The world is heading towards famine. Meanwhile in Victoria, Australia….

The world is heading towards famine. Meanwhile in Victoria, Australia….

I came across this today

Headlines for May 10, 2022 — Australians Barred from Growing Food

(left, Daniel Andrews, Gauleiter of Victoria, Ausstralia)
The pain is not over folks. The shit will just get more fragrant.
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Premier Dan Andrews is passing a bill that prohibits people from growing their own food.
The Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 has had its second reading in parliament. Biosecurity is stated as the reason for changes.
New Zealand Government is sending letters to unvaxxed people – telling them that if they are not vaxed by the 1st June 2022, or they will face $15,000 fine or 6 months in prison

Comments on Reddit-

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“We were duped into giving our weapons in by the Australian Government when they sent
that fucking lunatic into Port Arthur with a machine gun and a bloodstream full of meth and adrenaline.

“You tell me what we can say or do unarmed that’ll deter the cunts from raping us on a daily basis fuck ya.

“Canada is bad but no where as bad as Australia, no killing of puppies by government during the pandemic to save us from the covid19 here, no app to make sure you don’t leave your home no police brutality on the scale of what was seen in Australia.
It didn’t seem right, so I delved a little bit further and found this on the Restore Democracy in Australia site

While we’ve been busy on the federal election, dopey Dan is at it again. Lucky for us, he doesn’t have long left in parliament 😊

Seems the Victorian government is soon to deploy a fresh gang of authorised officers with extraordinary powers to enter, search and demand ‘assistance’ from people in the agricultural sector. 

Again, more overreach, more power and more control.

https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/Agriculture-Legislation-Amendment-Bill-2022?fbclid=IwAR3sHE83n-Z6jORC3uDiBv1i-nHPQfloUhzytlw0ITDl1q9QGD_dNLA_kG0

It has been hard to find anything on social media or anywhere else but finally I found the following which seems to clarify what it is all really about

New ag bill – A NAIL IN COFFIN FOR VICTORIAN FARMERS?

The Victorian Labor Government and the APVMA are pushing Victorian Farmers to the brink of collapse.

Farmers are being nailed by Dan Andrews.

The Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, introduced to Parliament on 5 April 2022, has already had its second reading moved (a day after the first reading) and with debate resumed on 3 May 2022.  It looks as though Labor are looking to push this bill through and make it law very quickly heralding significant changes to the current agricultural/farming legislative framework.

Being 183 pages long, few have had neither the time nor ability to understand the serious implications of the numerous amendments, including, we believe, those MPs expected to vote on this.

Labor MPs will most likely toe the party line and each vote to pass the bill in both the Senate and House of Representatives.  For those MPs who wish to think instead of follow and vote critically, the pages ahead will provide background on the great risk this bill poses to our farmers, our soil and our food security.  

Should this bill become law, it will:

  1. Have a negative impact on farmers.
  2. Benefit the agrochemical industry.
  3. Allow the powerful international agrochemical to lobby our politicians and influence decision making here in Victoria.

There are many facets of the  Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, which are of concern. In particular the area of increasing government and governmental agency power over farmers – for example, new powers granted to ‘authorised officers’ who in exercising their function risk violating farmers’ personal, property and privacy rights.

Surprise visits from ‘authorised officers’ who do not even have to reveal their identity, who can take away their materials, destroy their crops and administer unreasonably large fines could become a reality for Australian farmers if this bill passes.  Farmers in this country already have high rates of suicide, with one death every 10 days. Do they really need  to work in a more aggressive, regulatory landscape, which potentially jeopardises their physical and mental wellbeing?

The general public has been feeling feels disregarded and uncared for.  And this has been the general sentiment for a few years now.  Laws that give government the ability to implement unusual surveillance and control were passed without the general public being aware this was taking place.  It wasn’t long ago that legislation was also passed that limited the freedom of media.  Are we about to allow the passing of this bill that would seek to destroy the backbone of this country, our farmers, happen?  What is the rationale behind the Labor party introducing this bill before Parliament in the first place when it places the needs of farmers well behind those of the agrochemical industry?

WHY ARE FARMERS SUFFERING?

Truth be told, Australian farmers are not having their needs met. Their crops are suffering due to the cumulative effects of soil erosion, droughts, fires and floods we have experienced for decades. Whilst farmers are unable to change the impact of changing weather on their crops, the issue of soil erosion is now one which they have the power to deal with.  Farmers are now increasingly aware that the primary cause of soil erosion is paradoxically from the very chemicals which were meant to make food grow.  Over time, these chemicals are killing off the essential ingredients for growth – soil biodiversity and soil immunity.

Soils are amongst the most complex ecosystems on Earth, containing nearly a quarter of the planet’s biodiversity. Without healthy soil, nutritious food cannot grow. Unhealthy soil leads to weak and nutritionally deficient plants, and the farmer gets caught up in the vicious cycle of using pesticides and chemicals to defend against disease and insects, whilst making their soil sicker.  This leads to soil abundant in pesticides, which in turn grows food that is potentially contaminated by pesticides and nutritionally deficient.

It was only recently discovered the extent to which pesticides harm the organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils. A 2021 article in Scientific American entitled ‘Pesticides Are Killing the Organisms That Keep Our Soils Healthy” refers to the most comprehensive 2021 peer review study ever conducted on how pesticides affect soil health published in Frontiers in Environmental Science.  

Like the United States Department of Agriculture or Farm Service Agency, our Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has not considered the harms of these pesticides on our soil in the Australian safety reviews.  Here in Australia, we have approved several hundred pesticides without any regard to how these chemicals can harm our soil and what makes it ‘alive’, the soil microbiome.  The use of these pesticides is directly contributing to our food insecurity by killing, or eroding our soil.  

In short, the agrochemical approach to farming puts all Australians in a vulnerable position.

HOW THIS BILL COULD THREATEN OUR FUTURE?

“The APVMA is a corporate Commonwealth entity company that was established in 1993 as an independent statutory authority responsible for assessing and registering pesticides and veterinary medicines proposed for supply in Australia…”

This is not a reflection of the reality.  There is evidence that the so-called independence of regulatory decisions made by the APVMA has been compromised by political donations to Labor and the Coalition.  For example, in the 2017-18 financial year alone, Bayer donated $40,600 to Labor and $42,540 to the Coalition, with Australian arm of the international body CropLife donating $34,271 to Labor and $22,300 to the Coalition.  CropLife is a highly influential international trade association and lobbyist group for the agro-chemical industry, and it so happens that the Managing Director of Bayer Australia, is the Vice President of their board.

The APVMA was also the subject of a Senate Inquiry in 2018. The Greens Dissenting Report issued in response to the Senate Inquiry further questioned the independence of the APVMA.  We cite, “…There were genuine concerns voiced in the inquiry about the independence of the decisions of the APVMA and the Ministers who influence them. Multiple witnesses pointed to the relationship between political parties and the agricultural chemical sector, singling out the role of both corporate donations to political parties and the influence of lobbyists with high level connections to political elites.” https://apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication/95311-apvma_fraud_control_policy_and_plan_2021-23.pdf

In 2018 Australia’s peak cancer body called for an independent review into the world’s most popular weedkiller, ‘Roundup’ whose active ingredient glyphosate, has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Watch the ABC program Four Corners’ expose on the use of Glyphosate in Australia, and its effect on farmers who had developed the disease, the ‘Monsanto Papers’, here. 

Study after study has shown that to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are associated with an increased risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (for example, a study published in the journal Mutation Research).  Even Bayer (which has purchased Monsanto) last year agreed to spend more than $10 billion USD to settle almost 100,000 lawsuits alleging that Roundup caused cancer.

Professor Lin Fritschi is a cancer epidemiologist with a particular interest in occupational causes of cancer says, “If an industry pays for a service, they are presuming they will get a service, and it is possible the government agency sees themselves as a service industry instead of seeing themselves as a protection for the Australian people.”

Most disturbingly, the Corners Program states, “In 2014 CropLife claimed credit when federal parliament removed the requirement for chemicals like glyphosate to be regularly re-approved.  In its annual report CropLife boasted in what was a momentous achievement. CropLife’s vigorously and targeted advocacy campaign, resulted in passage of this bill“.

The Greens Dissenting Report also states;

1.10      The irony is that a mandatory scheme for re-approval and re-registration of registered products was introduced in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2013, but this was repealed before coming into effect by the Coalition Government with the support of the Labor Opposition in 2014.

1.11      The need for such a system is overwhelming. As identified by Ms Joanna Immig from the National Toxics Network, many chemicals currently approved and in use in Australia have not been reviewed since the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 began. Even more concerning, there are products that have been under continuous review for decades, including numerous chemicals that are already banned in many overseas constituencies.

Glyphosate is now restricted or banned in 22 countries and growing. Why is it is still an integral part of our Australian farms and finding its way into the Australia diet?  It is being applied to crops in low lying areas, and the effects of the use of this agrochemical, amongst others (such as, Clothianidin) are far-reaching and felt as far north as the Great Barrier Reef which is slowly being poisoned by soil run off containing these herbicides and long-acting insecticides.

How can we trust the AVPMA, when it is in bed with the lobby group, Croplife and is contributing to illness and the destruction of our land? 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=JszHrMZ7dx4%3Ffeature%3Doembed

The Greens Dissenting Report also states;

1.10      The irony is that a mandatory scheme for re-approval and re-registration of registered products was introduced in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2013, but this was repealed before coming into effect by the Coalition Government with the support of the Labor Opposition in 2014.

1.11      The need for such a system is overwhelming. As identified by Ms Joanna Immig from the National Toxics Network, many chemicals currently approved and in use in Australia have not been reviewed since the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 began. Even more concerning, there are products that have been under continuous review for decades, including numerous chemicals that are already banned in many overseas constituencies.

Such a Bill allegedly allowing Clothianidin and Glyphosate in the form of Roundup to be applied to crops in low lying areas which drains into The Great Barrier Reef. In turn, the poisoning of The Great Barrier Reef is taking place due to the impact of herbicides and long-acting insecticides.

There are hundreds of chemicals that need to be reviewed in the light of the harm they may cause to our soils and our farmed foods.

These are just some examples of why we need to question the trustworthiness of the AVPMA, highly intertwined and influenced by lobbyist CropLife.  

Are there too many red flags about where their vested interest are? In the section ahead, you will understand how the Bill may even be a response to the current threats to those interests. 

THE FUTURE OF SOIL AND FOOD

No, it is not all bad news!

There is a new approach to farming sweeping the landscape, that is rebuilding hope, confidence and the pathway to a soil and food secure future.

Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming practices that increase biodiversity, enrich soil, increases yield, improves watersheds and captures carbon in the soil, so building resilience to climate instability. It seeks to mimic nature, so benefiting from her wisdom. Grazing animals in their natural setting gradually improve and revitalise soil, water, vegetation, biodiversity and animal systems.

Instead of chemical pesticides and fertilisers to push the limits of production, regenerative agriculture progressively improves the ecosystem in which that food is grown.

With the implementation of Regenerative Agriculture, and chemical-free organic inputs, farmers can effectively reverse soil erosion, build soil health, capture and store carbon, while providing farmer and the consumer the highly nutritious foods we need for health. There is a exponential growth in Australia in the sharing of this method.

Our farmers could be in control of their own destiny. If you want to know more, the Netflix documentary Kiss the Ground provides a glimpse of a much better future.

The coming of Regenerative Agriculture and inevitable shift to organic chemical-free soil health focused farming methods heralds a massive financial threat to Agro-chemical interests.  

SO WHAT DOES THIS BILL MEAN FOR FARMERS?

The Bill sitting in Parliament at this moment is an unusual bill in how it seeks to:

1. Implement a highly regulated surveillance approach to agriculture.

2. Implement an ‘AVPMA approved only’ approach to what farmers and urban farmers like us may use on their crops.

3. Support increased powers of regulation over the old and failing systems of expensive agro-chemical inputs into farms.

4. Neglects privacy and/or trespassing protections. 

5. Provide chemical suppliers the ability to refuse financial mediation that bankrupts farmers.

None of these new ‘powers’ will help our farmers mental health, their soil health, crop yields, or the nutritional needs of our nation.

Could this bill undermine the regenerative organic approach to chemical-free farming? 

WHAT DO OUR FARMERS NEED?

Farmers first and foremost need the freedom to control their own destiny. Our farmers need a government that supports them in best practice farming.

We are blessed with abundant land, so why would we not encourage the wise use of her?

A future vision based on innovation and healing the soil will also relieve the enormous pressure on their personal, financial and social wellbeing. 

We could be world leaders in:

  • Regenerative Agricultural practices
  • Carbon Capture Solutions
  • Innovation in Industrial Hemp Production.
  • And more….

This is where the future food security of our country and the financial success in Australian farming lies.

DEEP DIVE INTO THE BILL

The bill sitting in Parliament at this moment is an unusual one in how it seeks to:

1. Implement a highly regulated surveillance approach to agriculture.

2. Implement an ‘AVPMA approved only’ approach to what farmers and urban farmers may use on their crops.

3. Support increased powers of regulation over the old and failing systems of expensive agro-chemical inputs into farms.

4. Neglects privacy and/or trespassing protections. 

5. Provide chemical suppliers the ability to refuse financial mediation that bankrupts farmers.

None of these new ‘powers’ will help our farmers, they will only destroy their mental health, the health of their, their crop yields, and the nutritional needs of our nation.

This bill could undermine the regenerative organic approach to chemical-free farming.

WHAT DO OUR FARMERS NEED?

Farmers first and foremost need the freedom to control their own destiny. Our farmers need a government that supports them in best practice farming.

We are blessed with abundant land, so why would we not encourage the wise use of her?

A future vision based on innovation and healing the soil will relieve the enormous personal and financial pressures placed on our farmers.

We could be world leaders in:

  • Regenerative Agricultural practices
  • Carbon Capture Solutions
  • Innovation in Industrial Hemp Production.
  • And more….

This is where the future food security of our country and the financial success in Australian farming lies.

DEEP DIVE INTO THE BILL

Here are some of the sections to consider;

1- The purpose of the act is to amend the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 in relation to inspection and enforcement;

Under section 1 (iv)- to make other miscellaneous and consequential amendments

  • What defines miscellaneous? 
  • Are the inspectors allowed to make up miscellaneous rules as they go?

2- Division 1—Inspection and enforcement powers

In section 4(1) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 insert the following definitions-

“inspect, in relation to a power to inspect, includes search; place includes;

(A)  ANY LAND; AND

(B)  ANY TEMPORARY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE;

Could this mean?

  • A complete breach of your privacy and permitting trespassing?
  • Does this include private homes and backyards?
  • What stops a disgruntled inspector from constantly pursuing and harassing a particular farmer or a group of farmers? 
  • Does this mean the APVMA Inspectors can also intrude on organically certified farms that sit outside their regulatory authority?
  • Are they allowed to shut down organic farms for non-compliance with their scheduled toxic chemicals and pesticides?

54 – Power to enter and inspect

(1) An authorised officer may at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place, other than a place occupied as a residence, and inspect anything found at that place, if the authorised officer reasonably suspects that-

(a)  any fertiliser or stock food has been, is being or may be manufactured at the place; or

(b)  any chemical product, fertiliser or stock food has been, is being or may be sold, kept, stored or prepared for use at the place; or

(c) there is any equipment at the place that has been, is being or may be used in connection with the use or manufacture of a chemical product, fertiliser or stock food; or

(d)  there is an aircraft at the place that has been, is being or may be used for aerial spraying; or

(e)  agricultural spraying has been, is being or may be carried on at the place; or

(f)  there is any contaminated stock or agricultural produce, or plants from which contaminated agricultural produce is likely to be derived, at the place; or

(g)  the place has been contaminated by the use of an agricultural chemical product; or

(h)  the place is occupied or apparently occupied by a person who holds, or whom the authorised officer reasonably suspects is required to hold, a licence, certificate or permit under this Act, the regulations or an Order under this Act.

(2)   An authorised officer may at any reasonable time enter any place, other than a place occupied as a residence, if the authorised officer reasonably believes that it is necessary to do so in order to access another place that may be entered under subsection (1).

(3)   In exercising any powers under this section, an authorized officer must—

(a)  cause as little inconvenience as possible; and

(b)  not remain at the place any longer than is reasonably necessary.

Could this mean?

  • APVMA has grounds to act outside the scope of its legislative power and confiscate organic inputs, fertilisers or stock food?
  • Does this mean a disgruntled farmer or corporation could contaminate a farm in an attempt to cripple the farmer financially?  
  • If a corporate owned farm dumps chemicals into a waterway that consequently affects neighbouring farms? Are they also reviewed and potentially fined? 

54AC- Announcement on entry

2) If the occupier, apparent occupier, driver or person in charge is not present when an authorised officer exercises a power of entry under this Division, the authorised officer must, on leaving the place, vehicle, vessel or aircraft, leave a notice setting out-

Could this mean?

  • The APVMA or authorised officers can enter our farmers properties without them being home?

54AD- Persons assisting authorised officer

(1) An authorised officer may request the assistance of any person for the purpose of entry and inspection of a place, vehicle, vessel or aircraft and the taking of any other action under this Division.

Could this mean?

  • Any person?
  • Does this mean they could engage a local mobster?
  • Or a union thug to join them on their enforcement conquest?

54AH- Taking photographs and making recordings, sketches or drawings

An authorised officer may at any reasonable time take photographs, make any audio, visual or audiovisual recordings or make any sketches or drawings.

Could this mean?

  • We are legalising spying on farmers?
  • Have we not already seen this illegally occur with Sarah Rees
  • What would stop an “authorised officer” from taking photo’s of farmers and their children?
  • What would stop an “authorised officer” from blackmailing farmers in the situation that compromising images are taken?

(c) Remove the document for as long as is reasonably necessary to make copies or take extracts.

Could this mean?

  • What type of documents? Further into the legislation, the officer may seek the farmers financials without reason or cause.

In section 57(3) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992, after “produce” insert “in a court of competent jurisdiction as a debt”.

20 Destruction notice

(1)  Insert the following heading to section 58 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992- “Notice to destroy or otherwise deal with chemical products and agricultural produce”.

Could this mean?

  • The “Authoritarian Officers” administer these regulations on organic farms and agricultural produce? 
  • What are the thresholds for destruction?
  • Is it only chemicals that are administered under the AgVet code?

After section 19(9) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 insert

(10)   If there is an approved label for a chemical product at the time of use, a reference in this section to the label is a reference to the approved label for the chemical product at that time (whether or not the approved label is marked on or attached to the package of the chemical product), unless—

(a)  the chemical product is used in accordance with written instructions issued by a veterinary practitioner in the course of veterinary practice; or

(b)  the chemical product is a prescribed chemical product or is used in prescribed circumstances or both.

Could this mean?

  • Organically certified products and labels are included in the scope of the Act?

Division 3—Administrative arrangements

27  Definitions

(1)  In section 4(1) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992

  •   (a)  insert the following definition— “Secretary means Secretary to the Department;”;
  •   (b)  the definition of chief administrator is repealed;
  •   (c)  for the definition of Department substitute— “Department means Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions;”;
  •  (d)  the definition of Secretary to the Department of Health is repealed.

Could this mean?

  • The removal of the Health Department from all chemicals used?
  • The inability of the Health Department to determine links between human health and toxic chemicals?
  • Shouldn’t the Health Department be made aware of all chemicals used to ensure that they are able to isolate human and animal illnesses?

An authorised officer may, at any time without a warrant, search any parcel, basket, bag, box or receptacle for any thing which the authorised officer reasonably believes has been, is being, or is likely to be, used in the importing, keeping, trading or releasing of pest animals or noxious weeds in contravention of this Act, and may do any one or more of the following-

  • (a)  inspect and take photographs (including video recordings) of any thing found during the course of the search;
  • (b)  with whatever assistance is required, take and keep samples of any of the following found during the course of the search
  • (e) seize any thing found during the course of the search if the authorised officer believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to seize the thing in order to prevent.

A person is not excused from producing a document or record or answering a question if required to do so under this Part on the ground that the production of the document or record or the response to the question would tend to incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty.

(3) Despite subsection (1), if, before producing a document or record or answering a question required under this Part a natural person claims that the production of the document or record or the response to the question would tend to incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty, the document or record or response is not admissible in evidence against the person in any criminal or civil proceeding, or in any proceeding for the imposition of a penalty other than in a proceeding for an offence under section 84(e).

What could this mean?

  • This section means the farmer or person is denied rights to legal council.
  • The farmers property can be searched without a warrant.
  • The authorised officer can take what they like.

56 application for authority to cultivate and process low-thc cannabis

(1)  For section 62(1) of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 substitute—

58 New section 63A inserted After section 63 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 insert-

63A  when Secretary must refuse to issue authority

If the Secretary is notified under section 63(3)(c) that the Chief Commissioner of Police opposes the issuing of the authority, the Secretary must not issue the authority.”

The entire section through to section 80 sets a very concerning precedent that allows the Chief Police commissioner the power to overrule the secretary, whilst allowing the Chief Police Commissioner the ability to suppress the decision by way of “protected information”. 

Victoria Agriculture Amendment Bill 2022 – Part 3 -The plan to turn Werribee into a super city

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