14 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. It has been put to me by someone who works in that area that Turnbull and Frydenberg’s generous handout would be better spent on buying up cattle properties and other agricultural areas (banana plantations in particular, https://theconversation.com/paying-an-extra-150-million-a-year-to-protect-growers-thats-bananas-100520?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20August%2010%202018%20-%20108439650&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20August%2010%202018%20-%20108439650+CID_25b83c87879196648d501ea4c99dc8c2&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Paying%20an%20extra%20150%20million%20a%20year%20to%20protect%20growers%20Thats%20bananas)
    that contribute to the sediment and nutrient load on the Reef. Re wilding cattle properties would also allow regrowth and help reverse the effects of land clearing on climate change. Rising water temperatures and sea levels mean the Reef is probably lost and dinky ideas and other research projects will have little effect other than documenting it’s demise.

  2. The widespread drought in NSW and Qld raises a further issue. If you have traveled outback as I have in the last few years, you will have noted that the land out there, meaning the ecosystems, is 100% ruined. Continuing to run permanent cattle stations out there is simply not viable. We need to adopt a new mode of managing that land. As a start, the least viable cattle stations should be reacquired as national lands.

    I am not sure of the uses for these areas. I suspect we need to allow some to re-wild as national parks for native species. However, this will possibly require traditional aboriginal fire-stick “farming” methods.
    Some areas could be kept as agistment areas which are destocked except in bumper years. Then herds could be moved out there and fattened. In drought years, these lands could be allowed to recover. Cattle raising in those cases should retract to the coast and wetter areas. Overall, this would require a considerable de-stocking of the national cattle herd.

    Initially, the program could be started on a volunteer basis. Owners who find themselves unable to make a living out there, going broke etc. could volunteer to be bought out by the Federal Govt. There would need to be negotiations and/or auctions to determine fair prices.

  3. Ikon, I agree that most of this country is on its last legs. 6 years ago we stayed at Carisbrooke, west of Winton, and they had just had 3 good years. Due to a bank revaluation (down) Carisbrooke went through a debt for equity swap ie the bank took over the property.

    Enter Alan Jones, who doesn’t live on any sort of land, and the ex owners of Carrisbrooke gained sainthood status.

    We recently returned to that area and it still looks as it was 6 years ago ie ruined. The only industry is tourism as streams of grey nomads wind their way through various towns leaving a dollar here and a dollar there.

    I don’t think abandoning it would see it revert back unless the feral animals were removed. A huge task as early settlers dumped their camels, goats, pigs, cats and weeds when conditions forced them off the land.

    Property further north is being bought by large companies incl Asian and they are investing heavily. The central farmhouse complex is being replaced by transient subcontract mustering and fencing teams who attend to the stock. Traditional cattle breeds are being replaced by the hardy droughtmaster and technology, like drones, keep an eye on things. Stock is shifted by road train to better locations in an effort to take advantage of feed and beat the climate.

  4. over here in the west, farmers are practically rolling in hay.

    the question is, can the political apparatchic caste get their act together to collect,(at reasonable market cost)compress and rail or road train it to farmers desperate for feed.

    when i think of that political ego trip of a footbridge over the swan, brought about by the coalition of the stuff-it-up and paid for from the public purse ,——–#.

    (relax JQ,i didn’t do dinki-d,i blue-air, chip spit.

  5. I have a question to all those knowledgeable about agriculture in Australia. Lack of water is one element I know. But I believe on the basis of what people have told me,the soil isn’t very productive – excluding of course the famous dark earth plains.

    I understand in Europe deciduous trees are used to improve the soil and its water retaining capacity. Does this work also in Australia? My gut feeling is that if it would work then it would be used. But who knows.

  6. A timely book May and absolutely on the money with regenerative farming practice, as against the extractive of so much of agriculture. Also Ernestine is correct in suggesting tree shelter belts improve land productivity but there is plenty of visual evidence that many landowners don’t believe it. As a landcare operative (spruiker) we worked on the assumption that about 20 percent of farmers were innovative enough to take up new ideas, best practice such as never allowing drought conditions to denude more than 30 percent of ground cover, the 70:30 rule. Fairly basic stuff but overgrazing still goes on as the current drought shows. Land carrying capacity should only be assessed under near drought conditions IMHO.

  7. Just watching Q and A from last night and the hilarious situation of the compelling black American Doctor Cornwell West lecturing our own “Otto” Abetz on the evils of fascism and its relevance to the Trump “experience”.

  8. A Nazi invited onto Sky News by a former senior Liberal politician one day, a Senator calling for a *final solution* on immigration the next. The Nazification of mainstream Australian politics continues apace.

    You can be confident that Fraser Anning will be defended (and maybe applauded) by one of the Australian’s stable of right wing opinion writers over the next few days.

  9. Was Fraser Anning not aware that Bob Katter, his very own party leader, has Lebanese heritage? What a wicked little man.

  10. In a first class piece of disingenuousness David Leyonjhelm has said that *final solution* can be interpreted many ways. It’s a strange thing. Libertarians like Leyonjhelm are supposed to be against all forms of paternalism and in favour instead of treating people as intelligent adults, and yet here he is treating people like idiots.

  11. I see the bosses are now complaining because the Federal Court has ruled that workers, who may be classified as casual according to a modern award or enterprise agreement, are entitled to annual leave if their work is regular and systematic.

    The bosses’ argument is that the casual loading compensates for not having entitlements like annual leave, sick/carers leave, termination pay etc.. and that granting casuals annual leave is “double dipping”.

    But in reality the casual loading generally short changes the worker by a wide margin, although the margin varies depending on the award. In common awards, like the General Retail Award, the difference is huge- although it is a little less than it was since a recent award revision gave retail industry casuals an entitlement to overtime if they work more than 38 hours in a week.

  12. This article from Greg Jericho is a must read:


    It is interesting to compare the wrongdoing uncovered by the union royal commission with that covered by the royal commission into the finance sector, which the Coalition told us was a waste of time. It is chalk and cheese.

    Some Conservatives are saying the CFMMEU should be deregistered because of its misdeeds. How about the unarguably much greater misdeeds of the for-profit financial sector?

    The Conservatives want kumbaya rules for the bosses but a draconian set of rules for the workers and their reps. This is classic class warfare.

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