Don't be a fence sitter, cast your vote

Don't be a fence sitter, cast your vote

Opinion
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The debate about whether or not two of Western Australia's traditional agricultural lobby groups should merge is still a major talking point.

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THE debate about whether or not two of Western Australia's traditional agricultural lobby groups should merge is still a major talking point.

Particularly if you are a member of either of these organisations - the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA or WAFarmers.

Both organisations have been a mainstay on WA's agricultural landscape for a long time, have played major roles in shaping policy and direction and are proud of where they have come from and what they have achieved.

These two organisations are also the 'go-to' bodies when comment is sought by the media, including Farm Weekly, on topical issues, as well as government.

Recently the volume has been turned up on the talk about whether WAFarmers and PGA would best suit the needs of WA farmers by merging.

Rather than relying on hearsay about what you, the farmer thinks, Farm Weekly recently commissioned an online poll, where you can, anonymously, give us your thoughts on what direction you think this debate should go.

The poll is Farm Weekly's and once we have collected all the data, we will release the results to both lobby groups at the same time for their consideration.

At the top of this story I suggested that the debate was particularly relevant to current members of the respective parties.

I dare say that people outside of these organisations are not that engaged in the argument and to them it has become nothing more than white noise.

And I am wondering how many people within these two groups are also engaged in the issue.

A quick look at early voting numbers would suggest that maybe not too many feel strongly enough to do anything about it.

Without giving anything away at this stage, the number of people who have participated in the poll is considerably less than the memberships of these organisations.

A lot of people I have spoken to about this in recent weeks are aware of the issue, but said it doesn't affect them one way or another.

Their reasons are varied - from saying the groups have no relevance to them at all, through to saying they support other farm interest organisations that are more specific to their needs.

If this is the trend, then in future years, it will be interesting times for both lobby groups in question.

And again that is data we want to collect in the poll - don't sit on the fence - have your say - see the poll at farmweekly.com.au

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