March 7th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Behind Malcolm Turnbull's pitch for green votes

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The Costello question that refuses to go away

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: China's spending spree: our sovereignty at risk

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Targeted spending needed to promote Australian jobs

NEW ZEALAND: Kiwibank goes from strength to strength

QUEENSLAND: Premier Bligh calls snap election

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: Shooting the messenger undermines democracy

HEALTH: Labor's campaign against doctors' private practices

UNITED STATES: The nightmarish cabinet of President Obama

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: UN whitewash of China human rights abuses

GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM: What to do with Guantánamo detainees?

SPECIAL FEATURE: The agnostic who took on Darwin and Dawkins

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Sexual suicide of Western society

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Social websites harm children's brains - top neuroscientist / Conspiracy theory? / 'Right to die' can become a 'duty to die'

Euthanasia and dementia sufferers (letter)

Wilson Tuckey I (letter)

Wilson Tuckey II (letter)

CINEMA: Stylised miniature of feminist mythology - Revolutionary Road

BOOKS: ATTILA THE HUN: Barbarian Terror and the Fall of the Roman Empire, by Christopher Kelly

Books promotion page

Wilson Tuckey I (letter)

by Kevin Martin

News Weekly, March 7, 2009

As a wheat-grower who has previously delivered produce to the national pool, I found it interesting that no-holds-barred free-trade advocate Wilson Tuckey implies his approval of the Western Australian wheat-growers' "own co-operative CBH", with its tax-free status making it almost a halfway house to a statutory authority (Letters, News Weekly, February 21, 2009).

Mr Tuckey expressed concern that, in recent years, substantial amounts of wheat have been sold for home consumption on the deregulated domestic market. This obviously happened due to the longest and severest drought in living memory restricting the amount of wheat available for export.

Most wheat-growers are fully aware and now tired of Mr Tuckey's theories and selective rubbery figures, with the latest example being his claim that his WA constituents "typically supply" 70 per cent of all Australia's export wheat.

His federal electorate of O'Connor may be big, but I suggest its large share of export wheat is only because of the crushing drought elsewhere and is certainly not typical.

It is worth noting that in recent times the president of the Australian Lot Feeders' Association (ALFA) lamented the absence of reliable information regarding the quantities, qualities, availability and value of stored grains.

Before deregulation of the home consumption domestic market, all this essential information was known, and gave processors and end-users a price and supply surety, removing troughs and peaks to give stability to the value-adding industries of this nation.

Clear deficiencies in the (de)regulation of the world's financial markets are hauntingly symptomatic in the increasingly dysfunctional grain market. These no doubt contributed to growers' meetings last week across the wheatbelt of NSW calling for a single-seller wheat export system.

I believe that Mr Tuckey's justification for his opposition to single-desk and regulated marketing is made with erroneous and subjective percentages and figures, and will be judged harshly by history and by wheat farmers who understand the real risks in marketing wheat.

Kevin Martin,
Gunnedah, NSW

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