Tractors trundle into triangle

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

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27 Responses to Tractors trundle into triangle
Thumper Thumper 8:12 am 18 Aug 05

Hehehehehe…. Nice turn of phrase there…..

Maelinar Maelinar 8:06 am 18 Aug 05

There’s always the clandestine drugs trade business, cash crops and plenty of demand. Probably uses the same types of fertiliser as potatoes as well.

The problem is old farmer joe has only ever grown potatoes, only knows how to grow potatoes, potato chips, potato fries, mashed potato, potato flavoured potato.

If’n you’re as dumb as Bubba, don’t come asking me for help dumbass, I’ll only send you to school. Which is exactly where some of the current regime of farmers in this country should have spent a little more time in instead of hanging out with Shona in the back of the ute drinking VB stolen from the farmhands.

footyboy footyboy 10:12 pm 17 Aug 05

This issue is not just about potato farmers, it is all about the unfair corporate playing field,no rules,no ethics,no care,to wheel and deal for the best price on goods and services but not within the boundry of fair play.The farmers service to provide potatos to Mcdonalds is simply being outsourced.
Factory,farming,public service almost any job can be outsourced to China for 80 cents an hour so if you dont thing some sort of protectionism is necessary please dont complain when your position is off-shored and centrelink awaits.

Maelinar Maelinar 9:56 am 15 Aug 05

Seepi, I would love for the government to introduce a law that a percentage of the fresh foodstuffs on the shelves in the big supermarkets had to be produced in Australia, but unfortunately I can’t see that kind of anti globalisation trade law happening outside America.

seepi seepi 11:02 am 13 Aug 05

Yes – Stanhope re-zoned my mother’s rural lease to get her out. It worked too – and in a decade Kenny will be sitting on their property.

But back to the farmers – I think it is in all our interests to have healthy farms in Australia producing produce for us. IN Europe farmers are veneraqted and supported, becuase during WW2 the peopole were starving, and couldn’t buy food from other countries. We want to be capable of feeding our own country. And apart from anything, wouldn’t you rather eat fresher fruit/veg from close by, than stuff that has sat in frozen containers? Also, local stuff we are policing with our own laws about chemicals etc. We have no control over what has happened to foreign fruit. I can’t see any good reasons at all Not to support our local farmers.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:32 pm 12 Aug 05


Function: adjective
: capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (as microorganisms)

Any of a large number of natural and synthetic materials, including manure and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds, spread on or worked into soil to increase its capacity to support plant growth.

Thumper Thumper 3:31 pm 12 Aug 05

He’s already doing that in a different way. ie, the rural lease holders out along Coppins crossing way have had their leases changed so it is unviable for them to stay there.

Plenty of room to rezone it residential once they’re gone.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:28 pm 12 Aug 05

I know, make stanhope the minister for farmers. He’ll stop watering their fields, and then when they have deteriorated, he’ll sell the land to developers so they can build high density housing on it.

God I’m sick of farmers whining. I’ll eat skippy, they’re prolific and sustainable.

Thumper Thumper 3:22 pm 12 Aug 05

When I were a lad, it were tough. real tough! We get up in t’morning before we’d gone to bed, walk t’fifty mile to school in the snow wit bare feet, get beaten with t’pertrified snake till we bled, den had t’walk home agin.

An then we t’started work!

Ralph Ralph 3:10 pm 12 Aug 05

If they don’t produce food for people in cities somebody else will. Maybe even the kiwis.

Any argument that life is somehow more unique or tougher for them is just horse shit.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:06 pm 12 Aug 05

There ye go again. Off on a tangent that people in the city need food. Take the city folk out of it, we’ll eat twisties for a week.

as for carcenogenics, I’ll stick with my original summary thankyou.

ssanta ssanta 2:59 pm 12 Aug 05

No. many had to stay back and actually work because ppl in the city and need food. Not to mention winter cropping/ livestock jobs such as pruning, shearing of some cross-breds, calving, heading winter crops, ensuring that irrigation is OK for Spring etc. Not to also mention the fact that have also got BAS and tax due, but that goes for all in small biz.

As for carceoginic(sp), Spray seed, super, copper for example are quite dangerous in the first 24-48 hours, then they become quite harmless. Perhaps being in the trade, you could read a few MSDS’s to get your head around this Mael.

Maelinar 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 Ralph 1:47 pm 12 Aug 05

Whatever ya reckon.

bonfire 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 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 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 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 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 OpenYourMind 8:29 am 12 Aug 05

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

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