A crowd of more than 500 packed Tongala’s community centre on Wednesday at the Farmer Power meeting.TRENT HORNEMAN February 15, 2013 4:55am
People spilled out of the community hall in Tongala on Wednesday at the Farmer Power crisis meeting.
Farmers and concerned residents were spilled onto the street to listen to Wednesday’s Farmer Power meeting at Tongala.
Frustration and anger at governments, which farmers say have chipped away at their industry, was evident from the moment the room began to fill.
While dairy regulation was at the heart of the debate, there was a wider level of frustration from farmers of all varieties at the perceived decline of their industries.
Farmer Power’s first meeting was only a month ago, in a small Western Victorian town.
A crowd of more than 500 packed Tongala’s community centre on Wednesday. Such growth shows the level of farmers’ ill sentiment.
Member for Rodney Paul Weller and Senator Bridget McKenzie were on one side of the room, while the larger-than-life Queensland firebrand Bob Katter held court on the other.
Katter clapped his hands and shouted like he was listening to an evangelist sermon during speeches.
Local government promised support through mayor Ian Maddison and councillor Robert Danieli, a man with aspirations of federal politics.
Member for Murray Sharman Stone and outspoken National Barnaby Joyce spoke with the experience of years in parliament.
Key speakers, Lynne Wilkinson and Dick Smith were almost polar opposites.
While their message was the same, Ms Wilkinson spoke with clinical authority of someone who has sat in some of the most powerful boardrooms in the country.
Mr Smith was energetic from the moment he took the stage, inviting the crowd to take part in an impromptu exercise class before he spoke.
While elements of his speech were a push for his food label, his ideals, passion and support for farmers impressed.
He revealed to the crowd global giant Heinz was taking legal action against his company for its tins of beetroot, which carry unsavoury claims about Heinz’ products.
He defended the quality of Australian produce, which visibly lifted spirits in the room.
Katter almost stole the show with a late call-up to the stage. The microphone was not needed.
He delivered a passionate speech, a mixture of sadness and roaring anger.
The anger in his voice was enough for some small children to cling to their parents.
Given its infancy, Farmer Power’s Tongala meeting was a call to arms, a search for support. With a packed house and a throng of media from throughout the state with cameras pointed on them, there is no doubt it was mission accomplished.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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