Western Australian Farmers Federation

Last updated

Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers) is an agricultural organisation in Western Australia. In the one hundred years of its existence, the various interactions with other groups, and the separation, then inclusion of political activity, has given the federation a colourful position in the history of Western Australia.

Western Australia State in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.



As early as 1890 some farming organisations had been formed in WA, with the Wheatgrowers' Association being formed in 1908. In March 1912 the Farmers and Settlers' Association was formed in part as a response to a letter to WA farmers from the Rural Workers' Union of Australia discussing farm workers' wages and merged with the Wheatgrowers' Association. [1]

The Farmers and Settlers' Association, [2] together with the Producers' Union, formed the business Westralian Farmers Ltd (known later as Wesfarmers) in 1913. They also established a new political party, the Country Party, to obtain representation in both state and federal parliaments. (The Country party would ultimately become the National Party of Western Australia and the National Party of Australia.)

Wesfarmers Australian conglomerate

Wesfarmers Limited is an Australian conglomerate, headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, with interests predominantly in Australian and New Zealand retail, chemicals, fertilisers, coal mining and industrial and safety products. With AU$65.98 billion in the 2016 financial year, it is the largest Australian company by revenue, overtaking Woolworths and BHP. Wesfarmers is the largest private employer in Australia, with approximately 220,000 employees.

The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and rural voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party in 1920 at a federal level. It would later briefly adopt the name National Country Party in 1975, before adopting its current name in 1982.

In 1920, the Farmers and Settlers' Association changed its name to the Primary Producers' Association (PPA). [3]

Large numbers of small-scale farmers, many of them veterans of World War I with backgrounds as mineworkers or in other industries, entered the industry during the 1920s. They formed a new, separate Wheat Growers' Union in 1930, and later became known as the Wheat and Wool Growers' Union (WAWGU). The Union, along with counterparts in other Australian states, was politically closer to the political left than the PPA, and many of its members initially supported the Australian Labor Party (and even included supporters of the Communist Party of Australia). [4] Nevertheless, the two organisations cooperated on a joint committee in 1932, to investigate bulk wheat handling. [5] This led to the creation in 1932 of Co-operative Bulk Handling, financed by Westralian Farmers.

Australian Labor Party Political party in Australia

The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. Bill Shorten has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since 13 October 2013. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) was founded in 1920 and dissolved in 1991. The CPA achieved its greatest political strength in the 1940s and faced an attempted ban in 1951. Though it never presented a major challenge to the established order in Australia, it did have significant influence on the trade unions, social movements, and the national culture.

The Primary Producers' Association created separate sections in 1932 for its commodities (initially wheat, wool and dairy, later adding barley and oats, meat, bees, and poultry) and the political aspects, and in 1944 the political section and the Country Party separated from the PPA completely, forming the Country and Democratic League.

In spite of their political differences the PPA and WAWGU merged in 1946, [6] to form the Farmers' Union of Western Australia. [7] The name was changed in 1982 to the Primary Industry Association, [8] and again in 1987, to the Western Australian Farmers Federation, to more closely align itself with the National Farmers' Federation.

National Farmers Federation organization

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) is an Australian non-profit membership–based organization that represents farmers and the agricultural sector in Australia. Historically, NFF was a key player in a number of industrial relations disputes, including Australia's infamous waterfront dispute; the shearing wide comb dispute; and the Mudginberri dispute.

See also

Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia

Related Research Articles

Agricultural cooperative cooperative where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity

An agricultural cooperative, also known as a farmers' co-op, is a cooperative where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity. A broad typology of agricultural cooperatives distinguishes between 'agricultural service cooperatives', which provide various services to their individually farming members, and 'agricultural production cooperatives', where production resources are pooled and members farm jointly. Examples of agricultural production cooperatives include collective farms in former socialist countries, the kibbutzim in Israel, collectively governed community shared agriculture, Longo Mai co-operatives and Nicaraguan production co-operatives.

Tom Stott Australian politician

Tom Cleave Stott CBE spent 37 years as an independent member of the South Australian House of Assembly, from 1933 to 1970. He served as Speaker of the House from 1962 to 1965 for the Tom Playford LCL government and 1968 to 1970 for the Steele Hall LCL government, both times in exchange for his confidence and supply vote to form minority governments.

Horace Nock Australian politician, farmer and company director

Horace Keyworth Nock was an Australian politician, farmer and company director.

This is a synopsis of organisations formed by Indians in Fiji. When they became free from the bondage of indenture and were able to organise themselves, they founded numerous organizations to seek social and political justice. These organisations promoted the teaching of Indian languages and religious practices and also to helped others in time of need. Some of the successful organisations are listed below in order in which they were established. Some, such as the National Federation Party, are no longer exclusively Indian, but are still predominantly so.

James Gardiner (Australian politician) Australian politician

James Gardiner was an Australian politician who served in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1901 to 1904 and from 1914 to 1921. He served as colonial treasurer under two premiers, Walter James and Henry Lefroy. Gardiner was also the inaugural state leader of the Country Party from 1914 to 1915, and briefly served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from March to June 1917.

The Victorian Farmers' Union (VFU) was an association of farmers and primary producers formed in 1914 in the Australian state of Victoria. Although initially formed as an "absolutely non-political" entity, the VFU became a political party in 1916, and nominated candidates for the 1917 state election and subsequent elections. In later years it used the names Victorian Country Party, then United Country Party and is now the National Party of Australia – Victoria. At the 1917 election, because the support for the VFU was concentrated in rural seats, it won four of the 11 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly it contested, gaining about 6% of the vote state-wide. In 1918 it also won its first seat in the federal parliament, after preferential voting was introduced. At the 1920 state election the VFU vote increased to 8% and the number of seats to 13, giving the VFU the balance of power in the state Legislative Assembly.

The National Party of Australia (WA) Inc is a political party in Western Australia. It is affiliated with the National Party of Australia but maintains a separate structure and identity.

The United Farmers of Canada was a radical farmers organization. It was established in 1926 as the United Farmers of Canada as a merger of the Farmers' Union of Canada and the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association. The name United Farmers came from the movements that had been established and run for election, in some cases taking power, in several provinces such as the United Farmers of Ontario, the United Farmers of Alberta and federally as the Progressive Party of Canada.

Don Maisey Australian politician

Donald William "Don" Maisey was an Australian politician.

1947 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 15 March 1947 to elect all 50 members to the Legislative Assembly. The result was a hung parliament—the four-term Labor government, led by Premier Frank Wise, was defeated with a swing of approximately 7%, but the Liberal-Country Party coalition, led by the Liberal Party leader Ross McLarty, won exactly half of the seats, and needed the support of the Independent members Harry Shearn and William Read to obtain a majority in the Assembly.

Bilbarin, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Bilbarin is a small town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

Walgoolan, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Walgoolan is a small town located in the Eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. It is situated between Merredin and Bodallin along the Great Eastern Highway.

Eric Kent Australian politician

Daniel Eric Kent was an Australian politician, elected as a member of the Victorian Legislative Council in 1970.

Sir John Smith Teasdale CBE was an Australian wheat farmer and administrator.

1935 Katanning state by-election

A by-election for the seat of Katanning in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly was held on 31 August 1935, following the death of the sitting member, Arnold Piesse of the Country Party. Six candidates contested the election, including three endorsed Country candidates. Neither of the two other major parties, Labor and the Nationalists, fielded candidates. The campaign focused mainly on local issues, and no candidate received more than a quarter of the vote. With preferential voting in use, endorsed Country Party candidate Arthur Watts was elected over unendorsed Country Party candidate Nelson Lemmon after five rounds of counting, beginning Watts' 27-year career in the Legislative Assembly.

Cooperative Wheat Pool of Western Australia, commonly known as the Wheat Pool of Western Australia, is a cooperative of wheat growers in Western Australia. The cooperative was formed in 1922 and one of the inaugural trustees was Charles Walter Harper, who became the chairman of the Westralian Farmers Co-operative later the same year and then went on to form Cooperative Bulk Handling.

William Miller (South Australian politician) Australian politician

William Miller was an Australian politician who represented the South Australian House of Assembly multi-member seat of Burra Burra from 1902 to 1918. He represented the Farmers and Producers Political Union (1905–1910), the Liberal Union (1910–1918) and the Farmers and Settlers Association (1918).

Miles Bourke was an Australian farmer who served as the first president of the Victorian Farmers' Federation.

Charles Walter Harper was an Australian agriculturalist who was prominent in the cooperative movement in Western Australia. He was one of the founders of Wesfarmers, serving as its chairman from 1921 to 1953, and also helped establish what is now CBH Group.


  1. See Farmers' and Settlers' Association of Western Australia (1916), Report of annual conference, The Association, retrieved 26 September 2013 for details of the Farmers and Settlers annual reports prior to the name change of 1920
  2. Farmers' and Settlers' Association of Western Australia (1916), Constitution, branch rules, political platform, The Association, retrieved 13 March 2015
  3. For a short view of a part of the associations activities - see Primary Producers' Association of Western Australia (1930), Records, 1930 , retrieved 26 September 2013
  4. Parliament of Western Australia, 1996, Competition Policy Reform (Western Australia) Bill Second Reading; House: Legislative Council (22 October) Hansard (8 November 2014).
  5. For the internal rules of this group see Wheatgrowers' Union of Western Australia (1933), Constitution, rules and regulations : adopted Jan. 14th, 1931, amended Feb. 1932, further amendment, Feb. 1933, [The Union], retrieved 26 September 2013
  6. Wheat and Wool Growers' Union of Western Australia (1940), Rules and regulations : adopted February 18th, 1938, amended August, 1938, 1939, The Union, retrieved 26 September 2013
  7. Mercer, F. R; Mercer, Frederick Royston; Farmers' Union of W.A (1955), On farmers' service : a short history of farmers' organisation in Western Australia, Farmers' Union of W.A, retrieved 26 September 2013 for that union's version of the history of the various groups mentioned here
  8. Primary Industry Association of Western Australia. Conference (1985), Proceedings of the ... annual conference, The Association, retrieved 26 September 2013