Deserted by the Liberals? (letter)by Kevin O'NeillNews Weekly
, February 7, 2009
Rural Australia is puzzled by the claim of the Liberal Party that the National Party is dividing the federal Opposition when in fact it was the Liberal Party that voted with Labor to destroy the single-desk marketing of Australian wheat.
The single desk was the jewel in the crown of the Australian wheat industry.
In 60 years, the Australian wheat industry grew and consolidated.
It attracted the support of dedicated plant-breeders and agronomists, and they developed the best milling wheat in the world.
The managers of the single desk established a good rapport with overseas customers and were quick to iron out claims of wheat not being up to standard. It had an enviable reputation as a reliable supplier.
It was claimed that abolition of the single desk was the forerunner of the abolition of export subsidies by the United States and the Euroopean Union.
The single desk has now gone, and our competitors' subsidies are still firmly in place. The desk was the answer to these overseas export subsidies.
Rural Australia needs a leadership removed from influence of the free market ideologues.
It is to be hoped that the Nationals' Senate leader Barnaby Joyce will soon move to the House of Representatives and give support to his hard-pressed colleagues there who fought great battles for the Australian wheat industry when they were deserted by the Liberals.Kevin O'Neill,