31 May 2016

Barnaby's argument from ignorance

President of fledgling party CountryMinded and Qld Senate Candidate, Pete Mailler, is putting the Deputy Prime Minister on notice.

Mr Mailler said, “I have watched and listened to Mr Joyce mislead the nation on too many issues and as a producer I take umbrage with his self-adulation. I watched the recent debate in Goulburn with utter amazement with half the country.”

“I head up an organisation that was formed in frustration at the poor political service to rural and regional communities in Australia. We exist to hold the incumbents and aspirants to account. I don’t need to hold office to start”, he said.

“Mr Joyce is engaging in argentum ad ignorantiam (argument from ignorance), whereby he makes ridiculous ambit claims without any supporting evidence. It is a false logic to suggest simply saying something is true somehow makes it true. For example, contrary to his own propaganda and regardless of how many times he says it, Mr Joyce did not “fix” the cattle price”.

“On the other hand for example, I can back up my assertion that Mr Joyce’s incompetence and inaction on wheat stocks reporting has ripped two billion dollars ($2 000 000 000) out of the economy since he took office.”

In late 2012 the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill was passed with conditions imposed on the its passage by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. Specifically, there was a condition that bulk handling companies must provide wheat stocks information that described wheat in store by grade by port zone, weekly during harvest and monthly thereafter. Mr Mailler was the Chairman of the national grower representative organisation, Grain Producers Australia, at the time.

At the time, the value of this information was conservatively and independently estimated to be worth three to five dollars ($3-5) per tonne of wheat to growers in Australia. This information would have helped address some of the asymmetry that exists in the grain marketing system in favour of bulk handling companies.

Mr Joyce has held office for three wheat harvests and Australian producers have produced approximately seventy-five million (75 000 000t) tonnes of wheat in that time.

Mr Mailler said, “Mr Joyce has cost growers about four dollars ($4) per tonne of wheat produced in lost revenue by failing to enforce the conditions of Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill. That equates to approximately three hundred million ($300 000 000) dollars in lost revenue to the production sector on his watch. The accepted economic multiplier for Australian farm income is a factor of seven. As a result, Mr Joyce’s inaction has cost our economy approximately two billion, one hundred million dollars ($2 100 000 000) and most directly affected is the regional economy”.

“The sad situation here is that the only reason I can discern for Mr Joyce’s inaction is his overwhelming party first partisan culture. It would seem he has refused to enact the condition of the Bill to spite the Greens’ deal with the ALP. The tragedy is that producer groups across the country have been pressuring Mr Joyce to follow through consistently, but the ugly side of party first partisan politics has won out”, Mr Mailler said.

“CountryMinded was founded to provide a credible political alternative for rural and regional voters because we have been taken for granted for too long in the party games. We deserve better. We won’t stand back and let any politician take credit where it isn’t due, Deputy Prime Minister or not”.



Pete Mailler

0427 265 707