4 Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor 22 August 2015

Dear Sir,

After reading articles in various papers and journals the past couple of weeks

it is obvious farmers in the Western Mount Lofty Ranges are only pushing their own barrow since receiving their “right to take water levies”


Farmers in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges and the rest of the state have had their bills for six months or more.


Peter Manuel - Founder and Executive Director of FLAG Australia (Food Producers Landowners Action Group) has been fighting the Government and the Natural Resource Management Act of 2004 for the best part of five years following a water meeting at Victor Harbor. 


He has been to several areas around the state including the Western Mount Lofty Ranges helping and trying to bring farmers together, but they are falling for the divide and conquer ploy.


As articles in the Advertiser 8-8-2015 and the Stock Journal 13-8-2015 state, farmers are not being listened to. I, along with Peter and many farmers attended several NRM “consultation” meetings in 2011 at which no one from the NRM took any notice of anybody’s concerns and we are still waiting for answers.


Where are our farmers organisations like the Live Stock SA, Dairy SA, Primary Producers SA? all with paid staff, while Peter gives his time.


Governments around the world are on this path of saving the planet from destruction because of “climate change” a myth aimed at controlling all aspects of our lives.


Leading the way in this country is South Australia, stealing farmers water for the so called purpose of reclaiming water for the environment, the changing of land use from food production to planting bush is all part of the control.


Don’t worry, rain water tanks will be on the list for charging too.


Yours etc . . 


Brian Neville

Bulls Creek

0459 299 460

Letter to the Editor 10/08/2015


At a time when job losses are huge in the Mining Industry, Holden closure is going to hit SA severely and we already have the highest unemployment in Australia, would you not think, that if this government had half a brain they would look after the biggest money earner in Australia, Agriculture?

BUT GUESS WHAT? This government through the Natural Resources Management Board (NRMB) is forcing Mum and Dad farmers off their land.

HOW? By charging for water that falls freely from the sky, this is nothing short of criminal. This will cause food prices to skyrocket and this will have an effect on all businesses. When Farmers are doing well it has a positive chain reaction on the economy.

Mum and Dad famers have paid for their water when they purchased their properties.

E.g. if you buy a property in a high rainfall area you pay more for that property.

FLAG AUSTRALIA Inc. strongly opposes the charging of water no matter where your farm is in Australia.

This is not just about the Western Mt Lofty Ranges; it must be a level playing field for all Farmers. 

Is it time to have a class action against the NRMB, obviously this department does not eat. 

Peter Manuel

Founder/Executive Director



Letter to the Editor

Monday 06/07/2015



Who would ever have thought,  Australia would be up for sale. Well, it is.

Thanks to our Politicians who have sold us out big time. Foreign Investment, or should I say Foreign Take Over is alive and well. Why would anyone with half a brain, sell off our biggest money earner. Mining has declined and we need to pay off our massive debt, but our brainless Politicians who obviously don’t care about We the People, have decided to sell off our most profitable asset our food bowl. This is nothing short of Treason. China is only one of many. They will own the Farm, the Transport, Processing Plant and the Port. And that’s what this Govt. Calls Foreign Investment. I went to the wrong school. We should have listened to Pauline Hanson all those years ago. Mr. Abbott please stop this madness ASAP. You will leave a legacy of destruction.


Very Concerned

Peter Manuel

Executive Director 


Flag Australia.

Letter to the Editor   16/02/2015

Now is the time.

Now is the time to have proper labelling laws on our food products?

Australians have a right to know the food they are eating is safe and also where it is grown. We the people have been let down by both sides of government over the years.

We are now faced with berries imported from Chile and China contaminated with hepatitis A. Now is the time to let Mum and Dad farmers actually farm. Get rid of the NRM Act of 2004, Native Vegetation Act and completely overhaul the water allocation plan, which is making it near impossible to grow a clean healthy food product for all Australians. We the people demand governments to protect the citizens of Australia; it is our basic human right to eat clean healthy food grown here in Australia. Farmers should be planting more citrus and fruit trees and what ever else we need to be self sufficient. Now is the time for change, before we have FATALITIES. Since 1981, 100,000 farmers have left the land. Red and Green tape and regulations must be reduced dramatically so Mum and Dad farmers can stay on their land to grow clean healthy food for all Australians.   


Peter Manuel

Executive Director 

Flag Australia Inc.


Dec 16th 2014


80 year old farmer named Charlie Phillott has been thrown off his farm and out of his home.

This fine upstanding Australian who has worked his stomach out supplying a critical need, FOOD for all of us to enjoy, has now had the unthinkable done to him.

Allegedly the ANZ bank has taken away his livelihood no fault of his own.

Because an extraordinarily long drought has devalued his property, he has less equity than the bank requires. This will of course change immediately the drought breaks.

Charlie Phillott has not missed a mortgage payment, after all these years doing the right thing this is what happens to you in Australia.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has just given $200 million to a climate change fund that will do nothing but help a bunch of FAT CATS in the UN.

When are our governments going to stand up for the MUM and DAD farmers who are the backbone of Australia?

“Have you eaten today; thank a Mum and Dad farmer” 

Agribusiness is not the answer; that is just about corporates owning our farms.



Peter Manuel

Executive Director

Flag Australia Inc.

(Food Producers Landowners Action Group)

Strathalbyn SA


Ph; 0447002083






Letter to the Editor


Why bite the hand that feeds us.

How many more levies or taxes can the people of South Australia stand? the answer is simple zero!

It is quite obvious this current Labor Government can not handle our finances, so the simple thing to do is raise levies and taxes, this is a typical socialist way.

If we the people just sit back and be complacent and do nothing, we deserve what we get.

We now have the highest power in the world, water pricing is out of control and we allegedly have 68% of the population relying on pensions and hand outs in this state, this is simply not sustainable.

Agriculture is our biggest money earner in this country, putting $155 billion into the Australian economy and in South Australia we are being sent to the wall.

No new dams in the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges or Angus Bremer catchment area, “Right to Take Water” levy, whether we use it or not.

Ridiculous draconian laws in the NRM Act of 2004 and the Native Vegetation Act.

Farmers are pretty resilient people but when it comes to bureaucrats telling our Politicians what to do , it is obvious that there is something drastically wrong.

For South Australia and indeed the whole of Australia to become viable again we need real people in politics who care, and hopefully hold the balance of power to get rid of this madness and turn this country around so we can become the lucky country once again.

Please remember there are people who want things to happen, people who can make things happen and there are people who say what the hell happened, which one are you? 

Louise Wittkop


Flag Australia Inc.



Peter Manuel

Founder/Executive Director

Flag Australia Incorporated

Ph: 0447 002 083

PO Box 1062

Strathalbyn SA 5255





This week my phone has gone none stop, with Food Producers angry about a Bill they have received with the heading “Right to take Water”. I personally can not believe Food Producers are going through this ridiculous rot. It is a basic human right to have access to water for ourselves and our stock. This state has the highest unemployment in Australia and Holden will shut its doors by 2017. Agriculture is our biggest money earner and now we are being well and truly pulverized. The Environmental Department (DEWNR) is using water and the environment to control us and it has to STOP, other wise our future is very bleak. We need people to run for the Legislative Council and the Senate as Independents and repeal this legislation that is destroying our ability to feed ourselves.

People must realise we do not just rely on water that falls on Australia, huge amounts of our water comes underground from New Guinea which goes into the Artisan Basin. New Guinea measures its rain fall in Meters not Millimeters. Hope they do not start charging us. 

Where are Live Stock Produces S.A. and Primary Producers S.A. on this very serious matter? If this is not nipped in the bud food production will be a thing of the past, and we will become a country of resources only, how sad. Thank the politicians on both sides for that “How do they sleep at night”, and next year your right to water levy will double.  


Peter Manuel

Founder/Executive Director

FLAG (Food Producers Landowners Action Group) Australia Inc

Strathalbyn S.A. 




June 2014




14th May 2014

To the Editor,

Dear Sir,

I attended a meeting run by the Rural Media Thursday 1st May.

I was with a group of mostly farmers, Flag Australia Inc., found out about the meeting by chance.

As compulsory members of Livestock S.A. we should all have been informed of the event there seems to be only communication with people they want at these events.

The elected members of the farm group that makes up Primary Producers S.A. gave an overview of their progress since the formation of PPSA 12 months ago.

However there was very little time allowed for questions after. Peter Manuel was fortunate enough to get a question in, but did not get an answer.

The media that was there, including the Stock Journal did not want to know what is happening to the average farmer.

Do all family farmers and small business's have to disappear before people know what is going on?.


Brian Neville


Member of Flag Australia Inc.


14th May 2014

To the Editor,

Dear Sir,

In the last month I have received many phone calls from very angry Food Producers, concerned about meters being forced upon them, to be fitted on bores and dams, why would you need a meter on a dam when most dams rely on water run off to fill them and if you have a 5 meg dam and you have used half the water there would be 2.5 meg left, that's not rocket science, and if you were pumping from a bore into a dam you know how much water has been pumped into that dam because you have a meter on the bore. Bare in mind this is another impost on Food Producers which they can not afford. Food Producers are struggling to put food on their tables. So what is next? meters on rain water tanks and meters on the taps inside your homes at the home owners expense, because that is exactly what is happening to us Food Producers, dubbing up on meters.

It is quite obvious with this ridiculous legislation Food Production in this state will be a thing of the past and what a sad day that will be to think we will be relying on other countries to supply us with food. We need our new Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell to take a serious look at what is going on in this state with regards to NRM, Native Vegetation and Water Allocation if our biggest money earner, agriculture is going to survive. 

Most Concerned

Founder, Executive Director


Peter Manuel

Strathalbyn SA

To Dean Crabb,

Livestock Producers South Australia

Hi Dean, 

              Rang today, but you were at meetings.

             I think the Mount Compass meeting last night confirmed our worst fears about LPSA and PPSA.

              Catherine Miles (the liaison between "agriculture" and NRM) is ex PIRSA and now depends on consulting to survive. In your case  Catherine is funded by DEWNR. Please tell me I'm wrong. Who selected Catherine for this liaison position?

              Do LPSA really believe that Catherine can provide unbiased liaison between farmers and the Government. Of course she can't, her business relies predominantly on Government and tax revenue to survive. This is not a reflection on Catherine but the process here. So our concerns about NRM will go no where in this case, and I'm appalled to think that LPSA think something will come of this liaison.

               If LPSA are to survive and grow support, they must be independent, this isn't going to happen when Government holds the purse (PIF levies) and we see these government funded and ex government personnel (Catherine Miles) in deals with PPSA and LPSA to convince us, ( NRM good news stories), the NRM aren't trying to drive us from our land and restrict our profitability and survival. Was the PPSA NRM agreement with Government conditional, on government imposing levy increases to fund agricultural representation?


                One of the LPSA election issues was "  7 Balance agriculture with the environment and community

There needs to be a balanced and consistent approach to natural resource management, land access

and infrastructure use, ensuring primary production has priority and can profitably increase

production. Far too often there are examples of agriculture and livestock production being

restricted."  LPSA actions don't support their own published election issues!! For goodness sake we own the land, the community if they want to manage it, then they can buy it back and do just that!!


               LPSA cannot call itself independent when amendment or repeal of the NRM Act 2004 is not on their agenda and they are also "in bed" with government pushing government agendas like the good news only stories in the PPSA/NRM agreement, and at the same time, but behind the scenes the NRM bureaucrats continue restricting our survival, while NRM and PPSA and LPSA want to only publicise the good news and hide the bad news!! The statement that we can't go back and repeal and amend Acts made by LPSA last night is indicative of the restricted view that LPSA appears to have and is incorrect.


                                           LPSA are making the same mistakes SAFF did.

                      United Stockowners of Australia have no intention of supporting LPSA under this kind of "two faced" operation.

Kind regards,

John Michelmore

United Stockowners Australia



4th May 2014

To the Editor,

Dear Sir,


We attended the Rural Media panel discussion relating to the "Effectiveness of our Industry Representation and Advocacy on 1st May. Unfortunately insufficient time was allowed for questions from producers on the floor; many whom came with prepared questions left the venue without the opportunity to raise their queries. This was unacceptable when their travel, time and money was incurred.

          There was also a glaring absence by the non- attendance by the peak body PPSA.  Where were they?

          We have real concern in relation to Livestock SA and  PPSA in relation to the following NRM Issues:-

Regulation of water affecting activities, meters on dams in the EMLR, low flow bypasses and guesstimates of water capacities of dams to mention a few.

           Livestock SA and PPSA needs to come out from the closet with concrete policies, that aim to achieve the goal that removes the ability of government and their bureaucrats that can resume whatever property right they choose without compensation. We see the only way of achieving this is repeal of the NRM Act 2004 and the Native Vegetation Act. To have any future government dictating, as they do now, what we do with and on our property, or rights they remove without just terms compensation, must be stopped. 

This is a combined letter to the Stock Journal from Peter Manuel FLAG Australia Inc and John Michelmore United Stockowners of Australia. 





4th May 2014

To the Editor,

Dear Sir,

  PPSA and LivestockSA lunch function


On the 1st May, along with members of the Food Producers and Landowners Action Group, I attended a lunch/speakers function organised by PPSA and LivestockSA. It started at noon, was run like clockwork by the MC Ian Doyle, and was over on the dot at 2pm. By the time people had been checked in paid their $65 a head socialised over a drink, ate their rather “light on”plate of “nouveau cuisine”, listened to the four speakers who were only given a few minutes each to cover topics to do with viticulture, livestock, grain and biosecurity, that left approximately fifteen minutes for questions. Only about three people were able to ask questions of the panel, and FLAG Australia was very disappointed as we had many issues we wanted to bring up to do with what is happening to farmers in the current climate. I left wondering what the point of it all was, and also why there were no representatives from the Labor Government there, but quite a few from the Liberals and two from Palmer United Party? Did the ALP know about it? I was however heartened by Richard Halliday’s verbal surety to me, that the live export trade to Saudi Arabia would not be resumed if this country continued to refuse to sign our animal welfare standards agreement. I couldn’t help wondering how this would be policed anyway?!

 Alex Hodges

Box 228 Birdwood 5234


April 29th 2014


            New Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell must be congratulated, when he questioned the safety  of pesticides during an interview with the ABC in which he also compared GM crops to asbestos in terms of human safety.

Looks like we have an Agriculture Minister with some guts on this G.M.O. issue.

Japan, Russia and 26 other countries do not want anything to do with GM foods.

Stick to your guns on this one Leon. The world wants our clean healthy food without the influence of big companies pushing the GM wagon.

Our health is more important than GM crops.

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Manuel

Founder & Executive Director 


FLAG Australia Inc.



    On Wednesday 26th March 2014 I went to Sydney for Australia's Place at the Table "The Global Food Forum" at the Westin Hotel Sydney.

There were many speakers, ranging from Bankers, Corporations and Big Business. And the message was loud and clear, Agri-business has a tremendous future on the Global scale.

I, like lots of others I spoke to came away very concerned. Why? because it was all about Big Business and the Northern Food Bowl for Asia.

Mum and Dad farmers seem to be left out of the equation. For example, we are being restricted on our freehold properties with what water we can use, and being cut back at a ridiculous rate so there is more water on the open market so Big Business can purchase and trade our water which we have already paid for when purchasing our properties.

Yes, our biggest money earner in this country, agriculture, has a bright future if there is a level playing field for all. That means Mum and Dad farmers need the water on their freehold properties to be a viable business, after all, our Mum and Dad farms keep country communities viable.

E.g. bakeries, mechanics, hairdressers etc. and most importantly our sporting clubs, which are a valuable part of our communities, where our children can be a part of mixing and communicating with each other and form the bonding which makes for a healthy society.

Once Big Business owns the Mum and Dad farms, there will be a huge legacy of country communities being destroyed. We do not need the big duopoly with a couple of big corporations owning our farms. We need our Mum and Dad farmers, after all they are the backbone of country towns - if they are doing well, it has a chain reaction on every business.

We don't want lip service from pollies, we want real help so everybody has a fair go. Politicians that are looking after Big Business have not got all Australians' best interest at heart.

Very Concerned,

Peter Manuel

Founder & Executive Director

 FLAG Australia Inc.


March 23rd 2014

by Mary-Joy Hutchin 17 years old 

What Has This World Become?

What has the world become? 

What have us humans done? 

We've stripped the land, 

We've cut our neighbour, 

We bled, we died, we wonder why? 

What has the world become? 

What have we done? 

We ignore our mother, 

We harm our sister, 

We disrespect our father, 

What has the world become? 

Our heart is going somewhere else, 

Lord we've trailed away from you, 

We tattoo our skins, enlarge our bodies, 

We break the rules, and bend the trust, 

What has the world become? 

March  6th  2014 by Eric Moule

To the Editor

I was fortunate to be able to attend the FLAG Australia "Meet the Politicians" night at the Old Mill on the 21st of February. It was very well supported by the public and quite a few hopeful candidates.

During the night it was clearly shown that people are hurting under the current state government. A presentation by Professor David Flint on the subject "Give us back our country", explaining failures by governments to do just that. The big disappointment of the night was the lack of party politicians. Not one from the government, the Liberals, the Greens or Nick Xenophon attended. It is hard to get any confidence in them when they show such arrogance especially the liberals who are trying to gain office.

Another absente was the rural newspaper "The Courier", you would think this program at election time would have made good reporting. The subject of repealing the N.R.M. Act was met with a great amount of agreement. Under a period of labor government we have lost the Primary Industry department (PIRSA) and SAFF (Farmers Federation) and in their places gained the N.R.M. and the government assisted Primary Producers Association. Some change!


Yours Sincerely,


Eric Moule


March 5th 2014 by John Michelmore

Who is Levy Funded to Consult with Government about your Property?
It is a sorry story when governments find it easier to collect levies and fund your “representatives,” that they can easily control with purse strings, if they so desire. Below is a communication to the SA Environment Minister which still remains unanswered for three months.
So just to all property owners know, if the Labor government won’t respond to simple questions like this below, then they must only consult those that they fund, because their too lazy to do what is democratically right. Besides they probably get what they want from those they continue to pay with your money, while removing your property rights and the right to be consulted
“Dear Minister Hunter,
                                   On reading Hansard in relation to the Native Vegetation (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill, we note that a consultation process has been running through 2013, in relation to environmental benefits metrics review, and that there are regional workshops running between November 2013 and February 2014.
                                    The confusing issue here is that the owners of the vegetation (the landowners appear not to be stakeholders) in the consultation process.
                                    Can you please advise, how we as owners of the vegetation, can be involved in the consultation process. We see no one in the process that can represent us.  PPSA & NRM are funded from (directly or indirectly Government levies) and cannot and do not represent us as owners of the vegetation."
Kind regards,
John Michelmore
United Stockowners of Australia


Letter to the Editor
Liberal Party Member Takes Away Our Assets
Dear Sir, In the article in the Courier "Dam Ban to Protect Irrigators" (12/02/14), Ms Starick seems hell bent on stopping growth in agriculture and sending South Australian farmers to the wall.
That's what stopping new dam construction and the restrictions will do. Permits have been required for sometime to put in a dam to protect current users.
Anyone with two or more titles will no longer be able to  put in a dam on a title that may not have water on it, decreasing the value or the title. Will councils reduce the rates accordingly?
Several farmers have stopped irrigating because of restrictions and high power costs, resulting in the loss of food production. What are we going to eat?
As Ms. Starick  is a former candidate for the vice chair of the state Liberal Party, it doesn't fill me with confidence that the Liberals will do anything to help food production should they win next months election!
The driest state in the driest continent!
We should be putting in more water storage to protect us when there is a drought.
Yours Sincerely,
Brian Neville
Member of FLAG Australia INC.
Bulls Creek

Dear Sir,

I never thought I would read this statement: - “The restrictions ban all new dams-even stock and domestic purposes.”  No I wasn’t having a bad dream, it’s real and attributed to Ms Sharon Starick, presiding member of the SA Murray Darling Basin Board. Why, because it would ensure water resources are shared in a managed way into the future. So now denying access to water, which we all consider as a basic human and property right, while “protecting” the water to big irrigators is sharing. What rubbish!!   Meanwhile we have both major SA political parties, both Labor and Liberal failing to curtail this bureaucratic madness when they had the NRM Act before them for amendment a few months ago.  How can famers vote Liberal, how can Labor voters vote Labor, both are allowing the infringement of now both basic human rights and property rights. Besides isn’t Ms Starick also a Liberal?

John Michelmore

As of March 15 State election gets closer, there is much discussion on the future of primary production in the Fleurieu, Murraylands and Adelaide Hills. That is why I immediately accepted my invitation to attend the FLAG public politician's forum at the Old Mill at Hahndorf on Friday 21st  February at 6pm.
Given South Australia's precarious economic situation at present, there is a major opportunity at present to put the focus on economic growth opportunities in agriculture and the food industry. I have been surprised to see this election campaign that the only farming-focused group to stage a public forum has been FLAG, and full credit to
them. There are a host of urgent matters to consider, like the Right to Farm, the intrusion of the Natural Resources Management and Native Vegetation Acts into primary production and land rights, and sourcing export opportunities to improve farm gate prices. These issues need to be debated publicly before the election.
I welcome the opportunity to attend a grass roots political forum. I know full well that not all will agree with what individual politicians have to say.
However a public forum gives the opportunity for members of the public to put questions to Members of Parliament or candidates - that's how political campaigning used to work.
Nowadays spin doctors hide their bosses from the hard questions. If you want to be heard and cut through the political spin, I encourage you to attend the forum.

Right-to-farm row such a surprise,

I WAS surprised to read the Member for Fisher 'Bob Such's letter (Stock Journal, January 16) criticizing Family First's move for right-to-farm protections for our farmers.
Nobody is talking about giving an absolute right to permanent employment or a right to do things that negatively impact on others "such as unlimited noise".
The right-to-farm bill I tabled - which Mr. Such is welcome to read - says that farmers will have exemptions for what is generally accepted farming behavior.
Farming bodies will be able to outline what is generally accepted farming behavior within their commodity group.
The bill is not about absolute rights at all, but reasonable rights in the face of more and more regulations that have