Dear Readers,

We want this online forum to host genuine debate.

You’re probably aware the comments posted here are moderated by site editors. In short that means nothing defamatory and nothing you wouldn't say at a dinner party.

But what’s acceptable at dinner parties can be quite variable so here, in more detail, are the rules of engagement for all future postings.

Keep in mind that judgement is subjective, but please contact us if you feel a published comment has breached these guidelines. No discussion will be entered into regarding deleted comments. If you’re not sure why a comment was deleted, read the guidelines below and try posting it again.

- Editorial team

1 – Play nice

Play the ball, not the player. Of course you can disagree vehemently – or humorously - with a point of view or even facts in an article, but don’t get personal. Use respectful language and tone, and don’t make degrading or spiteful remarks about other commenters’ backgrounds, affiliations, intelligence or gender. No name-calling will be published. Avoid using capitals or multiple exclamation marks as this is considered shouting in text. Use your indoor voice, folks.


OK: “That’s rubbish, you’re completely overlooking this fact…”

Not OK: “You must be stupid, what is your actual IQ?!!??”


OK: “Seriously, it’s like you lefties have never even met a cow…”

Not OK: “All you #@$* loonies should be sent out to sea in a leaky barrel”


OK: “I can’t believe that this sort of opinion is still being expressed…”

Not OK: “That’s what I’d expect from a knuckle-dragging redneck!!”

2 – Be constructive

Comments should add some sort of value to add to the article – whether that’s to agree, put an opposing view, or make a related remark. Back your comment with evidence or experience to give other readers context. Stick to the topic at hand.

OK: “The Minister has said all this before, where’s the new policy?”

Not OK: “What’s the point of this rehashed claptrap??!!”

3 – Screen names

You can comment under a pseudonym as long as you provide us a valid email address (not visible to other readers), but don’t comment using multiple pseudonyms if you’re using those to make it seem that a greater number of people share your view. Trying to sneak obscenities into screen names is clearly not OK, nor is attempting to impersonate someone else. Be aware that choosing a screen name that sounds like another person or group (eg. NSW Farmer, National Farmers) may result in your comment being deleted to avoid confusion.

4 – Keep it fresh

Sometimes certain articles provoke a similar feeling in a large numbers of readers – but there’s no value in repeating the same thoughts ad nauseam, aim to add a new idea to the debate.

OK: “Surely there’s an alternative to this trade? What about…”

Not OK: “BAN live export now!!!!!!”

5 – Watch what you say

Anything the editorial team considers defamatory will be deleted. End of story.

6 – No plugs

Comments deemed to be pushing people towards commercial services will be deleted. Editors reserve the right to publish links or information considered relevant in special circumstances, eg. support services.


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