Western Australian Farmers Federation

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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.

Contents

History

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

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References

  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