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Title: To Speak with One Voice: The Quest by Australian Farmers for Federal Unity
Contributor(s): Connors, Brian Thomas (author); Warhurst, John (supervisor); Westbrook, George (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1996
Copyright Date: 1995
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This thesis is about the long quest by Australian farmers for unity; to unite their many organisations into a national pressure group that would speak with a strong voice. My interest in farm organisations was stimulated in the mid-1960s when I became agriculture writ er for the 'Australian Financial Review' and began reporting on their activities and attending their conferences. I was both intrigued and confused by the deep divisions between farmer and grazier organisations. Broadacre primary producers had a choice of which to join, as the majority of farmers who grew wheat also ran livestock, and in the 1960s many graziers had, because of a spell of low wool prices, dropped their aversion to cropping and grew wheat as a major sideline enterprise. The reasons why people producing the same commodities chose to organise into distinct associations were historical, philosophical and social, and included a dash of class warfare and snobbery. The roots of the divisions can be traced back to last century when pastoralists used their political muscle and guile to tie up large tracts of arable land for sheep runs, denying small farmers land for cropping. The farmers organised in 1893 under the banner of the Farmers and. Settlers' Associate on to change the colonial land laws and wrest land from the pastoralists, who only a few years earlier had united to oppose the demand of shearers that they employ only members of the Amalgamated Shearers' Union.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1995 - Brian Thomas Connors
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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