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National Rural Advisory Council

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CANBERRA 15.8.74


The Australian Minister for Agriculture, Senator Ken Wriedt,

today announced the composition of the National Rural Advisory Council.

"This body", said Senator Wriedt, "has been formed to

provide me with detailed advice on farmers’ attitudes to policy matters

affecting primary producers and on matters of concern to the rural sector


The Council was a further step by the Government to improve

communications with farmers. It followed the implementation of regular

"Rural Forums".whereby farm organisation leaders discuss industry

problems with the Government. .

Those appointed to the Council are: I

Mr T.H. Bryant,

Mr C.R. Cunningham,

Mr' F.M. Davidson,

Mr: S.C. Ferguson,

Mr J. Heffernan,

Mr J.H.S. Heussler,

Mr K.R. James,

Mr R.S. Ritchie,

Miss D. Ross,

Mr M. Shanahan,

Mr' G.R, Sample,

Mr W. Truss,

Mr J. Walsh,

New South Wales

Western Australia

New South Wales

Tasmania (



South Australia


New South Wales

South Australia



Western Australia

The Minister said he had appointed Mr Jim Heffernan as

Chairman of the Council and Mr John Heussler as Deputy Chairman . The

Executive Officer will be Mr Brian Norwood, Private Secretary to

Senator Wriedt. |

"In appointing this group, I have sought to find those

people most able to perform the role outlined. I have taken no real

regard of any member’s State of residence or the farming organisation

he represents- I want the best people for the job".

- 2


Senator Wriedt explained that the Australian Farmers1

Federation, the Australian Woolgrowers and Graziers' Council, the

Country Women's Association of Australia and the Australian Council of

Rural Youth had submitted names for his consideration in appointing the

Council. G

"This, I believe, is the first time that any Australian

government has formed such a group. It will meet as necessary and will

have regular contact with me. I believe the Council will adopt a non-

parochial approach and exchange views with me in a frank manner".

The Minister said that initial appointments to the Council

would be for twelve months. Thereafter, a series of appointments for one

two and three years would be made.

The first meeting of the Council will be held in Melbourne

on Thursday, 29 August.

Attached are notes on each of the members of the Council.


Mr. T.H. (Harry) Bryant, New South Wales

Cowra. Aged 49. A member of the Australian Meat Board and the N.S.W. Sheep Meats Marketing Board. A grain and fat lamb producer who has been Chairman of the U.F.W.A. Meat Committee since 1970 and a member of U.F.W.A. General Council since 1967.

Mr. C.R. (Charles) Cunningham, Western Australia .

Karlgarin. Aged 39. A wheat/wool farmer and member of the Farmers Union of Western Australia.

Mr. F.M. (Michael) Davidson, New South Wales . .

Young. Aged 46. Vice President of the Graziers Association of N.S.W. and a member of the Association's Executive Committee and General Council. Mr. Davidson represents his Association on the Australian Woolgrowers and Graziers Council and represents that body on the Australian Wool

Industry Conference.

Mr. S.C. (Stewart) Ferguson, Tasmania.

Springfield. Aged 45 and holds a diploma in Agriculture from the Hawkesbury Agricultural College. A woc>l, meat and coarse grain producer. Mr. Ferguson has. been President of the Tasmanian Farmers Federation since 1972.

Mr. J. (Jim) Heffernan, Victoria · ·

Bringalbert. Aged 48. A former electrical engineer, Mr. Heffernan has been a grain, wool and meat producer for 27 years. Previously President of the Australian Primary Producers Union, he is currently President of the Victorian Farmers Union and a member of the Australian Wool Industry Conference.

Mr. J.H.S Heussler, Queensland

Morelia. Aged 43. President, Graziers Association of Central and Northern Queensland and Vice President of the United Graziers Association of Queensland. A representative of the Association on the A.W.G.C. and a member of the Australian Wool Industry Conference. Trustee of the Australian Pastoral Research Trust. Mr. Heussler is a sheep and cattle farmer. '



Mr. K.R. (Ralph) James., South Australia

Lucindale. Aged 58, Mr. James is a farmer and grazier. He has been a member of the Council of the Stockowners Association of South Australia for some years and since 1972 a member of the Association's Executive. . Mr. James

is a member of the Vermin Advisory Committee of the South Australian Department of Lands.

Mr. R.S. (Robin) Ritchie, Victoria

Penshurst. 37 years of age. M , A „ (Natural Sciences). A sheep and cattle farmer who is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Graziers Association of Victoria. Vice President of the Red Angus Society.

Miss D. (Dorothy) Ross, New South Wales

. Holbrook. J.P. Immediate Past State President of Country Womens Association of N.S.W. A member of the Murray Regional Advisory Council and the Council of the Riverina College of Advanced Education. Miss Ross raises Angus

cattle and Connemara ponies on her property. .

Mr. M. (Mike) Shanahan, South Australia

Freeling. Aged 37. A wheat farmer and member of the Australian Wheat Board. Senior Vice President of the United. Farmers and Graziers of Ξ.Α. since 1971. Has been a member of the S.'A. Wheat Advisory Committee since 1972.

Mr. G.R. (Bob) Sample, Queensland

Aged 35, B.Ec. Vice President of the Queensland Dairymans Organisation and represents that organisation on the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation and the Queensland Council of Agriculture. A dairy farmer and agricultural consultant, Mr. Sample is President of the Queensland Division . of the Arab Horse Society of Australia..

Mr. W. (Warren) Truss, Queensland .

Kingaroy. Aged 25, a grain and bean farmer. President of the Australian Council of Rural Youth. Member of the Queensland Grain Growers Association.

Mr. J. (John) Walsh, Western Australia

Doodlakine. Aged 42, A wool, meat and cereal producer from the central area of Western Australia. Senior Vice President of the Farmers Union of W.A. and a delegate to the Australian Farmers Federation.