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Tractors trundle into triangle

By Kerces - 12 August 2005 27

About 200 tractors and bus loads of farm folk crammed into the protest area in front of Parliament House this morning protesting about labelling laws regarding imported foods. For more information about the laws and the farmers’ win regarding their changes, have a look at this ABC story.

The tractors and a few accompanying trucks arrived at about 11am and lined the roads around the grass area in Federation Mall.

Row of tractors

There was a fair crowd of people, most wearing yellow vests with “Buy Aussie vegies” written on them. There were also a fair few youngish farmer blokes eager to be in a photo every time this photographer pointed her camera anywhere near them.

Protest crowd

Also making up the crowd were lots of cute little kids like this one, always sure to be a media drawcard.

Kid with tractor

The kid’s tractor wasn’t the only one with a sign by any means. A fair few of the real tractors had flags and banners hanging off them as well as signs in the windows.

Tractors with signs

At the front of the crowd of people was a stage thing set up in a van. I didn’t hang round for the speeches since my hands were like ice, but all the media were stationed around here and there were lots of people in suits, presumably waiting for Mr McGauran’s announcement. Also in front of this van was a table of various foods that use imported produce.

Foods with imported ingredients

And to finish off, yet another row of tractors (200 tractors is really quite a lot). It was commented that since the tractors were off the edge of the designated protest area, if it weren’t for the large bunch of protestors the area wouldn’t have looked much different to when it has large numbers of tour coaches lining the streets.

Tractors in Federation Mall

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Tractors trundle into triangle
Maelinar 2:10 pm 12 Aug 05

If a product is carcenogenic if breathed in from a tank, then it’s not biodegradeable.

It will ‘improve’ the soil or crop condition in order to get better produce off it. That’s not what we call biodegradeable in the trade.

Horse shit, that’s biodegradeable (if the horse isn’t on steriods).

I’ve just finished having a rant about farmers and their consumption of water, so I’m not going to continue here. They always have the option of not selling their goods at the price offered, that is never in question.

If as many of them got together as how many tractors I see here, they’d probably be able to make a significant issue of it. But they don’t do they. They sell out because they are greedy and then say they had to do it because they had to feed the family.

Last time I checked, what they are selling feeds the family.

There’s hidden issues here…

Ralph 1:47 pm 12 Aug 05

Whatever ya reckon.

bonfire 1:33 pm 12 Aug 05

yes ralph, you probably have a great deal of agricultural economics experience as we can see from the blisters on your arse from prolonged desk sitting.

urban dwellers are so blind to the realities of agricultural business. oz farmers are probably the least subsidised farmers on teh planet. and its a bit rich for urban folk who get all sorts of cushy subsidies.

face it, oz is a socialist state with a capitalist tax base supporting it.

which is ok, cos thats what we want. but its a bit rich when urban lefties bang on about subsidised farmers.

Ralph 12:38 pm 12 Aug 05

They can grow other things. They can grow spuds for the fresh markets.

Just because they are on contracts doesn’t mean that McDonald’s ‘owes’ them. McDonald’s are getting their goods where its cheapest. Unless farms get bigger, we can’t continue to compete with the likes of china.

It’s all very cut and dry as far as I’m concerned.

ssanta 12:30 pm 12 Aug 05

Unviable Farmers? you are on drugs Ralph. Many of thee guys were in fixed contracts with Mcdonalds and other large foddstuff producersand they have been producing to order for a period of years (at least seven – ten in many cases). This more often than not involves tailoring your crop so it meets certain critieria. in Maccas case for their chips, pulling the spuds out of the deck before they are ripe, cos thats the way Maccas wants it. They have given good service to their client, and in return they get done over. Not to mention the fact that is currently illegal to export spuds from Australia, due to a deal done by the Fed’s to appease Asian markets in the mid-90’s.

While I am fanging away here, the tractors will have cabs on them as many of these guys will spray a huge amount of chemicals (which are biodegradable) which are quite carcinogenic if breathed in straight from the tank.

bonfire 10:33 am 12 Aug 05

Ralph, i agree the market is a good corrector. except when its distorted by cartels and duopolies. which is why we have an elected representative based government, to ensure that these oligarchies of merchants dont suck the very marrrow out of our bones.

i think that the farmers cause is sound, they dont appear to be asking for a handout, they want better representation of country of origin. i routinely look at labels on food, and am often surprised when what i think is an australian label has ‘product od thailand’ etc on it. i earn a good wage, so im happy to buy oz and pay that premium. i also buy imported food, mostly specialist products or things like german sauerkraut because i like it or because imported herring is far superior to the local product.

i also dont shop at coles or woolies (unless i have no other choice), i prefer the supabarn. for all sorts of reasons.

bring on better labelling, how do we lose.

Indi 8:30 am 12 Aug 05

These guys may benefit from meeting with the Australian Food & Grocery Council – they have been looking at this issue for some time and have some influence over some major food manufacturing companies – food for thought.

OpenYourMind 8:29 am 12 Aug 05

Ah! Ralph, your faith in the market fixing everything is endearing.

Ralph 7:50 am 12 Aug 05

The tractors were carted on trucks between the major capitals.

I hate Dickson woolies – so cramped and its always full of weirdos.

I said in another post that I have no sympathy for these farmers. They’re just looking for another pork barrel.

I think you’ll find that most people who buy frozen and canned vegetables do so because of the price – not where it is made.

Remember these whiners are producing for the frozen vegetable market and McDonalds. Things are different for people who produce for the fresh markets. These farmers can get big, get out, or innovate and start growing fancy vegetables and package them smartly for the supermarkets, exports etc. Simple.

I’m fucking sick and tired of taxpayers money being pissed up the wall by helping to prop-up unviable farmers.

Kerces 12:02 am 12 Aug 05

Vic I believe only eight tractors or thereabouts drove up from Tassie, and they had their go on Tuesday. These ones were mostly locals showing their support.
K

seepi 9:53 pm 11 Aug 05

Well I don’t actually shop at big supermarkets – mostly cos I can’t stand the nightmare that is Dickson woolies.
But the small suburban supermarkets seem to have a lot of european tinned goods etc. The only company that I know is local (and struggling) is Golden circle. If I knew which were better I would buy more of them. Someone must have a list somewhere…

Vic Bitterman 9:00 pm 11 Aug 05

There’s a fair bit of tread left on the tractor tyres, despite them driving a thousand k’s or so on the road. I thought they had really soft tread patterns and wore down quickly on hard surfaces?

johnboy 8:01 pm 11 Aug 05

Seepi, the reason we don’t have better labelling laws is because the companies most able to source international produce are also the biggest and most powerful.

They don’t want it so we don’t get it.

Stop buying at woolies and coles if you have a problem with that (and a great many other issues)

johnboy 7:16 pm 11 Aug 05

All full cab tractors,

The big softies.

seepi 7:06 pm 11 Aug 05

I think this protest makes so muich sense, and I cvan’t understand why anyone woulnd’t want to see better labgelling on food.
Does anyone know of a website where we can look up genuine Australian produce?

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