Cattle producers launch class action

NORTHERN cattle producers and exporters have launched a class action against the commonwealth, challenging the “reckless’’ decision by the Gillard government in 2011 to ban live animal exports to Indonesia. Northern Territory cattle producers Dougal and Emily Brett who run Waterloo Station, about 540km from Katherine, are the lead applicants. The couple had cattle worth about $1.4 million in their yards ready to be exported to Indonesia when trade was halted. The ban up-ended their lives and their industry. The ban up-ended the lives of thousands of people and the industry and represents one of the worst decisions ever made by the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle.  I was travelling through North West Western Australia and the Northern Territory shortly after the shock announcement and the hatred against the government was palpable. Ludwig, the minister who closed down the industry, will never be welcomed west of Brisbane yet I notice he is still a Queensland Senator.  It's a pity he can't be held financially responsible for the decision but unfortunately, any costs awarded will just taken out of federal revenue and only people who remember will apportion the costs, albeit only in their mind, against the costs of electing an ALP government. Australia never really recovered from the Whitlam experiment and now we have billions to sort out from the most recent ALP experiment.

17 comments

  • Class actions after poor government decisions resulting in negative outcomes for Australians – great idea!
    I wonder how an action taken by conscripts for compensation against the Coalition’s decision to send them to war in peace time would go.
    There are plenty of similarities to the suspension of the live cattle trade.
    Both decisions were precipitate, grossly unfair, ammoral, and disadvantaged a specific minority of the population.
    In the case of conscription, the decision killed many, wounded more, and destroyed the lives of others and disrupted their families.
    AFAIK, none of the people disadvantaged by the suspension of the live trade were actually killed as a consequence.
    Labor stopped a trade in cattle as a sop to public opinion. The coalition created a trade in young men, again as a sop to public opinion.
    They’re directly comparable, when you think about it.

    • I believe, as do many others that read your posts, that you really do need some form of counselling in relation to your deep seated concerns about your treatment at the hands of the Government of the day. If you can see some correlation between destroying the live cattle trade with Indonesia based on untested claims by groups with a vested interest in such an action, and the bolstering of the military forces by a method commonly used throughout the globe (and still currently used in many countries), there is something seriously wrong with your thinking processes.

    • It has become impossible to parody you numbers, everything comes back to “I was conscripted”.

      We could actually turn it into a drinking game, numbers mentions conscription, drink, does so utterly out of context, drink, blames Govt, drink, whines about how unfair it was, drink, raises the almost certainly fictional conservative politician who was mean to him (you’ve lied so often now that I get you just make up unverifiable crap to support your positions) – drink.

      The problems with the numbers drinking game are that it is potentially lethal and I’m not sure that I want the last thing I ever see to be more of numbers incessant whining.

      • There was a time when playing a drinking game that would ensure me legend status would just be a challenge. This game would surely be a form of suicide if attempted.

  • Out of 60,000 + conscripts this blog has been lucky enough to attract numbers. How fucking lucky can you be !!!

  • deep seated concerns about your treatment at the hands of the Government of the day

    Show me where I have complained of “mistreatment”. Nowhere have I ever posted that I was singled out. I was in very good company, that of thousands of young men who were unfortunate enough to have their birth dates balloted.

    As a group, these men were “singled out” and sent to fight in an undeclared war whilst their peers carried on with their lives unmolested by government. This tyranny has never been foisted on Australians before or since. It was cynical and cowardly politics, and the greatest error Menzies made, coming back to bite the Coalition on the bum in the seventies.

    My rancour about conscription was there, but it was different. It was directed inward, in that I compromised my personal beliefs and values by rolling over and going along with my call-up. I made an easy rationalisation. I decided that it was better to take my chances in the army than in the magistrate’s court. I had coldly calculated the odds. At this time, most infantry battalions were losing between twenty and thirty diggers each tour. I could manage those odds.

    Once, at age 20, I had made the decision to go along National Service, I did everything in my power to avoid service in Vietnam. This included requesting a non-combatant Corps allocation (Education Corps – I am a teacher) and 1RAR because it returned to Oz at the end of 1969. I got infantry and 7RAR.

    The fact that I ended up in a rifle section was ironically not part of that calculation, coming as it did after I’d made the initial decision not to resist call-up, and after I’d been through recruit and corps training. I won the wager and survived. During the course of the conflict, five hundred Australians lost this bet.

    Strangely, perhaps, although I was a very unwilling soldier, I took pride in my soldiering. I did my level best to do my job as well as I could.

    I don’t regret my service. I took plenty out of the two years which has helped me forge a successful career, and I made some very good lifelong friends. One of the things I learned was never again to compromise my personal beliefs and always to call bullshit when I saw it.

    A good example of this bullshit is the fable of the “opt-out” parade. Mark Dapin’s recently released book – The Nasho’s War -http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670077052/nashos-war-australia-s-national-servicemen-and-vietnam puts paid to this. He spent three years and conducted hundreds of interviews with ex-Nashos, so his writing is well-researched.

    If you are unable to get your head around these contradictions, viz, that at the same time I can be proud of my service, but that the war I fought in was an absurdity, that those who died should be honored, even if the cause was lost, that Vietnam Veterans (Nashos and Regs) were despicably used by the government of the day, even as they performed in the best traditions of the Australian military, then you’re the one with the problem.

    I’ve taught quite a few disabled kids who have difficulty maintaining two simultaneous trains of thought if they are contradictory. It’s often the result of an acquired brain injury.

    What’s your excuse?

    • Booby, seek out some treatment old mate. It appears that Roly and I have similar recollections about “opting out”. Two to one would indicate we have the balance of probabilities on our side. Not having to balls to front Grey at the time and denials about it now does not help your case in your continual attacks on those not of a socialist bent. Singling out must have a different meaning to you than the rest of us. Not many conscripts I know consider themselves unfortunate by your standards. Still rely on comparison to unfortunate children for comments, even when attacking another. Tsk Tsk.

      • Sometimes I doubt your capacity to read simple English.

        I write – I took plenty out of the two years which has helped me forge a successful career, and I made some very good lifelong friends. One of the things I learned was never again to compromise my personal beliefs and always to call bullshit when I saw it.

        You write – Not many conscripts I know consider themselves unfortunate by your standards.

        Your reading that I consider myself unfortunate by having made lifelong friends and learning never to compromise personal beliefs as a couple of the outcomes of my service indicates a comprehension problem.

        Booby, seek out some treatment old mate.

        What you need to seek out are remedial reading classes. I can recommend some good ones for adults with literacy issues.
        See – http://www.acal.edu.au/providers.htm

        • “that of thousands of young men who were unfortunate etc” your assumption not mine. As you have not interviewed “thousands” of vets it is an assumption which you will no doubt claim to be knowledge gleaned from speaking to the other have a dozen vets that still speak to you. At no time did I intimate that you feel unfortunate. There’s a big difference between unfortunate and “hard done by”. It appears you should take up the opportunity to further your comprehension skills….perhaps you know how to get that for free/on the taxpayer.

  • I recall as a young officer at Puckapunyal in 1968/71 that national service men were asked whether they volunteered for overseas service or preferred to only serve in Australia, and most of them signed to say they would volunteer for overseas service, perhaps on the chance of being posted to a unit which was to go to Malaysia or Singapore, and that is the chance they took. I knew some who said they only wishes to serve in Australia, did not volunteer for overseas service, and did not leave Australia for the whole of their service, so was that just in Puckapunyal or was that the policy

    • A switched on CO would have to consider removing recalcitrant diggers from his command. I think it was broader than Pucka.
      Good to hear from you.

  • I personally appeared on an opt out parade in front of Lt Colonel Grey, before embarkation for South Vietnam.
    Dapin, out of 15,000 + Nasho’s, interviewed 150 of them for his book. The figures were there numbers, but you skip that bit as usual, wouldn’t have looked good would it.
    Dapin was also employed by the Fairfax media, a company currently drowning in it’s own garbage, a media that is favoured with the loony left, such as yourself. Were you interviewed numbers ? I know of no Nasho’s in my group that were interviewed for his book, and guess what, none of them read the SMH.
    Is your complete denial of the opt out parade because your case wasn’t even considered worthy of mention, you weren’t asked to attend ?
    You pick up Dapin’s book and immediately claim it as gospel, why ?
    He wasn’t there, he probably wasn’t even born then, but his word is preferable over someone that was actually there.
    You are a pathetic little person numbers, following the word of some dubious author out to make a quid rather than the word of, dare I say it, a fellow veteran.

    • I personally appeared on an opt out parade in front of Lt Colonel Grey, before embarkation for South Vietnam.

      That’s funny. I was a member of 7RAR at that time, and I have no such recollection. Nor do any members of the two different rifle sections that I served with. I’ve asked them, and they all say the same thing – that they’ve heard via the grapevine of these parades, but never personally participated.

      Dapin, out of 15,000 + Nasho’s, interviewed 150 of them for his book. The figures were there numbers, but you skip that bit as usual, wouldn’t have looked good would it.

      I’m not sure how many Nashos Dapin interviewed, but his book is a Ph D thesis through ADFA. Unless both the institution and his supervisor were strangely slack, he would have had to use research methods of sufficient standard to satisfy both. It’s reasonable to suggest that his research trumps your anecdote.

      Were you interviewed numbers ?

      Indeed I was. I spent a very interesting day with him in Brisbane, including a pleasant lunch at the Regatta, and a recorded interview. He had come across my book, and thought enough of my credibility to cite it as a source. I gave him the names of half a dozen of my section, and I’ve since heard that he interviewed some of them.

      Dapin was also employed by the Fairfax media,

      Big deal. I was once employed by the Army. What’s that supposed to mean?

      Is your complete denial of the opt out parade because your case wasn’t even considered worthy of mention, you weren’t asked to attend ?

      Now that is funny. You must have served in a different army. Never do I remember being “invited” to attend a parade. Nor did I have a “case” any different from the other Nashos I served with.

      The myth that every Nasho who served in Vietnam was a volunteer is well and truly busted. Let’s look at the evidence –

      For – Some veterans (mostly Regs) claim to remember opt-out parades. They are unable to remember dates and times.

      Against –

      Government policy of the time demanded that all Nashos had an obligation to serve in Vietnam if it was operationally required. Questions were asked in parliament in 1966 of the then Minister for the army, Malcolm Fraser, and he made it very clear that at no time were National Servicemen given the option to serve, or not to serve, in Vietnam. These questions are recorded in Hansard.

      – There is no record in the AWM, or anywhere else for that matter, of opt-out parades. Dapin searched forensically for such records, but they were not to be found.

      – The numbers of National Servicemen who opted to stay on after the end of their two-year commitment was so small as to be insignificant.

      The best conclusion that can be reached is that some commanders took it upon themselves to let it be known that it might have been possible to opt out. This appears to have been informal, dissolute, and frowned upon at higher command, and definitely at political level.

      The myth grew from this, as a convenient rationalisation by those supporting conscripts being sent to Vietnam. They knew quite well that the policy was morally bankrupt, but by inferring that all Nashos were volunteers they removed this issue, which otherwise stuck out like dogs’ balls.

      Of course, the whole issue begs the question that if the nation was at existential risk of being overrun by Communists, in the opinion of the Coalition voters of the day, why they weren’t knocking down the doors of the recruitment offices, and why conscription was necessary in the first place.

      • “The best conclusion that can be reached is that some commanders took it upon themselves to let it be known that it might have been possible to opt out. This appears to have been informal, dissolute, and frowned upon at higher command, and definitely at political level.”……good call, now with all your battalion contacts have a chat to some “A” Company personnel. I will not be drawn to comment further.

        • I know a couple of those A company too Bob, but as I said before it is obvious that D company wasn’t included in a lot of things.
          Unless of course there is a free lunch involved with some lefty author, and then go on and promote more of the same bullshit on this blog.
          In the lead up to the 1987 Welcome Home March, I was interviewed on television, along with others I might add, the interviewer received an award for that interview.
          Can’t see the same happening for Dapin’s book.

  • This is my last submission on this subject.
    There was only a small number in attendance on this parade, as I have mentioned before, I was probably asked to attend because I was married and had a 6 month old son at the time. I presume, not that I know for sure, that the others in attendance were similarly affected. I cannot give you their reasons for attendance because when I don’t know enough about a subject, I will not, unlike yourself give a comment.
    I do not pretend to know everything that happened in the battalion, nor would I presume to know what you got up to, nor do I care.
    I was a member of the battalion from walking out of Kapooka in December 1968 until I flew out of Nui Dat on 13th August 1970.
    You can also tell your mate Dapin that when we landed in Sydney we were met by a hostile crowd, many waving placards insinuating that we were child killers.
    It is you and your lefty mates that are trying to rewrite history through your hatred of having been conscripted in the first place. You give out opinions on subjects you have no knowledge of so that you can have your little 10 seconds of fame in a book that is probably going to be on the bottom shelf of some book warehouse gathering dust.
    And so to the author giving out a Ph D thesis through ADFA, so what!!
    Are you saying that there has never been an author given wrong information, as you did ?
    You told this bloke that there was definitely no opt out parade, you lied numbers, what you should have said is that you didn’t know, that you hadn’t witnessed such a parade. You and your mates have made this author publish a lie.
    I really don’t care what,in your mind, happened in those days, but don’t lump me and a lot of other Nasho’s, in with your own myths.

  • You told this bloke that there was definitely no opt out parade, you lied numbers, what you should have said is that you didn’t know,

    What I told him – which was the truth – was that I had never been involved in such a parade. I did not presume to answer for anyone else – just myself.

    Remember, the statement I’m challenging is that every Nasho who served in Vietnam was a volunteer.

    Given that he came to the conclusion that this was rubbish, after interviewing hundreds of Nashos, examining the written record, studying the news reports at the time, reading Hansard, and poring through a bibliography of over 60 monographs, and 14 essays, I’m comfortable that his version of the history is pretty close to the truth.

    But don’t take my word for it. Listen to a couple of Nashos who were members of D company, 6 RAR on 18th August 1966 –

    The army says they were given the option of pulling out if they didn’t want to go, but that’s bullshit. It just didn’t happen.
    (John Heslewood – 1730961)*

    and

    I don’t recall that they ever asked us. But I don’t recall anyone saying “I’m not going”. I think we were just expected. You were in there and you had to go.

    (John Robbins – 1731036)*

    In May 1966, the government explicitly and specifically banned the army from asking national servicemen if they would ever serve overseas.*

    *The Nashos’ War – Mark Dapin – Penguin Books – p96

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