4 FLAG Australia - Media Articles

Join Professor David Flint and Jai Martinkovits for the latest episode of Give Us Back Our Country on Safe Worlds TV.

David and Jai are joined by guest panelists Pauline Hanson's and Peter Manuel.

Pauline is well known for her strong political views and Peter is Executive Director of Food Producers Landowners Action Group (FLAG) Australia.

They both ask the ask the pertinent question - why do the politicians and bureaucracies hate our farmers?

To access the broadcast, please use the following link:


Low Flow Equals No Flow for Farmer  -  By Michael Simmons  - The Times Thursday October 13, 2011


BACK VALLEY - The construction of a low flow bypass around a dam at Back Valley has caused the dam to collapse in sections, rendering it useless.

Marcus Stafford has a sheep farm at Back Valley and in September, 2008 applied to the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board to build a three and a half mega litre dam on his property.

The dam was approved with 20 stipulations, one being the installation of a low flow bypass.

The cost to Mr Stafford was $19,030, but after the construction of the low flow bypass the dam wall collapsed over the low flow bypass.

"It's been three years since the approval of the dam and I put in a low flow bypass under the instructions and specifications of the NRM Board.

"The dam should be, like others in the area, at 100 per cent capacity, but the dam is only holding 20 per cent of water at present.

"This is due to the complete lack of commonsense of the NRM Board," Mr Stafford said.

Low flow bypasses are one of the many contentious issues in the Water Allocation Plans of the Western and Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges catchments.

Low flow bypasses benefit the environment and are constructed to catch water before it runs into a dam with the piping laid to go around the dam.

Mr Stafford believes low flow bypasses are going to continue to provide problems for farmers.

"The dam would only have cost me $5000 to $6000 and the low flow bypass has cost a further $14,000.

"... it is ridiculously technical, costly and unnecessary.

"It over complicates what normally should be a very simple structure and if the NRM are so keen to restrict flows why not just restrict where and the capacitates of dams on properties.   

"We don't need low flow bypasses, as washouts and structure failures to larger dams are going cause major problems to properties downstream.

"I now have to grin and bear what happens to the dam and wait for it to break again.

"It is a matter of time before something goes wrong and the dam will probably never fill," Mr Stafford said.

There are many farmers and landowners who are disappointed with the handling of the Water Allocation Plans by the NRM board and a 'Rally For Your Rights' is scheduled at the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club at Morgan Park on October 30 at 11am.





Article from The Courier Mt Barker February 12th 2014

No new dams can be constructed in the catchments of the Angas or Bremer rivers unless there is an equivalent reduction in capacity elsewhere in the region, under a new Water Allocation Plan for the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges.
The restrictions, which ban all new dams — even for stock and domestic purposes in those catchments — form part of a wider plan designed to better manage the entire region's water resources.
The broader plan, which affects water users on the eastern slopes of the ranges from Tungkillo to Goolwa, will require the 950 irrigators to have water licenses. Landholders will need to have meters on pumps taking water from dams with capacity greater than two mega-litres as well as on bores and take-off points on watercourses.
There is no requirement for meters or licenses for landholders using water for stock or domestic use.
Irrigators will receive an annual water allocation based on their current enterprise- from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources within the next 12 months. That allocation can be contested if property owners deem it unsatisfactory. The presiding member of the SA Murray Darling Basin Board, Sharon Starick, said the introduction of the plan would ensure water resources in the region were shared in a managed way into the future.
"The plan aims to protect water resources for current and future users by ensuring that new allocations are within sustainable limits and to minimise the risks of new use negatively affecting other water users and the environment," she said.
"A sustainable plan ... helps protect the investment made by enterprises that rely on water for their future prosperity.
"The water licensing system provides clarity and security."
Ms Starick, who farms grain and pigs near Palmer, said some catchments in the region such as the Angus and Bremer were at capacity and needed to be closely managed.
No more water usage would be allowed in these areas and the only way landholders could expand their enterprises would be by transferring water allocations from other irrigators within the specific catchment.
The plan also allows for rollover credits which allow all irrigators to carry over 10% of their unused water allocation into the following years — one year for surface water and watercourses and two years for bores. "This will help license holders to build up a buffer or bank of water in good years to assist in dry years," she said.


February 13th 2014

Just read the article by the presiding member of the SA MDB NRM Board, Sharon Starick, in today's The Courier, 12/02/2014 'Dam Ban to protect irrigators'.

Sharon Starick should get statistics on how many farmers are committing suicide each week.

Well Sharon don't bother to look. There's approximately 4 farmers committing suicide around Australia each week.

Our dams are not affecting irrigators, they are a completely different situation than the River Murray system.

Do you realise Sharon the amount of suicides because of the decrease in property values and properties will not be a viable business.

Also Sharon, we will not have water to protect our lives, properties and livestock in case of a bushfire.

Sharon says she's a farmer, balonny!! Farmers don't treat other farmers like this.
Sharon, have my phone for 1 day and hear first hand people say they are finished. This is the straw that breaks the camels back.

A decent person wouldn't even contemplate this ridiculous blanket ruling. It's beyond comprehension.

When you sit back in later life and see the legacy of this destruction to our farmers, I just hope your conscience will be pricked. But by then it will be to late.

So now our biggest money earner in the country is been destroyed.

Peter Manuel
Executive Director
FLAG Australia


Well done Clive! - from Peter Manuel

Dear Barnaby,

Keep fighting Barnaby for us endangered species’, why aren’t governments on both sides looking after us food producers more.
Considering we are the countries biggest money earner putting $155 billion in to the Australian economy each year. It is an absolute disgrace the way food producers are treated in this country.
Farmers in other countries get subsidized while we get pulverized. I have attached a flyer to this email you may be interested in our coming event, we would love to have you attend if you are able, check out our website to see what we are doing www.flagaustralia.org
Peter Manuel
Executive Director
PO Box 1062
Strathalbyn SA 5255
Ph 0447 002 083

Libs vow to Boost Food Exports    Advertiser Thursday 30th January, 2014
Sounds good BUT the heading should read "Libs vow to boost Food Production".
But how are we going to do it when power prices are so high and make it very costly to run our pumps. When the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) are restricting our water use on our Freehold properties, and now metering dams 2million litres and over in the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges?
When you put a meter on something, the next step is to charge and in this case it'll be for water that falls freely from the sky.
And by the way, we have paid for our infrastructure and now DEWNR want to put low flow bypasses on certain dams making water less available for food producers to grow a clean healthy food product for this country and export market.
Unless these restrictions are stopped immediately, we will not be able to grow enough food for ourselves let alone export market.
Come and speak to the food producers and get it straight from the horses mouth.
Very concerned,
Peter Manuel
Executive Director
FLAG Australia

SA State Election 2014
March 15 South Australian election 'rigged', claims Clive Palmer
Political Reporter Sheradyn Holderhead
The Advertiser
January 29, 2014
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has accused the State Labor Government of attempting to rig the March state election, complaining about the increased cost to nominate candidates.
The larger-than-life member for Fairfax in Queensland said the recent changes to SA's electoral laws made it "impossible" for minor parties to compete with Labor and Liberal on a level playing field.
The Palmer United Party missed the deadline to register the party in time for the March 15 election but was still running independent candidates, including Adelaide businesswoman Chandy Hunyh and former Adelaide United A-League star Kristian Rees in the Legislative Council.
"These laws which were passed by Labor and the Liberals are an outrage and are designed to maintain the two-party duopoly," Mr Palmer said.
Three of the bills failed, including two seeking to introduce optional preferential voting, and only one which "tinkered" with the system got support. It made it more difficult for candidates with little support to get on to the ballot.
The changes included:
ONLY registered parties, or grouped independents with 500 nominees, can lodge preference tickets.
INCREASING the cost of nomination from $450 to $3000.
ALLOWING only three descriptive words after the name of an independent candidate.
ON the ballot paper, political parties will be given preferential placement on the left, followed by grouped independents and other independents.
AN independent candidate now needs to find 250 nominees, up from the current requirement of two nominees.
Mr Palmer's prime concerns were the "massive increase" in the number of nominations, the rise in costs for candidates from $450 to $3000 and excluding independents from allocating preferences.
He said reform was drastically needed to improve Australia's voting systems at a national and state level.
"Australia's voting systems have been shown to be archaic in the 21st century and open to manipulation with voters still using pen and paper and no proof of identification required at polling booths," he said.
"The performance of the Australian Electoral Commission during the 2013 Federal election was appalling with more than 1300 votes going missing in the WA Senate recount and now we have a flawed system in place in SA.
"Our voting systems are simply enabling the major parties to maintain the status quo but the Palmer United Party is determined to push for electoral reform nationwide."
Mr Parnell said the Greens supported changes to stop "micro parties" who had no real support getting elected.
He said that the Government's changes went a bit too far stopping people getting on the ballot paper rather than into Parliament.
"The reason people were elected with such a small proportion of the vote was because of back- room preference deals and that bill failed by one vote," Mr Parnell said.
"The Government's back-up was making it harder to get on to the ballot paper and harder to get above the line, which is when you can lodge a preference ticket.
"There was a good case for raising the bar but we think the Government went a bit too far. But there is an argument that says if you can attract a few hundred signatures then you're not going to get elected."
Mr Parnell said the Greens continued to support optional preferential voting because only voters should have the right to select preferences, not parties doing deals.

Letter to the Editor
Stock Journal February 6th 2014

Hon Robert Brokenshire’s ( Right To Farm Bill) is badly needed to protect us food producers so we can grow a healthy food product for this state and our Export Market, after all food is a critical need, we can not live with out it. Robert mentions over zealous environmental activists, native vegetation or Natural Resource Management officers who are restricting our ability to farm our freehold land, “he is spot on”. Australia was built on agriculture; we used to ride on the sheep’s back. Agriculture puts $155 Billion into the Australian economy, don’t bit the hand that feeds us and our Export Market. FLAG AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED supports Hon Robert Brokenshire‘s (Right to Farm Bill)
Peter Manuel
Executive Director
Strathalbyn SA.

House of Assembly—No 216
As received from the Legislative Council and read a first time, 14 November 2013
LC GP 122-C: the Hon Robert Brokenshire MLC 1 South Australia
Right to Farm Bill 2012  can be found here:


ABC Article  A bill to boost farmers' rights rejected can be found here:

A letter by farmer Karl Braendler can be read here:

The Southern Argus, Thursday, January 9th. 2014 Vol.149 No.7763

Further to yesterday’s media release – Potential Domestic Gas Crisis through Gas Trading Exchanges, the Hon. Ann Bressington MLC spoke to media veteran Paul Makin who has called for the people of South Australia and the Nation to stand up and fight!
Both the Labor and Liberal corporations support open gas trading to the detriment of all Australians, both Residential and Business.
Please find a link to this radio interview and support this very important issue in your area of the media.


For further comment- Ann Bressington – 0448 887 277



The Southern Argus, Thursday September 5th, 2013

Enthusiastic crowd welcome opportunity to meet Pauline Hanson.

Comment by Peter Manuel 21st August 2013

Andrew Graham’s article is spot on.
Andrew mentions in his article about the NRM (Natural Resource Management) Board and the excessive interference by Government in the Farming sector needs to be reigned in.
He also says the NRM Act of 2004 is in need of a major overhaul!  I could not agree more Andrew.
If this so called environmental Department is not reigned in, we will be importing all our food from overseas and that puts Australia in a very dangerous and vulnerable situation,
Peter Manuel


You can read the entire article online here on Page 12 here

Please select a category you would like to view Date
Dams, bored hog precious water
Clare Peddie - The Advertiser
14 Sep 2012

Media Release: Consultation to start on new regulation for Mount Lofty Ranges
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

A reply to Media Release by Peter Manuel.
The Licensing of Dams is absolutely ridiculous when DEWNR are only guessing the volumes of our Dams.
FLAG AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED and the HONOURABLE ANN BRESSINGTON MLC have proven the Dept wrong by having Dams accurately measured by professional Water Surveyors at our own expense at a cost of thousands of dollars.
On one particular Dam DEWNR were One Million gallons over in their “guesstimate”. Guessing with our livelihoods is nothing short of criminal.
To think we are being restricted with the use of the water from our Dams and yet the water from MT Bold reservoir is being let out for so called environmental flow is nothing short of criminal negligence.
Does this mean in the summertime we are going to hear from the Minister that MT Bold is only at 60% capacity because we had a dry spring?
We put money away for a rainy day and so we also need to put Water away for a dry day. 

07 Sep 2012
Farmers reject native vegitation law
Keva Gocher - ABC Rural
28 Jun 2012
Stand against 'control'
Smart Farmer
Feb 2012
Dam the government - angry farmers to rally
Bryan Littlely
29 Oct 2011
Farmers rally against 'heavy-handed' NRM
Paula Thompson - Stock Journal
21 Oct 2011
Recognising the people who grow our food
David Jean - The Advertiser
11 Oct 2011
Farm anger at dam water charges
The Advertiser
12 Sep 2011
Environmental flows take priority
Malcolm Sutton - Smart Farmer
Jun 2011
Dam meter control is 'absolute lunacy'
Smart Farmer
Mar 2011
Farmers trade $3b water despite drought easing
Amy Cane - Smart Farmer
Feb 2011