TIME TO STEP UP
FURTHER to the concerns raised by Brendon Moylan in his opinion piece regarding NSW native vegetation legislation (“A chief concern for all Australians”, The Land, October 4, p28), the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is pursuing farmers they suspect of historic non-compliance using increased penalties and powers granted under the new Biodiversity Conservation Act.
These powers surpass that of police and contravene the basic tenets of natural justice afforded the wider community and contradict both state and federal common law and legislated privileges against self-incrimination with the onus of proof lying with the persons charged.
Former deputy premier Troy Grant did give NSW Farmers an undertaking to restrict these powers to no more than those granted to police, but this undertaking seems to have disappeared into the ether with the demise of his leadership.
I note it is now Nationals policy to amend the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 in order to remedy this draconian piece of legislation, which I trust they will champion and give an undertaking to do in the lead up to the next state election.
ENSURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS
WoolProducers Australia (WPA) is urging all eligible woolgrowers to cast their vote for the 2018 WoolPoll.
WPA is recommending that woolgrowers vote for a 1.5 per cent levy.
The board of WPA seriously considered all factors when determining this position, including the forecast downturn in production because of dry conditions.
According to the WoolPoll Voter Information Memorandum (VIM), 1.5pc offers projected annual income of between $85.8 and $88 million per year for the next three years, which, when considered in the context of the past three financial years in which AWI spent between $70m and $88m, is ample money for current business to be continued as well as invest in relevant new areas.
It is important to note that a 1.5pc levy is actually supporting a substantial increase in the amount AWI has to spend, even under a scenario where production volumes incur a significant shock – 1.5pc is a viable option for future investment.
By voting for a 2pc levy you are voting for an annual expenditure of $110M for the next three years, which represents a staggering increase of over 40pc on the average of the past three years.
WPA believes this is too much money to spend and we cannot stand for wastage of growers’ money.
The VIM states that the unaudited reserves of the AWI are $115m, which, given the strong finish in the Eastern Market Indicator of the last financial year, could be even higher.
The reality is that AWI has never had so much money, given the current healthy state of the reserves and the continued strong prices.
While the concerns of productions are valid, we believe that one of the best ways to contribute to increasing production is to leave that extra half a per cent in woolgrowers’ pockets by voting for 1.5pc.
WPA would also like to remind growers that voting in WoolPoll is optional preferential, so to really make your voice heard, WPA recommends putting your preferences to more than one option.
Voting closes on November 2.
WoolProducers Australia president.
I admire the blind faith that David Mailler, chair of NSW Farmers’ Agriculture Science Committee, places in the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) in the NSW Farmers column (“Stick to coffee… and glyphosate”, The Land, October 4, p27).
Can the APVMA be truly independent when half of its annual budget comes from the very companies that sell the chemicals?
The Four Corners program highlighted this conflict of interest with the APVMA and ghost writing of studies and unscrupulous activities such as sacking scientists not in line with the Monsanto agenda.
People can choose to not consume other products also listed as “probably carcinogenic”, such as coffee, aloe vera and pickled vegetables and avoid hairdressing and carpentry, but glyphosate goes into and onto our food whether we like it or not, polluting ground water, streams, rivers and soil. That is the dilemma!
Wembley Downs, Western Australia.