Recent comments by: David Harrison

Canberra Comment

We definitely need source of origin labelling for food so we can make informed decisions as to what we buy. That will never happen while the big players dictate to the consumer.
Let me get this right. If you disagree with anything, (read GM foods), you are a fanatic. BUT, if you agree with what is being promoted, (GM foods), you are a visionary. That line of thought doesn't lead to a balanced and non-judgemental discussion. It strikes me as a rather paternalistic mentality whereby only the learned scientific community know what is best for us. I personally do not want anything to do with GM foods, as is my right. I cannot force my beliefs or opinions on anyone else. So how can GM proponents justify their view that they are correct? Cont'd

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

They have constant access to clean water, are fed twice a day good quality grain and pellets, have shelter from the elements. I have enjoyed my poultry from childhood. I still derive great enjoyment and thrill at the hatching of chickens. To listen to the experts that contribute to these forums can be mind-boggling at times. I wonder where they have gathered their animal husbandry experience from. I stand by my statement that people want a warm fuzzy feeling by saying they only consume animal friendly products. I would say most of them couldn't tell free range from caged, barn or housed eggs.
John, you have missed my point, which is this.. Free range is just that, no impediment to natural movement. With this comes all the stresses that it entails. I didn't advocate that is how a business should run a poultry business. It would be totally impractical, and unethical. As for tractors, you are just moving the housing with the hens. They are still enclosed by fencing, not free range. I have kept poultry for 50 years. They aren't free range as such, but they certainly have more freedom of movement, and lower stocking density than the so called free range hens we are discussing. cont'd
Free range means NO fences, NO housing, NO supplementary feeding, NO clean water available at all times, NO protection from predators. That certainly doesn't make for a viable business, nor would it satisfy the animal libbers. Keep any animal in an unnatural environment and you will have stress. Consumers want a cheap product, while at the same time want to be seen as animal friendly. However, they don't have any financial input, but expect the farmer to carry the burden. Apparently they can then have a clear conscience when they say they only eat free range eggs, poultry, beef or whatever...
Daw, just to play the devil's advocate here. By diverting water from the northern monsoons to country further south, does this mean you run the risk of altering the local environment by introducing non-indigenous flora and fauna? As for irrigating desert country, does this mean that deserts are not as important as rainforests? Like I said, I am just playing the devil's advocate here, but you can see the can of worms that can eventuate when man in his wisdom and egoistic vanity tries to make things "better".

Get Muddy

Lily T, given that I enjoy meat products, I will admit to not understanding why vegans make the lifestyle choice that they have. Having said that, you seem to have fallen into the generalisation that ALL meat eaters/animal producers are of the same ilk. Is bashing vegans so very different to bashing farmers? I raise my own animals, care for them, ensure their needs are met. At the end of the day, I raise them for consumption. This doesn't mean I care for them any the less. If I may ask, why is it that we see vegan/vegetarian food styled to look like the various cuts of meats?
PorcaMiseria, may I suggest that it is the lack of a BALANCED diet that is causing heart attacks/stroke/bowel cancer, not simply being a heavy meat eater. Include smoking, lack of exercise and you have a sure fire remedy for the above problems. Everything in moderation. The same thinking could be applied to the discussions in this forum.


For the uneducated, the cooling tower emissions look quite dramatic and ample evidence of the damage that this plant is inflicting on the environment. The use of this false imaging has been bandied around for quite a while. I have on a number of occasions attempted to highlight this fact through this outlet, only to have had it stymied. So much for having a balanced discussion.
Suzanne, you are correct in most of what you say. As a boiler operator, just one point I would to add... what we are seeing escaping to atmosphere is water vapour coming from the cooling towers of the plants cooling system. This is keeping temperatures down on motors, fans, heat exchangers and so on. What isn't so evident is the emissions from the stacks/chimneys. This has been cleverly positioned to obscure any clear view of the full stack. There is every likelihood that the emissions from this particular plant are well in hand and controlled. cont'd..
Bill, I remember the fanfare when this policy was implemented, but I don't recall the changes being pronounced. I suppose it doesn't really matter who made the changes, but it would seem that quite a few of these decisions are kept under the radar. If that makes me slow, so be it.
I was of the understanding that it had been legislated that no foreign interest could own more than 49% of an Australian business. If I remember correctly, this was implemented back in the days of Bob Hawke/Paul Keating. Have I not remembered correctly, or have the goal posts been moved again? In any case, I find it extremely frustrating that Australians are smart enough to start viable businesses/industries, and then are not prepared to back them, but will willingly sell them to outside interests. We do the hard graft, and then allow someone else to enjoy the cream. Doesn't make sense to me!
Bill, I once read in the national geographic an article about farming in Japan. The most vivid memory I have of this is the picture of an old farmer tending to his plot, which was situated amidst an international airport, surrounded by planes, hangers and concrete. The article stated that the airport owners couldn't force him out. They could only gain access to his small plot when HE decided to sell, or when he died. The importance of food production, however small, over-rode all other concerns. Obviously the Japanese have experienced food shortage, I presume something most Australians haven't
Phillip Downie, The ONLY reason the present incumbents survived the GFC has nothing to do with their financial ability, but ALL to do with the financial legacy left them from previous governments that did have economical savvy. The current woeful effort should surely be evidence enough of Labor's inability to be competent financial managers.
Travelling Wilberry, why should I have to get used to something that I do not wish to consume? Where is my right to freedom of choice? I do not want GM food. I am in the position where I grow my own poultry and beef. In this way I know where my food comes from. Others are not so fortunate. So why should that choice be denied them? Do not tell me to get used to it! I do not want it, and that is MY choice. Not yours or the companies flogging off their GM product!
What happened to my right to choose the type of food I eat? I have likes and dislikes, some rational, some according to others, not so rational. This in no way should diminish my right to decide what I consume. And yet here we have pro-GM advocates telling me otherwise. Surely society hasn't reached the point where personal choice is being disregarded? This choice should be extended to product labelling so the consumer can make selections and choices based on personal preference. The last person who told me, "eat up, it's good for you" was my mother, and that was a long time ago.
Bill, at first I was unsure whether your comments were merely mischievous, or you were being deliberately obtuse. I had hoped to be able to fit you into the first category, however your latest outburst precludes that from ever being possible. You seem to have an almost pathological hatred of anyone remotely connected to rural pursuits. Racism and bigotry are not limited to the colour of ones skin apparently. I wish you well in your endeavours.
Once we honour our international agreement and take this people to a safe haven, we are then obliged to feed and care for them. Something which is not accorded to them in some other countries, which is why they come to Australia, where race, religion and politics are not such fearful divisions as found in other countries. Yes, we have racists, religious fanatics and political hardcases, as do all other countries. My question still stands, if Australia is such a racist country, why do we still have people, of ALL nationalities, wishing to immigrate to our shores?


It shouldn't be whether to fine, but how much!
Humphrey, I have become an avid reader of labels, to enable my selection of my choice of products. I am not anti-science, and I believe I have a reasonable grasp of GM technology. "- the genes of all living organisms comprise the same 4 chemicals and that thousands of genes of one species can exist in another ( eg. man v fish) "
You may very well be correct in your statement, however, when was the last time there was a viable offspring between a man and a fish? Nature has decreed that certain interactions are physically impossible, and for good reason. This enables the diversity of species.
So far this discussion has centred on whether or not GM is good/bad for farming and farmers prosperity. Supposedly there is less chemical usage, which is a good thing. However, ultimately it is the consumer who should have the final say. It would be very interesting to see how many consumers approve of GM. Correct me if I am wrong,but my understanding of GM is that it is across species, not within species. I have no problem with speeding up the NATURAL genetic modification. I do however have no time for transgenic modification.
'the internationally accepted organic certification standard allows for a 0.9pc adventitious presence for GM crop material.' This is tantamount to admitting they have no control over their product. Does this mean the organic farmer can retain some of this seed for replanting, without penalty from Monsanto? I certainly don't think so. GM advocates expect others to tolerate GM presence in their crops, but do not tolerate the propagation of GM tainted seed. Bit like wanting your cake and eating it too, wouldn't you agree?
In my opinion, the discussion is missing the crux of the matter. The argument shouldn't centre on which is better in regards to yield, rather what does the consumer want. At the end of the day, the consumer should have the final say. This can only happen if there is truth in labelling. I do not want GM foods. That is my choice. I am not interested in the propaganda put out saying that GMO's are the future and will feed the world. I read labels. I try to buy Australian as much as I can. Price isn't always the deciding factor. Truth in labelling will put beyond any doubt what people think of GM.
Once again we see the use of limited data collection to foretell the future. I am not against science, modelling or facts. But please, don't present an argument for long term scenarios with short term fact collection. At best, it is a guess, at worst it is the pedalling of misinformation.
  GM plantings row 11 Comments 11
Isn't any system that allows the increased use of chemicals, "however safe they might be", detrimental to the long term health and wellbeing of the consumer and the environment? Surely less is more.
On the one hand we have proponents for GM food saying that is is ridiculous to expect a zero tolerance in organic standards. However, if Mr. Organic Farmer wishes to preserve some of his seed for the next crop, and it has some GM contamination, he can be taken to court and sued for illegally growing GM without the appropriate licences/certification. Tell me again, who operates under zero tolerance?
I can remember being sent home from school early because of flooding cutting off the roads. I can remember it raining for days on end, generally around the January/February period. This was happening 40 years ago. We are only returning to what was once the norm. (As an aside, who really knows what the norm is for the climate? It is hardly a static phenomena.) Pro-climate advocates seem to use very short term cycles to prove their point. They use short term events to predict what will happen long term. Hardly scientific, I believe.


Why can't politicians use the same system as us mere mortals? Pay for their own travel, and then claim it back at tax time. The tax man will decide whether or not the claim is legitimate. There can be no dispute, or allegations of rorting. How many politicians do you think would support this?
If Joe Blow had tried to get his pets in past our quarantine, how much support would Miss king have shown? Or do actors somehow have immunity?
Bill, he would have wielded more clout if he had held true to his independant status, and forced whichever political body formed govt, to deliver the best outcome for the people of Qld. At the moment he has lost any high ground he had by automatically siding with, in this case, Labor. When he was on the election trail, did he tell potential supporters that a vote for him was a vote for Labor? Would this have influenced the way they voted? I know it would have in my case. I voted for an Independant in my electorate, because that was who I wanted. No affiliation with any particular party.
Since when does a comment from an ACTOR hold any credibility? These people play pretend for a living. They are not in touch with the real world, hence their choice of career. Essentially, they are the same as cartoon characters.
Nico, I felt my comments were restrained. I am totally fed up with the worlds' politicians continually telling the rest of us that "we" need to curb our excesses, yet they have no problem jetting around the world to luxury resorts on junkets. With the technology that exists today, these meetings can be quite
easily organised by video conference. Of course that would mean no lurks and perks for them, so that is not likely to happen. I am sure these people have become detached from the real world, that us mere mortals have to survive in. And yes, your sarcasm is noted.
Nico, as for your comment about my manners, I have followed with varying interest your debates with other contributors to this forum, and I would suggest it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Nico, you have made some very erroneous assumptions about me, my beliefs and my hopes for the future of my family, friends and the population in general. For your information, I have minimal waste from purchased products, minimal power consumption, minimal water usage, ( I live on rain water), and I try to maximise my self sufficiency. I still have a long way to go, but I have a goal set to aim for. As for these world leaders, how much Greenhouse gas was made in their junket trip over to Germany's Elmau Castle resort? The US president always travels with 2 huge planes. cont'd
Yeah, yeah, yeah . Ho hum. None of them will be around by the turn of the century, so all their blathering now is just urinating into each others pockets. What a bunch of tossers.
“As part of the Scheme we work directly with more than 300 producers and so far 330 million farm animals have lived a better life thanks to the RSPCA standards." They must be some very impressive farms to have that many animals.
Stop TAC, why should MY taxes go to people who expect assistance to put THEIR children into childcare, so they can have 2 incomes. My wife and I raised our family on ONE income, by no means could it be classed as lucrative. I have no problem with single parent families gaining assistance so they can re-enter the workforce. I object to the greedy ones who want everything NOW, but expect someone else to pay for it. Learn to live within your means. As for the whinging & whining, have you seen the news lately? Any suggestion of cuts to childcare subsidies brings out the best of them.


I haven't had a decent avocado for years, ever since I worked on an orchard. The grower was very particular about the handling and quality of his produce. The rubbish that is to be found in the shops today is appalling. The stuff that is foisted onto the consumer today would not have made it into the seconds bin on his orchard.
Why is there such a vigorous campaign against food labelling? If your product is as it is claimed, wouldn't you want the consumer to know? As for cost being a prohibitive factor, what rot! We all know the consumer will foot the bill. All it shows is a complete lack of faith in the integrity of the product, and fears of possible ramifications down the track should your product be linked to adverse consequences. It has nothing to do with health, but everything to do with profit.


There are still issues with stress, I will grant you. The intensity of that stress I believe would be much less. Most people in the smaller populations know each other, or are at least facially familiar. Definitely not the case in major populations where you would be lucky to know a fraction of these people. Being constantly surrounded by strangers, I feel, would be stressful. So in my opinion, we have 2 choices; let the birds live as small flocks as nature intended, or continue as we are, trying to minimise the stress in the systems we have. The former suits the birds, the latter suits us.
Elizabeth, as you say, stress levels are comparable across all types of management systems. So what is the common denominator? I believe it has everything to do with the numbers that are kept in close proximity. The birds don't have their own personal space, so to speak. They are being kept in unnatural conditions. This suits us, and our management ease. It definitely goes against the birds natural instincts. As an analogy, look at the stress and problems found in all major cities, where people are crammed in together. Compare that with your smaller country towns. cont'd
RSPCA Australia, by my calculation your claim amounts to 83,333.33 animals, every year, dying while being exported live. I would be very interested to see the evidence to back your claim.


I can remember when Bob Hawke & Paul Keating made the statement that no foreign concern would own more than 49% controlling interest in any Australian business. Not long after this statement, Bundaberg Sugar Co. was sold lock, stock and barrel to Tait & Lyle, a British company. Can someone explain how this happened, and how it is still happening? I have no issue with foreign investment. There should be recipricol agreements between countries entering into these contracts. There has to be benefit to both party's. Has anyone bought any property in Japan or China lately?


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I love big tractors
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Do you have any plans to visit Esperance area?
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