Category Archives: Uncategorized

Can This Farmer Defeat Monsanto?

Article on The Safe food Foundation Website

Lately, genetically manipulated (GM) food has been a widely covered subject in the media in Australia and around the World. As with all agricultural practices, health and safety must be first priority when making decisions on how our farmland should be cultivated and GM is no different. There are many reasons to investigate what GM in our food supply will mean in relation to health and safety but these are not the only calls for possible concern. Lest we forget, our freedom of choice is compromised by GM when such crops run rampant and contamination is uncontrolled. When GM crops are grown next to non-GM crops we often see issues of contamination. This contamination may be due to many factors including human error, wind, birds, bees and floods and can result in a widespread and unintentional cultivation of GM crops. Allowing such contamination to continue means the loss of a farmer’s right to grow what they choose and the consumer’s choice to purchase and consume GM-free foods. To accept the takeover of our farmland by patented, corporate-owned seeds is to take the land from the farmers and the people and willing give it to the corporations.

In the farming community of Kojonup, WA, organic farmer Steve Marsh is taking a stand against GM contamination. In 2010, the WA state government lifted the moratorium on GM canola, opening up the state’s agricultural sector to the cultivation of this GM crop for the first time. As a result of this change in policy many farmers, including Marsh’s next door neighbour, began growing GM canola. After a high wind, one day Steve found GM canola dried plants spread over much of his farm, loaded with dry seed falling off onto his land. Consequently, Steve lost his organic certification when the certifying body, NASAA (The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia) found 70 percent of his property had been contaminated with GM canola.

As a result of the contamination, Steve and his family are no longer able to sell their product on the organic market and have lost a great deal of their income. It’s shocking to think we live in a world where corporations are often free from responsibility in relation to their products infringing the rights of others. However, due to the liability agreement Monsanto has farmers sign, the corporate giant is ‘off the hook’ when it comes to cases of contamination. Thus, Australia is set to see the first case of an organic farmer proactively seeking compensation from a GM farmer when his rights have been violated by a biotech invasion. This is something that Steve does not want to do but he has no other option if he wants to stand up for his rights as well as ours. Due to inadequate labeling, often the only way to eat foods free from GM is to eat organic. This makes Steve’s case and the contamination of the organic industry an issue beyond labeling. Once our organic food supply is contaminated, reading a label won’t make a difference because ALL food will contain GM!

So instead of accepting this adulteration of his farmland, Steve has taken a stand against the invasion of genetically modified crops. In an unprecedented case, Steve is taking his neighbour to court for compensation of loss and damages. The international law firm of Slater & Gordon has taken on the case under their public interest policy (good on them!) but that does not entirely relieve the financial stress of this case as there will be a great deal of disbursements in fighting such a legal battle. Money is needed for barristers, court costs and expert witnesses and this is expected to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For more information about Steve Marsh and this precedent-setting case against GM and food contamination, please visit The Safe Food Foundation.

Governments should by Aussie-made: Vic Opposition

The Victorian Opposition says governments across the country should be forced to buy Australian-made made cars in order to support local manufacturers.

In light of Holden’s decision to axe 500 workers Opposition leader Daniel Andrews told reporters governments should focus on buying Australian-made vehicles.

Andrews also defended government support of the manufacturing industry, and claimed the sector produced economic and skill benefits for the entire country.

“The thing that should be considered nationally is not a withdrawal from the automotive sector but in fact a national procurement and purchasing, national buy-local campaign, so that every car that can be purchased in any government fleet across Australia is in fact an Australian-made vehicle,” he said.

“That would be a step forward, that’s the sort of thing that we should be putting on the COAG table and if we have to have an argument, then so be it.”

Andrews’ call follows union anger over Energy Safe Victoria’s plans to buy foreign-made cars for its workforce.

Last month the Australian Workers Union said the decision was a “slap in the face” for local workers, and the Department said it was undertaking a review of its purchasing policy.


AUSBUY Response

In the car industry the large manufacturers are foreign owned here and they get the subsidies directly, not the local businesses. At issue is the flow-on effect to the many small local businesses that supply component parts (over 1,200). The issue is the loss of skills and our capacity to generate wealth in this country. While some of these businesses export it puts greater pressure on them for survival. These are highly skilled smaller businesses. The majority represent private Australian investment and ownership. If hand outs are given they should be tied to innovation and performance and reinvestment here, not a short term fix to keep foreign companies here. Giving access with lower tariffs to our market to emerging economies such as Thailand created a gateway for other countries to enter and compete directly with our manufacturers. This is not helped our local suppliers. It is not competition when each side plays to a different set of rules – invariably we pay. The Australian Companies Institute Limited (AUSBUY) has advocated that Government procurement should give priority to Australian owned and made businesses because tax payer’s money should be reinvested here. AUSBUY has a $50 a week test – If every householder spent $50 a week on Australian owned and made goods we would have a multiplier effect within our economy of $50B.


Imagine the difference it would make if all levels of Government gave priority to our own businesses with the requirement 51% of the project costs, skills and jobs here. It would reinvigorate our economy and renew confidence in our future prosperity. In a rapidly changing world, control of our manufacturing and skills are an issue of national security. We do not have a national plan, and without a long term plan who will pay of our national debt. Prosperity is borne of obligation to a society, not entitlement.


Having said the above some Federal politicians lament the fact they have to drive in locally made cars. One questions the “intent: of their decisions if Australia’s interests do not get priority.


The Road to Riches May Not Take you to Pick up the Kids

Please  find below an opinion piece written by Senator Joyce  which was published in The Canberra  Times on 21 February 2013.


I am in  Western Australia. In Perth, an average hotel room costs  $400 a night. The south-west is bursting out of its  seams with the money from the central and north-west of  the state.

Nondescript beaches north of Perth are  becoming new beachside suburbs. It feels like the  Sunshine Coast 30 years ago.

South of Perth, it  is done and dusted, and chock-a-block.

What is  incongruous in this prosperity is that as you go north  to where the wealth comes from, along the inland Great  Northern Highway, it is only 20 kilometres from Perth  and you are on a two-lane road.

At Bindoon they  have to basically shut down the main street, and all the  shops, as heavy machinery is hauled through the town at  snails’ pace because the overhead power lines have to be  lifted.

The people on this road see the wealth of  their state and the nation go past their door, but they  have run out of water.

They ask why those closer  to the source of the wealth seem to be further from its  benefits, even though they deal with more of its  afflictions. They ask why $50 million for a road north  became $50 million for a railway south under the  previous Labor government.

To be honest, they are  not bubbling over with excitement when my side of the  political fence promises to put two overhead power lines  underground, but leave another 13 where they were. They  wistfully show plans for bypasses amid the eternal  rumble of trucks.

If you travel north of  Melbourne, you do not get off a dual carriageway until  you get to, well, Sydney, about 900 kilometres away.  North of Brisbane, you can now basically travel to  Gympie before you descend back to the previous  century.

But on the road that connects Western  Australia’s biggest service centre to our nation’s  biggest export earner, you travel merely kilometres and  you are back to two lanes.

The local newspaper  talks of plans to close more heavy haulage railway lines  for wheat so more trucks can travel on the  roads.

There is a prevailing attitude that has  been at the forefront of the political debate in  Australia: wealth comes from commuters getting home  quicker.

No, it does not. That argument is a  convenience in a dodgy productivity disguise. Worse, it  is the political imperative of urban votes impersonating  economic reason.

Wealth comes from the fluid  movement of those items directly connected to export  dollars, and this reality is reinforced when our debt is  overwhelmingly borrowed from overseas. Wealth comes from  investment in infrastructure, such as rail moving heavy  haulage off roads, moving raw product to bankable  outcomes quicker, providing services to the areas that  put export dollars on the table.

Connecting the Pilbara to the ports in the short-term pays for the new  road to pick the kids up quicker from school over the  longer term.

As our debt races ahead under the  tutelage of the Treasurer of the Millenniums, we will  have to focus our attention on those who will provide  the income to pay it back.

In all corners of our  nation, the affliction of having to spend an extra 20  minutes on the road to pick up the kids from childcare  is something we will have to live within the short term.  The resources will have to focus on  real-dollars-in-the-bank outcomes for Treasury, or we  are going to make a bad situation worse. Ask yourself:  where is the money to pay off this cursed debt? We are  the global door-to-door salesman of resources, and if we  spend money on the carpet before we spend money on the  car, on the spurious argument that the carpet makes more  money, then we are only fooling  ourselves.

Meanwhile, the Australian people are asking when this crazy lodger is going to get out of the  house. Latest domestic observations have seen a big  green rat running away from a half-chewed government  agreement.

There is absolute apprehension of  whether the bond will even start to cover the cost of  the damage. The idea that they will enforce their right  to stay until the end of the lease in September gives no  comfort whatsoever. The yard is a mess of half-completed  political wrecks scattered all over what used to be the  lawn. What we will find inside the house when they  finally leave?

Barnaby Joyce is the  Nationals’ Senate Leader and the Opposition Spokesman  for Regional Development, Local Government and  Water.

Katter eyes dairy shake-up

We our proud that our four banks form the pillars of our banking system but we have embraced deregulation of our farming sector and manufacturing telling our people they have to be productive and competitive while they play to a different to set of rules to their competitors. How can Australia benefit from the decimation of the dairy industry and its skills if it is foreign owned? We want to eat and drink dairy products owned and made in Australia.

 Buy Australian Owned and support our own. #ausdaylove

In response to an article in The Weekly Times

Caffeine regulation, and Country of Origin labelling

Article by Kate Carrey December 10th 2012

A range of food agenda items were discussed on December 7, 2012 when Australian and New Zealand food Ministers met to give the nod of approval to the Health Claims Standard, which Australian Food News has reported separately.

Food Ministers noted good progress made on the development of an Australian interpretive front-of-pack labelling system for food that would be easily understood by consumers.  This initiative was a key priority arising from the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation Forum’s response to the food labelling report, led by Dr Neal Blewett.

The collaborative process with key stakeholders will continue in order to develop the system by mid June 2013. Although not yet agreed on what type of front-of-pack labelling will be implemented, it is agreed that it is an important project that aims to “help consumers to make more informed food choices.”

 Consultation on addition of caffeine to foods

The ministers also noted progress on the review of the Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods that is underway. Public consultation on the Policy Guideline is expected to commence in March 2013.

Country of Origin labels for unpackaged meat

The ministers agreed to an Australian standard on country of origin labelling to include all unpackaged meat products. Implementation documentation should clarify that a business can comply with the requirement by displaying a single sign for Australian product with imported product specifically labelled.

Low THC Hemp

The ministers have sought a review on the proposed standard for low THC hemp as a food. Ministers have agreed to seek advice from the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Services.


Country of Origin labelling on unpackaged meat is a welcome initiative. At least the Blewitt Review appears to be doing something. Most meat in Australia is sourced from Australia except for pork so this is simply and extension of the fresh food “product of Australia” label. Fish and poultry have already been dealt with under the current rules some years ago.


However, it still does not cover the issue of processed foods which can claim to be “made in Australia” without any reference to where the main ingredients come from if “imported and local”.


Of course none of these actually tell us who owns the product as multinational companies are hidden behind local brand names and addresses as they source the “cheapest produce” in our manufactured goods. New Zealand’s free trade with China in food exacerbates the problem. At least the big two retailers put “country of origin” on their private label brands.


We wait in anticipation for the Blewitt Review to take action and put “country of origin” on processed foods. Product of Australia at least keeps our farmers going while we still own the farms.

Politicians Agree to Listen to 50,000 Australians

An Issue that Unites Us- Politicians Agree to Listen to 50,000 Australians

It is not often that Politicians agree on an issue, but our political representatives across the Nation’s Parliamentary Parties and Houses will be supporting a petition in Canberra tomorrow which asks for a Moratorium on the Sale of Our Land and Wealth Creating Assets until we establish a National Interest Test. The Australian Companies Institute Limited, better known as AUSBUY, will present them with over 50,000 signatures, giving concerned Australians a voice.

Lynne Wilkinson, CEO of AUSBUY says, “It gives us hope that politicians across the Parliament are finally listening and our people will be heard. We trust that with this political support, we can come together as a nation and build our future for the benefit of our own. We cannot be good global citizens if we do not look after home first”.

For over 21 years AUSBUY has warned of the consequences if we do not support our Australian owned businesses and farmers. Decades of policies have given control of the majority of our wealth creating assets to foreign interests. While other countries have long recognised their need for food and water security, we have allowed control of every food commodity except rice to be majority foreign owned, plus 80% of our mining, and our manufacturers are in decline. Now foreign interests are buying our land. The countries and companies buying our assets do not necessarily reciprocate the opportunity. As a nation we have failed to support our sustainable competitive advantages.

You do not need to be big to stand up for your citizens. Earlier this year New Zealand stopped the sale of eight dairy farms to the Chinese because it did not meet the national interest test. Their Supreme Court found that under the New Zealand Wonthaggi Treaty the Crown cannot divest assets which are there for the long term benefits of its citizens.

Australians have no such protections. ACIL (AUSBUY) believes to secure our future, pay off our debt and meet our long term national interests we need a long term strategic plan for nation building not nation dismantling as is happening now with short term thinking. We need to identify assets which we need for our long term prosperity and security. Some argue we have always had foreign investment, but it is not investment when they buy our businesses, our land and our cash flow. These are assets that once benefited Australia and now go off shore, aided by our tax laws. There are smarter ways of dealing with foreign investment.

AUSBUY exclusively represents Australian owned businesses across many industry sectors and sees first hand that our people are still productive, innovative and clever. But they do not operate in a level playing field. We need to get our people working again for Australia so that we can pay off our burgeoning national debt.

Only Australian ownership means the decisions, profits, jobs, skills and reinvestment stay here. Time to Wake Up Australia and give our owned a “fair go”.

AUSBUY and the politicians who support us will be at the Senate Committee Courtyard today at 12pm in Canberra Parliament to present the 50,000 signatures to Parliament against the sale of our land to foreign interests.  Join us for interviews.

Interviews can be arranged with Lynne Wilkinson, CEO of AUSBUY and politicians on 02 9437 5455 Jeanette Lasorsa

Not so sweet on China

A letter to The Australian that Jock Munro( an AUSBUY FRIEND) had published on Tuesday 20th November 2012.

The Word is, everything is sweet with the Chinese  communist government takeover of huge amounts of our water, land and infrastructure on the Ord (“Farmer sweet on Chinese sugar deal for Ord River”, 17-18/11)

Those who have concerns over the potential for a close loop, where the Chinese import their own cheap labour and send the produce back to the homeland with negative implications for our sugar industry will be dismissed as xenophobic. But China ha a shocking record with human and International relations, yet we are loath to upset them.

would decision makers be comfortable with the Indonesians government purchasing Ord land and settling thousands of their people on it?



Major fruit and vegetable wholesaler negotiating business sale

In response to an article published in the Australian Food News on October 11,2012 by Kate Carey (read full article below)

It is extraordinary, our food policies have encouraged the control of all food commodities beyond the farm gate to majority foreign control, now the cashed up Chinese are preying on our supply chain. They are buying the land and the supply chain which means that the food and the profits that once benefited Australia and our jobs and skills will be lost and decisions will be made overseas in their interests. This is not in the national interest. Our farmers and businesses are forced to sell because they have not been supported by governments that think we operate in a level playing field. Every other country looks after its own interests first and we appear intent on putting our food supplies and our sovereignty at risk. Who benefits? Who is supporting our people? calling for a moratorium on the sale of our wealth creating assets and national interest test until such times as we can identify key strategic assets for Australia’s long term interests. Sign the petition and make sure you get your friends/family to do the same.


Article in the Australian Food News:

One of Australia’s largest fruit and vegetable wholesalers, Moraitis, has confirmed that its business is for sale. A report in the Weekly Times newspaper has stated that Moraitis is negotiating a sale with a China-based company, Chevalier. Under the deal, the buyer would take control of Moraitis’ growers, packers and 11 subsidiary companies around Australia.

Moraitis is believed to supply around 90 per cent of Woolworths’ potato and onion trade, as well as supplying to Coles and other Australian supermarkets.  Moraitis also supplies bananas, tomatoes, citrus, berries, melons, avocados, pumpkins, garlic, mangoes, cherries, capsicums, zucchini, apples and mushrooms, sourced from its growers on both the East and West coasts of Australia.

Company owner, Nick Moraitis, told the Weekly Times that he could confirm that they were negotiating with Chevalier, but he would remain a shareholder.

Chevalier own construction, property, insurance, hotels, information technology and food businesses in China, South East Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.

The announcement of the Moraitis’ deal with a China-based group comes at a time when other large Australian agricultural assets such as Cubbie Station (Australia’s largest producer of cotton,) and a number of major dairy acquisitions in Tasmania and Victoria, are being made by China-based investors.

Giving our kids a sporting chance – AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!

Australians readily embrace the Olympic spirit. Discipline, passion, personal best, team effort and national pride bring out the best in us. World wide our focus will be on excellence as our Olympians play to a shared set of rules for a few weeks. AUBSUY is delighted to support Elise Ramsey as she realises her vision for AussieMite not only here but overseas. Like those before her, Australia’s wealth has been built over successive generations by ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things as the “builders and makers” in our economy. Ultimately we all benefit from this “have a go” attitude.

It is time now to refocus on our local business. They are running marathons everyday against competitors who play to a different set of rules. Our national pride should be in our Australian owned businesses. these are our productive and innovative heroes who pay off our national debt, and keep the decisions, profits, jobs, skills and reinvestment here. They need our support. The message is clear we can give our children a sporting chance as a nation, pay off our debt and get our people working productively if we support Australian owned businesses. These are our future. These are our people. Every time we shop let’s give them a fair go!

Go to for store directory for the latest AUSBUY Guide or download the AUSBUY App.