: thinking more like a bureaucracy than a business. I wonder how much of the fall-off since 2008 has come from the rise to 70c and how much more could be gained in postal rather than courier delivery of online purchases if the pricing was more competitive. I'm sure all this has been analysed but regional people pay the greatest price when the analysis is wrong or wrongly grounded.

Livestock

Lee, how about you get your 'activists' to phone and make an appointment to be shown around farms in-context? That's what Jeremy Buckingham did here locally just recently. A great day. I'll get a few mates and sneak into your office, take some shots of government letterhead and accuse you of trafficking leaks...and when the police come by...well I know you'll stand up for me!
About time! The AFFF seems dangerously slow to appear these days, nevertheless, this is an excellent move.

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