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Farmer's Demonstration

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Statement by the leader of the Country Party, Mr. Anthony

The Government would be unwise to see today’s farmers1 demonstration

1fizzer’ as a true indication of farmers’ feelings throughout Australia.

Today1s .attempt to demonstrate rural concern seems to have ignored

several basic agricultural requirements, which all farmers should

understand: the need for proper preparation, cultivation, watering and


There seems to have been inadequate preparation (few farmers knew

there was to be a demonstration), inadequate cultivation through

organisation and co-ordination, and inadequate watering and. fertilizing

through effective publicity.

What today's events underline is the need for farmers to

co-ordinate their efforts.

. There are three points that must be made: ■

. protest must be accompanied by positive policies .

' . much greater co-ordination must be achieved, involving

the established farm organisations and, mo t importantly,

co-ordination of a firm, common approach with clear and . strongly-supported statements about what farmers want done . there must be an understanding that the fight is a

political one, and farmers must speak with a strong political

voice through a strong political organisation.

The unfortunate thing about today’s badly-organised demonstration

is that it will give the Government an opportunity to claim that

farmers are happy with the Whitlam Government.

But I repeat that the Government.would be making a serious mistake if it took this view.

Canberra .

20 November 1974