Call to Stand

Where daily bits of info can be added and discussed.

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Post by duane » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:56 pm


Peter has left for Central Qld.

He would not be at all surprised to hear that your experience is the same as his.

I have attended almost every meeting Peter has had with the Bureaucracy, so with your okay I will answer your questions in Peter's absence.

Shirley asked:
Is there anyone in government that is willing to help you further NSF in the real world.”
As in the TV program 'Yes, Minister' the pollies are run by the bureaucrats....Canberra is no different.

In the last 5 years we have spoken to a number of pollies but NO one from the present Labour government.

We have had meetings with the former Opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt, Tony Abbott, Senator Nick Xenophon and a scattering of others.

Every approach to meet with a labour pollie has meet with 'Sorry, unavailable'. Peter has little or no time for any of the Labour mob, so the feelings mutual.

But on the +ve side we had meet with ALL the senior bureaucrats, Terry Moran-PMC, Ken Henry- Treasury, Robyn Kruck- DEHWA, etc etc.

These people have been introduced via the former GG....his help has been tremendous. And he is fully onside.

But its NOT the top Executive we need to convince but the middle order eschleon that have been the main problem...the Opposition from within DAFF if you mention the word 'willow' see you die the death of a thousand cuts.

Shirley asked:
Among the people that you have had discussions with is there anyone that can be relied upon to help change those 3 issues above.
The key words here are relied upon. The answer to that question is it remains to be seen.

Michaael Jeffery has formed a group called Outcomes Australia. They have as one of their core projects...Restoring our Landscape.

And one of their central objectives is to identify ALL the blockages that prevent implementation of NSF and then mount the best strategy to have the blockages overturned.

Shirley asked:
Who are those people?
Head of PMC
Head of Treasury
Head of DEWHA
Head of DAFF

Shirley asked:
If the policy makers and legislators will not change then what is the next step for NSF?
Our best chance is thru MJ and Outcomes Australia....The General will make it happen, Of that I am confident.[

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Post by Julene » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:33 am

Duane, thanks so much for sharing that information. It makes things a lot clearer. Thanks also to Shirley for posing the questions.

I’m very glad to hear the former-GG is still on the case. I haven’t seen any updates on him for awhile. No doubt he is working diligently behind the scenes.

At a grass-roots level, blockages that might prevent farmers participating in NSF include:
1. Ignorance – Lack of exposure to the right information.
Despite appearing twice on “Australian Story” and writing 2 books, there are still a lot of people who are unaware of Peter Andrews. We were very lucky to have a friend pass on BFTB.
2. Fear – Fear of the Unknown; also Fear of Failure.
Those who do know of Peter’s work may be asking, “What if it doesn’t work? Will I be able to make enough money to feed my family?”
3. Government Interference.

You can see how a combination of these factors has led to the terrible mistakes that farmers have made in the past. Farmers did what they knew because they didn’t know any better. Like any group of people, they include some forward-thinking heroes (like Peter Andrews), some absolute ratbags, and most people in the middle just trying to live normal lives the best way they know how.

In the past, I think another factor was also involved: Complacency.

Farmers didn’t need to change because things were going well, fertility was good and they could make good money on a farm.

My contacts with the farming world indicate that many farmers are no longer complacent because they recognize that their fertility is desperately depleted and they need to change. They are willing to learn. They need the right information.

Duane, are you aware of any strategies that MJ may be working on to help farmers overcome these obstacles? For example, if MJ can get changes at the bureaucratic level, will we see more articles in rural newspapers etc outlining Peter’s ideas? Will there be funding for the NSF training program, which would mean more people to go out and run workshops and train farmers? Will there be positive encouragement for farmers to join up, or more punitive measures?

In the bigger picture, do you think Peter will get a chance to implement his ideas for the Murray-Darling?

Duane and Shirley (and Peter, if available), would you agree or disagree with what I have written? If there is anything you disagree with, please let me know. Wallaby has given the opinion that “the site has been hi-jacked simply because the word "farm" appears on this site.” However, Peter Andrew’s system has been called Natural Sequence Farming and this is the Natural Sequence Farming Forum. Are farmers still a key group that Peter Andrews is trying to reach?

By the way, the program on Malleefowl is available at (although for a limited time.) I think it illustrates what I have said about farmers (but please correct me if I am wrong). In the past, they treated this incredible and unique bird disgracefully through pure ignorance and complacency. However, they are no longer ignorant – and knowledge has led to action. The majority of members of the Malleefowl Preservation Group are landholders; most of the sponsors are private companies and individuals. They have completed the third stage of a green corridor, using land donated by farmers.


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Post by Wallaby » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:26 am

Julene, from what I have read, Peter Spencer has put across his case for farmers to have the rights to clear their land in toto simply because "they owned it". As I've said, if all farmers were given these rights, I'd have no doubts that 90% of them would just do that to the detriment of this vast land. Do we want to see more dust storms, more pastures eroded, goodbye to biodiversity? NSF has stated roughly 1/3 of the farm should at least be vegetatively "covered" at all times. Not the entire property razed, this is why I believed that this site was "hi-jacked" by a farmer's right to open slather. If Peter Spencer was practicing NSF, then I sincerely apologise. Or was he asking for the right to 100% clearing?
Seen a lot of degradation in my time having lived in 3 states and travelled to all.

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Post by duane » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:12 pm


Both Peter and I support the general aim of farmer's to common law rights such as those under the Magna Charta.

At the present and in the past, farmers rights have been seriously depleted. Take for example the rain that falls out of the sky everytime it rains.

It was Govt policy to take this water, run it thru catchments in a series of drains (creeks and rivers), off farmers properties, as quickly as possible and into dams. Then to sell that free natural resource back to farmers. Under present law farmers can only take 10% of the rainfall that falls on their farms.

The same thing is happening with mineral rights. Farmers can be compensated for losing their mineral rights below ground such as is happening now in the Hunter Valley, Liverpool plains etc etc

The whole Carbon thing was to be setup that markets and Govts would get the the bulk of the revenue....not the farmers.

Govts asked farmers to clear in the past and approved vast clearing in recent times Qld being a good example).....untold environmental damage damage has occured as a result.

But farmers have been at the mercy of the Banks as well.....they, the banks, dont come out smelling like roses either. Decades of pushing practices that were unsustainable in order to get interest payments saw many farmers go to the wall....only to become inviable due to rising input costs and diminishing returns. This forced many good farmers off their land and the banks selling their asset to clear the debt. One bank manager told me that this was common practice and farmers were lucky as he saw it, because once wound up many could go and buy a place at Port Macquarie.

My point is we are all part of the problem, lets work together to be part of the solution. This is what Mike Jefferies plan is about....we know its let's fix it....and leave blame behind for the vision ahead that will be required.

I agree with Wallabys have cleared without knowing the consequences. But Spencers act was important to focus on the fact that Govts in the past have removed many farmers rights.
Last edited by duane on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by duane » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:32 pm


In answer to your questions:
are you aware of any strategies that MJ may be working on to help farmers overcome these obstacles? For example, if MJ can get changes at the bureaucratic level, will we see more articles in rural newspapers etc outlining Peter’s ideas? Will there be funding for the NSF training program, which would mean more people to go out and run workshops and train farmers? Will there be positive encouragement for farmers to join up, or more punitive measures?

In the bigger picture, do you think Peter will get a chance to implement his ideas for the Murray-Darling?
The former GG has formed this group, Outcomes Australia, to deal with all the issues you have described. He has a great understanding of how both bureaucrats and governments work and he is the one person who leadership and insights that can bring this together.

After successive unnsuccessful application for funding for the NSF training courses we have decided to get it funded from the private sector. Much has already been written and done now what is required is some $$$ to complete the process.

Mike's program is hoping to have 50,000 farmers trained over the next 10 to more sustainable agricultural NSF, WM, BD PC etc etc etc

My personal belief about Peter helping the MDB? I seriously believe if any one person is capable of restoring functionality to the iconic ecosystem, Peter could. Will he get the opportunity? I truly hope so, because its the raison d'etre of why I got into this NSF journey.

Shirley Henderson
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Post by Shirley Henderson » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:10 am

Julene, I appreciate reading your posts but do not feel qualified to comment whether you are right or wrong. I know in my everyday life, the important choices I have to make carry with them a fear of the unkown or the fear of failure. That is when I listen to my heart and soul and call on my own knowledge, the knowledge of others and mine and others experiences to make a decision and commit to it. We all have to do that. Having the right intentions is a good start. With failure comes knowledge and gain. I understand farmers lively hoods are at stake so if uncertain or unwilling to commit fully I would suggest trial and error and starting out with a smaller patch to try NSF. Just dipping their toes into the water. Results will probably get them to jump in.

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Post by duane » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:41 am

Saw this on Agmates blog site re the BANKS current role in agriculture:
This is an urgent alert to every Australian farmer who has farm debt. The source of this information is our Agmates member St Botolph, who for professional reasons writes for Agmates on the guarantee of anonymity. The information has been checked, verified and posted by Agmates Editor Steve Truman.

Right now across Australia as a result of poor commodity prices, poor seasons and a tightening credit market 1,000’s of farmers are in deep financial stress and are feeling isolated and overwhelmed as a result of their farm debt. This information is intended to help all of them and those that do not even realize they have a problem – yet. Now for St Botolph’s post.

Farm Finance ALERT

The farming industry in Australia has reached breaking point, lenders in our farming communities have ignored the long term commitments and loyalty that farmers have given them over many years.

It is amazing to think that when farmers are cashed up how much additional money is thrown at them by lenders seeking to make huge profits from additional lending.

With farmers still in the midst of the biggest drought ever, lenders and investors are calling in farm debt to invest the money elsewhere.

The conduct of recovery of farm debt by a number of rural lenders in an increasing number of recent cases is at best immoral and at worst illegal. Using intimidation by way of threats and demands these lenders have railroaded some farmers into complying with their “on the spot” demands without farmers first seeking appropriate legal advice or the time needed to refinance.

Farming families are being divided and in some cases separated leading to divorce action because of the pressures and demands of some lenders.

The hatchet men from these lenders have no morals and will go to any lengths to recover farm debt by selling farm assets at any costs no matter what the result through the appointment of receivers managers or mortgagee in possession sales. As a result of such action, huge shortfalls in asset realization are being recorded. Then to put the boots in even further Lenders are proceeding to bankrupt farmers.

This is happening right now across the country as I write.


Practical Advise to all farmers

Take one day off, sit down with your family take a serious look at your true financial position as it stands today. Do not be fooled by misleading bottom lines, but focus on your farm debt.

Review who your lender is and how long you have been with them.

Think about your last meeting with your lending manager, do you recall any changes? Ask yourself the following questions -

1. Have we been restricted from any further borrowings?

2. Have we been asked to sell plant or land to reduce our farm debt level?

3. Have we received any letter reducing our overdraft limit?

4. Have there been any request for further security ?

5. Have we been asked to provide additional cash flows ?

If you answered YES to any one of those questions you must and I stress, must look at your term loan agreement. These are unprecedented times and a YES answer is a sign of immanent trouble.

In most cases your term loan will be 5,10, or 15 years. A term loan is your mortgage agreement.

Most overdrafts are reviewed each year.

Right NOW there are lenders using annual overdraft reviews as a trigger to call in ALL loans.

The interest rate on your term should be less than your overdraft but in some cases may be the same.

If your farm debt loans are ready to expire – be very careful. You must approach your lender at least 6 months before and discuss your over all roll over options. Do not take for granted that it will just roll over.

Do not ignore letters that call for farm debt reduction or reviews of your loans. If you have received such a request you should act NOW.

Seek professional advise from you account, lawyers or rural consultant who understand Rural Lending. Do this early. Do not wait until the receiver turns up at your farm to evict you before you reach out for a professional to assist you with farm debt mediation. By that time it is usually to late for anyone to help you.

If you think your safe be WARNED act NOW before you lose the lot.


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I'm prepared to stand.

Post by Monaro2011 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:22 am

I've know Peter for nearly four years. I've made videos of him expounding his principles at Mulloon Creek, Baramul and Tarwyn Park.

I've been writing an articles in the local paper called "Time & Energy", some of which have focused on the benefits of NSF. It is clear that Peter needs as many voices in government as possible and I want to be one of them.

It's hard to see how claiming 'land rights' is going to improve the lot of the people on the land. Clearing land, when there is so little left to clear in NSW, is way off track as a political campaign.

We all know that people in the cities shuffle paper about, stare at computer monitors and emit fearful amounts of carbon. Their opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint are quite limited. But they would like someone to do something for their children's sake just in case all this man-made carbon catastrophe stuff is true.

By contrast, the people on the land have the ability to sequester all the carbon that the city folks are responsible for. This is the challenge and the opportunity for government. Using carbon credit money (whether it's ETS, CPRS, Abbott Incentives or Just Joyce — doesn't matter). What is important is that farmers are compensated for improving the viability and resilience of their land.

Everybody wins if we acknowledge the unique ability of the Australian landscape to be rehydrated, revegetated and returned to profitability.
Paul Cockram
Palerang councillor and independent candidate for the state seat of Monaro
Supporter of NSF principles and sympathiser with the effect official recalcitrance is having on Peter Andrews.

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Post by duane » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:45 am

Hey Councillor.....guess what? You are lucky No've won a NSF DVD.

Great to see you on the NSF would be great if all the NSF'ers that we know ALL registered and contributed.

I am counting you in as one of the 10 new registered users for my team....only 9 to go....(see Shirleys post.)

Thanks for your pertinent comments and keep sending them in.

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