Recent comments by: Ted O'Brien.

Canberra Comment

I am very disappointed to see Barnaby Joyce and Tony Windsor nominating for the same seat. We don't deserve to lose one of them.
Tony Windsor made an awful mistake when he fell for the AGW scam and allowed the carbon tax. He is not alone there.
Apart from that his positives far outweigh his negatives. I won't have it that he is the villain many paint him.
It would have brought screams of outrage, but I wish Barnaby Joyce had sought preselection just up the road in Groom. I have long regarded Ian Macfarlane as a dedicated bookworm economist. Bookworms are the bane of our lives.
05/05/13 01:00 PM

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

The Luddites of old England were fighting for their livelihoods, with starvation the alternative. The Luddites of today are simple thugs out to destroy other people's livelihoods, even if that causes starvation.
16/11/14 01:47 AM
Actually, BB, there hasn't been all that much change in the last 30 years. Just people steadily going broke. The trouble all started 10 years before that when Gough set up the institutions like the one which certified you.
18/08/14 09:29 AM
David, you are in need of a good night's sleep. You are getting boged down in the size of the job. You speak of "premium food at a premium price, is that the only option?" Yes, David, it is. Because without the premium we can't cover our costs. Food Bowl of Asia an aspirational term? It certainly is. "Driverless equipment"? David, if you take away the people you won't need the food. As for the rest, just remember that the job you have taken on is to look after us. Study "Unilateral Trade Reform" until you can see what is insane about it, then rewrite "Free Market Theory".
15/08/14 10:45 AM
There is a question mark in my post above which has been mistranslated by the computers. The sign that I typed was a "does not equal" sign, not a question mark. i.e. cost of production does not equal price for subsidised produce. This is something that seems to have completely escaped the bookworms.
04/08/14 10:04 AM
David, just how far below the cost of production do you believe Australia's farmers should sell their produce? The prices are corrupt, inflicted on us by foreign governments. That corruption warrants government protection where necessary. And, David, this price corruption does not apply only to the produce. You surely understand that it applies also to the land which produces that produce.
03/08/14 06:40 AM
Straight from the textbook. And the textbook is wrong, David. That's not how it works. e.g. "Underpinning many complaints .... is the fact that commodities are globally traded, with prices determined according to international supply and demand." This isn’t even half true, David. Tell us now: What sets the international price for, say, wheat? Or sugar? S&D are only half the story. Cost of production ? price. Cost of production = price + subsidies applied to production. Now, David, where are these subsidies?
03/08/14 06:38 AM
bronwyn, we didn't try.
The policy of Unilateral Trade Reform was established by the NFF in the mid 1980s, and has been NFF policy and government policy ever since.
03/07/14 12:58 AM
These "activists" have all been through our schools, where they were taught the history that ever since Cain the landowners have persecuted the workers.
Nobody taught them that in Australia their grandfathers and great grandfathers sorted that problem out a long time ago. So when they leave school they look around for these vile landowners, and say: 'There they are, the farmers! Over on the other side of the sandstone curtain".
Throw in Marxist philosophy, which dictates that there should be no private ownership of industry, and this is what we get.
For want of decent leadership.
23/06/14 10:44 AM
I point out to you, the destruction of the trade in wool is fully half of the cause of rural Australia's economic woes.
There is no good reason why wool should not today be a $15 billion to $20 billion a year industry. Foolish people applying your theories have made it a $2 billion industry.
20/05/14 03:51 AM
David, you still have a lot to learn.
"Crony capitalism" can work. Look what it did for Queensland under Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The trouble is where do you find a leader who is competent enough to manage it? There were still some crooks who got thought the cracks even there.
It is folly to imagine that the market can govern on its own. Just look at wool's current situation. In 1998 the Howard government applied what they believed to be the theory which you are promoting here. In doing so they bankrupted the entire world trade in wool, which has never recovered.
20/05/14 01:05 AM

Get Muddy

They can't take our land away? Tony's in for a shock.
We can't take their money "away" either. Throughout history wars have started over less.
ME again. It was ever the intention of the Rudd/Gillard/Brown government that the $240 billion would be funded by capital items, including land, not by production.
As for feeding the world. Much of the social upheaval that we have seen in recent times, e.g. the removal of the Soeharto government, the genocide in Rwanda, the current problems in Egypt, all resulted from food shortages.
One day some calamity will reduce the numbers.
03/09/13 01:06 PM

A matter of opinion

.."initiated under Whitlam"???
It wasn't Whitlam who opened the door to China.
China opened the door to China.
And The Australian Wheat Board had been doing business with China for years before that.
01/12/13 01:12 PM


argis, JT and Philip Downie, absolutely! Who, indeed, is maintaining the prosecution of this case? The payment of "inland trucking fees" was no secret, it was public knowledge. We were told, so the world also was told at the time, that the payments were approved by the UN because sanctions had left Iraq lacking the resources to move the wheat from the ports to the inland cities. AWB Ltd was hung out for the vultures by the Howard government because, having been formed out of the old wheat board, it was regarded as a bastard child, unclean, not a product of their theoretical "free market".
27/10/15 09:21 AM
Where is this secrecy they talk about? I knew "inland trucking fees" were being paid right from the start of it. First at $12 a tonne and later $15. The Australian government was closely involved, and properly so. The UN agreed and paid for it through the Oil for Food Program. The justification was that sanctions had left Iraq without the resources to truck that grain to its inland population centres. The Howard government shifted the goalposts and hung AWB Ltd out for the vultures, because, born from the Australian Wheat Board, it was in their view a bastard child, not a valid citizen.
21/10/15 08:07 AM
It wasn't climate change that shut down the disused rail lines and silos that we see around the country. It was dopey academics and politicians. And it is dopey academics and the politicians they trained that can't see that Australia has the capacity to increase its agricultural output considerably if a fair price is paid for the produce. For 27 years they have been talking of "could be" catastrophe impending, and it hasn't started to happen yet except in fiddled data. There has been no significant change in the rate of rise of the sea level despite huge increases in CO2 emissions.
19/10/15 11:06 AM
Now, Ms Schneider, tell us what that gross value would be if our prices reflected the world cost of production.
15/09/15 02:07 AM
I saw nothing laughable. The Howard government first destroyed the Wheat Board and with it the single desk. Once the Wheat Board was gone the single desk was improper, because it cannot be proper for a private firm to hold a monopoly in the market. The Howard government then destroyed AWB Ltd, because, having been founded on the old Wheat Board, it was according to their Free Market Theory a bastard child, not a product of their Free Market. Rudd and his Marxist mates in the media drove the destruction, but the Howard government was in charge.
19/07/15 12:41 PM
Hilda. If you recall, at the 2007 election the Nationals came within about 1,000 primary votes in Calare and less, maybe a lot less than 4,000 primary votes in Parkes of losing to independents. But for Barnaby Joyce the Nationals would have been wiped out in 2010.
19/07/15 11:46 AM
"Mr Hunt said there would be no impact on the availability of water for agriculture." Somebody has lied. He needs to study history. When the Liddell power station was built in the 1960s, it was designed to operate with sea water cooling. Because it was recognised at that time that drought might at some future time leave insufficient water in the river for the power station's requirements, in which event they would build a pipeline to the sea. But when after 2000 drought did cut the river flow, they did not build any pipeline. They took the water from the farmers.
08/07/15 10:33 PM
This is indeed madness, destroying forever a significant area of Australia's best farmland, and its aquifer, and putting a much greater area at risk. It started with the farmer despising Carr government, and from there it just got too expensive to be allowed to fail. All because it is cheaper to mine coal there than somewhere else. This will become recognised in history as an act of evil men.
08/07/15 10:18 PM
If the farmers could get the $471 million as increased income, there would be no cuts to Landcare at all. The "Landcare" machine was established by governments after badly flawed economic policies had deprived farmers of the income/capital needed to do this work that they used to do previously when they had the income to fund it. The leading component of that badly flawed policy is Unilateral Trade Reform.
28/03/15 02:14 AM
Almost from its inception, the NFF has been the worst enemy of real Australia. Blinded by grossly unsound academic theory, they have halved the number of their constituency, and if NFF policies prevail any longer the number of farmers will decrease further. In the mid 1980s they introduced the policy they call Unilateral Trade Reform, with the promise that all the world would follow. All the world did not, but the NFF and all parties maintained that policy in the face of failure to the present day. In doing so they greatly advanced the cause of Marxism. So who wrote their texts?
27/01/15 10:53 AM


I'll take Prof Ivan Kennedy's word here. What the reduction in the world's food supply be if glyphosate was banned? Sufficient to cause many millions if not billions to starve.
28/03/15 02:00 AM
They charted wool's market share from 1950 to 1990, and observed that it had been declining at a steady percentage rate through that time, and that this trend would reach zero in 2016.
They couldn't and wouldn't see that this declining share was not demand driven, but supply driven.
In 2003 the Howard government was still managing the wool market with a terminal view. They bankrupted the whole world trade in wool by forcing us to slash supply.
The opportunity squandered in wool alone to the rural economy over the last 23 years has been in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
06/12/13 12:18 PM
Hobby Farmer. I have seen huge opportunity squandered in agriculture in my time. Hundreds of billions, if not thousands of billions, of dollars worth. And seriously deficient education was the cause of it.
Take wool. There is no good reason why wool should not be today a $15 billion to $20 billion a year industry.
Wool was wiped out because in 1989 the top end of town decided that wool had had its day. They had just discovered a new toy called Microsoft Excel, with which any mug could draw a beautiful chart.
But not every mug can read a chart, no matter how beautiful.
06/12/13 12:17 PM
Paul Howes and Joel Fitzgibbon are both tarred with the one Marxist brush.
Their actions show that they believe there should be no private control of industry.
06/12/13 11:50 AM
In many cases is is the poor condition of the railways which makes the silos uneconomic.
In some areas farmers should look at getting together and buying the disused railways with a plan for redeveloping them at some time in the near future.
This should not be dismissed as impossible.
Where there is wheat governments would be prepared to make some contribution to get the traffic off the roads.
Work out a plan.
04/12/13 11:59 AM
Remember this.
AWB Ltd was trashed and busted by the ALP and our media, prompted by US traders.
We were told that the Wheat Board and later AWB Ltd made secret, corrupt payments to Saddam Hussein.
I, with no special source of information, knew in detail that those trucking fees were being made, at the time they were being made, that they were properly justified, and were approved by both the Australian government and the UN, who paid for them.
There was nothing secret about them.
17/11/13 11:06 AM
So they formed a company called The Coarse Graingrowers Association, and canvassed growers with the talk of $39. They hired off season wheat handling storage and equipment, and pooled the grain.
One merchant, Dalgetys, raised their price to $27. There was talk of the CGGA being broke and unable to pay, but Dalgetys took delivery of their sorghum into the CGGA pool.
The sorghum was marketed in much the same way as the Wheat Board operated, and we got our $39.
You should understand from that, Chris Kelly, how the free market operates.
12/11/13 05:48 AM
Chris Kelly. Do you remember how the Austraian grain sorghum industry got off the ground?
There were three merchants, all offering $23 dollars a tonne for years. Nobody grew much sorghum, because the price was too low.
In 1970 many people who had not had enough rain to plant wheat planted grain sorghum instead.
Some enterprising lads on the Liverpool Plains, with Don Barwick of the Wheat Board assisting, observed that this sorghum for which $23 was offered was being loaded onto ships at a price which could yield $39 at Quirindi. But you had to have a shipload to get it.
12/11/13 05:48 AM
D8. The corruption in AWB Ltd was very small. Just sufficient to prevent the AWB Ltd staff from defending themselves and the company against the vastly greater corruption, the lie that AWB Ltd and the Wheat board bribed Saddam Hussein. Those payments were not secret or underhand. The information was always in the public domain. I, with no special source of information, knew the details, how much and why. Those payments were approved by the Australian government and the UN, who paid for them. Rudd and our Marxist media were the movers, but the Howard government was the boss to blame.
08/10/14 12:20 PM
"Recognises the value of Australian wheat?"
This I doubt. That doesn't change.
Recognises the value of the $Au, more likely.
There has been comment lately about the propriety or otherwise of using the $Au as a "reserve currency".
There is an unmentioned factor underpinning the inflated value of the $Au. That is Australia's demonstrated willingness to pay its bills by selling off not just the family silver, but the house and land as well.
Cubbie was just one example. If you want to really understand it, research the takeover by Campbells Soups of Arnotts Biscuits.
26/08/13 09:35 AM


Don't politicise? Why not? You mean, just shut up and ignore it? Get real!
04/11/15 10:48 PM
Re freetradeessential's big hat. When I was young city smart****s mocked us for our broad brimmed hats. "The wider the brim the bigger the overdraft" they said. For 30 years now those same city SAs have been spending public money telling people to "slap on a hat". But I have still seen no sign that those SAs (freetradeessential?) know why we wear broad brimmed hats. And Free Trade? Under the NFF's "Free Trade Theory" the number of farmers in Australia has been halved. Half way home for the Marxists and gathering pace! Your free trade is a myth, and you never noticed.
09/09/15 01:44 PM
Kyle Sandilands calling decency????
02/09/15 08:16 PM
Jacky. In NSW military semi autos were legal only for pest control. Then, when the Chinese defaulted on a wheat payment, the Hawke government allowed the importation of such weapons from China for general availability. I would like to see a Royal Commission into that very bizarre action. At about that time a union leader in Sydney was reported to have called on his members to arm themselves for the coming conflict. I saw one, and it was clapped out. But it would have been no trouble to hide a crate of shiny new ones in a shipment. Wade Frankum used one at Strathfield.
21/07/15 01:10 AM
Pete. You have 7 rifles. If John Howard had got his way you would have none. Meanwhile, our local rep told us at the time it was never legal to have a gun for self defence. This was not true. e.g. People who regularly carried large sums of money were able to get a pistol licence for self defence. As for self defence on the farm, what if your wife is home alone in a remote area with a hard criminal in the area? If he knows she has no gun available he will go into the house. If he fears she might have a gun, he won't.
19/07/15 12:52 PM
The ALP's rural policies never advanced past the dopey undergraduate stage. Neither did their mentors. Trouble is, the Nationals' staff studied under the same mentors.
30/09/15 05:02 AM
Peter Comensoli. Farmers lost in little internal issues. Presented to annual conference each year I saw an endless list of desperate motions from desperate people. Good people all, but many showing a very poor understanding of how things work and why they are desperate. When governments compare enterprises, they look at the bottom line. Nobody understands that Ag's bottom line is corrupted by corrupt pricing of the produce. So Watermark mine looks better value, and Cubbie Station is sold for far less than its real world value. Why do Australia's scholars not know this?
19/07/15 01:10 PM
No comments on the Sept 16 story that August was record high temp? Time to take a swab at the Japanese Meteorological Agency!
17/09/15 10:37 AM
Here we go again with the merchants of confusion. Weather and climate are exactly the same thing, viewed in different time frames.
25/07/15 04:43 AM
Marvellous how confused our modern education makes us. Do you think that just possibly, maybe, the Indonesians might be hoping for a price drop? What effect has this news had on cattle prices? Where are these surplus cattle that Barnaby Joyce must find a market for? The Indonesians probably have a better handle on the situation than the Australian commentators do.
17/07/15 02:19 AM


Nobody kicks a cow in the head. All that will get you is a broken foot, and that without causing the cow any great discomfort. Yet 4 Corners ran a video showing a bloke kicking at a cow's head, and the Gillard/Brown government bankrupted a large number of cattle producers on the basis of that video.
14/12/14 09:56 AM
Reading the comments here, it is astonishing to see how many people believe that Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are human.
04/06/13 04:09 PM


National farmland register? Now that sounds something like what Peter Garrett had in mind when he declared in the lead up to the 2007 election that he expected a "Labor" government woulld tell the farmers what to produce. Central Planning. Be careful what you ask for.
19/11/14 01:02 AM
How can a debt distressed sale be a strong sale? And why is a fall in prices referred to as a correction? Somebody is pulling somebody's leg.
20/10/14 08:55 AM
It would also have been impossible for PrimeAg to establish itself if Peter Corish's NFF had not spent the last 25 years hurting small farmers by promoting the policy that Australia's farmers should operate without subsidisation in a heavily subsidised marketplace. PrimeAg = less farmers = Economic Rationalism. It is not rational economics.
04/12/08 08:38 PM

Rural Lifestyle

We had no nighttime radio reception in my youth, but I still remember when visiting an aunt in Sydney, Alan Davidson hit David Allen for two sixes and two fours in one over, while Graham McKenzie scored thirty something in a last wicket stand of from memory close on a hundred which sent me to bed believing Benaud could bowl the Poms out. Davidson got from memory 77. I got up in the morning to the news that Benaud took 6/70 and Australia won the test. He was a good cricketer and a very good captain.
29/04/15 10:49 PM
The first thing to do is abolish the insane policy they call UnilateralTrade Reform. Then the regions can repopulate themselves.
01/08/14 01:44 AM


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