Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Trevor Whittington, CEO WAFarmers


Blowing in the wind in your window

If you love the view from the top of your farm looking out over the surrounding countryside, then let’s hope you are not near the coast or major power lines or in a windy part of Western Australia because the state and federal governments and the men and women with white shoes are quietly pouring over maps looking for sites that will become tomorrow’s wind farms.

Playing for sheep stations

Farmers in Australia are watching the New Zealand Government with growing horror as they move from the announced 10 per cent cut in methane emissions to actual regulatory rules mandating these cuts take place, starting 2025. The climate change game was great fun while everyone played with monopoly money and they could afford to outbid each other with their virtue, but now that that we are moving to playing with real money and going from targets to taxes, it is clear the virtue signalling has ended and the targeting of who pays has begun.

When Green idealism fails to yield

In 1971 the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz spoke wisely and bluntly about the perils of organic farming. “Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country, somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.”

WA failing in farm safety

After 14 work related deaths in the WA agricultural industry over last 18 months, far more than any other state, serious questions need to be asked about why our Ministers have put all their faith in the impact of draconian new industrial manslaughter laws when it's clearly not working.

Russian farmers running out of spare parts

If you think Australian farmers are worried about the availability of spare parts, then spare a thought for Russian farmers who are suffering under the impact of ever tightening sanctions as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine ... Open the door to Russian ag mechanics ... Is China a parts risk?

Welcome to Country has its limits

The topic I want to raise is one that in the last few decades has grown to become an Australian norm, performed at major and minor cultural, political, and sporting events. Unfortunately, this new norm is at risk of being overused by zealot government bureaucrats, attempting to force reconciliation through repetition, instead of accepting slow community adoption.

Award wage rates are no benchmark

If you are wondering why there is a labour shortage across the Western Australia wheatbelt then check out some of the jobs on offer across the state and what they are paying ... I’m going to try to make the case that we need to lift what we pay but also ensure we offer a safe interesting experience so we can grow the pool of working holiday markets that will consider working on grains farms.

Let country people bet on their town’s future

Looking at Western Australia’s Wheatbelt of 44 shires between 2001 and 2021, the census has tracked the population fall at a steady rate of just under 1% a year across most of the sub 1,500 person shires in the Wheatbelt ... maybe the current generation of national MPs can come up with a Royalties for Regions II plan.

Subsidising fertiliser is not smart

Some older farmers will remember the Australian superphosphate bounty of $12/tonne that was on offer between 1964 to 1974. Some might have even been at this Perth rally when farmers roughed up Gough Whitlam after he said he was pulling the plug on the bounty ... more hard policy decisions should have been made to cut tariffs and industry support right across Australia to put an end to the endless drip of governments ...

WA regional high schools failing ATAR students

With the state's year 12s soon to start their mock exams, I thought it opportune to go back and have a look at how our country high schools are performing. Some may recall an article I wrote in 2020, ‘Country High Schools = F Fail’ and I wondered if there has been any improvement.