Brad Bellinger grew up on his Family’s mixed grazing farm in Tasmania. He jackarooed at Forbes, before attending Marcus Oldham Agricultural College, graduating in 1987. He returned to the family property, taking on a joint management role, until purchasing his own property in northern Victoria in 1994. Here, he was involved with grain production, fat lambs, wool, and cattle trading. In 2001 he sold that property purchased a grazing property called Trevanna near Glen Innes in northern New South Wales. Trevanna runs 5000 sheep and 500 head of cattle.
In Tasmania, he was involved in the Wool Floor price debates and was also involved in a successful campaign against the introduction of Land Tax on rural property. Eventually the tax was dropped. He has been continually dismayed at the increasing erosion of farmers’ rights over the past 20 years and although he participated in the farmer protests of 1985, which saw the formation of the NFF and associated state farming organisations, he has been disappointed in the effectiveness of these groups. He feels the mandatory introduction of NLIS is the final straw in a long list of government lead infringements on his right to farm and the ability to run to run his enterprises in a manner, which he sees, fit.
In 2004, he conducted 2 polls in order to gauge the feelings of producers on mandatory NLIS. One poll was undertaken at the Inverell saleyards, where 88 people voted, 87 against NLIS and only 1 in favour. The second poll was conducted through the Land Newspaper, where 1877 voted against NLIS and 22 in favour. He took these results to the Minister for Agriculture in NSW, Ian McDonald, who ignored them. The Minister is completely oblivious to the democratic process, which Brad believes should be the policy driver for new legislation placed upon farmers.
In November 2004, he was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Australian Beef Association. In this position, he will endeavour to campaign against legislation, which infringes upon his right to farm and the manner in which he raises and sells his livestock.
Passionate advocate in the beef industry, former chair of the TFJ Meat Council, columnist in the Tas Country and has been involved in the red meat industry from gate to the plate. Also, has had interest in livestock aswell as retail and wholesale meat supplies.
Linda is an original Seed Funder of the ABA, and a member of the Steering Committee. She was originally the Membership Director, and forced MLA to become more open about producers claiming their membership rights. She held the position of Chairwoman of ABA from Nov 2004 to 2006, and Vice Chairperson until 2011. Linda and Colin Hewitt own and manage Hewitt Cattle Co, working with their four children. They run 5 commercial cattle properties in Central Queensland, situated from Charters Towers to Roma/Injune, as well as having the Fairhaven Droughtmaster Stud.
Ernie Camp: Carpentaria
Ernie Camp owns and manages a family property near Burketown in the Gulf of Carpentaria and is mayor of his local shire. He was local Branch Chairman of Cattlemen’s Union from 1995 until its amalgamation with UGA to form AgForce. He was then Chairman of the local AgForce branch until mid 2003. He has been a local government Councillor for 4 years – currently Deputy Chairman. His aim as an ABA Director is to reflect grassroots concerns and encourage proactive producer participation in the industry.
Mike Fromm: Capricorn
Owns and manages two properties of 2,200 acres near Chinchilla Qld. Farming mixed crops including wheat, barley, sorghum, oats, cotton and 120 to 150 head of cattle when seasons allow. Involved with Commonwealth Property Protection Association based in NSW.
Has 5 children with 2 boys working on the mines. Daughter Christle won a fourth year chef apprenticeship title for the State of Qld and was sponsored by MLA on a trip to Singapore four years ago.
John Niven: Kosciusko
After leaving school went shearing. To Canberra in 1972 and spent approximately 1 year with the Commonwealth Police and then 10 years in the Communications Section of Foreign Affairs.
Owns Bimbi a property of 220 acres since 1985, and was a shearer and shearing contractor until 2001. Half owner and sharefarmer/manager of approx 1,600 acres of mixed farming, which runs about 170 cattle, 1100 merino sheep and Border Leicester stud of approx 500 head. There is 400 acres of barley, when the season allows. Councillor the Weddin Shire.
Rod Beaton: Henty
Owns and manages crossbred beef operation (Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn) near Henty western Victoria.
Son of a Soldier Settler, he has expanded the original holding. He and his Father ran a dairy for 40 years before switching to beef 18 years ago.
Rowell Walton: Barcoo
Trained farming and stock management at Cunderdin Agricultural College in
Western Australia. Moved to Queensland to farm in 1983.
With his family Rowell runs a grazing and large scale grain operation in Condamine
District. Mostly backgrounding with breeding depending on circumstances. Majority of cattle are cell grazed.
Aim –to achieve a market index based on real prices.
Athol Economou: Gippsland
Athol has a background in cattle production and meat and cattle industry publishing. Currently publishes ‘Australian Meat News’, a trade journal that services the meat processing and retail sector and published ‘Beef Improvement News’ for more than a decade. Operates a commercial cattle breeding property in north eastern Victoria.
Kym Monkton: Lower Darling
Long time supporter of ABA. Runs Hereford cattle on Ulindah Binnaway, near Coonabarabran NSW. Member of NSW Farmers and former advocate of NFF. Spent many years on various service organisations including Lions and Apex. Supporter of local issues and vigorous campaigner for much, much higher commodity prices.
John Hewson: Dampier
With his wife Rosie and son Giles, they farm 11, 500 acres at Kojonup, Western Australia 300 kilometres south of Perth. John has lived there all his life. They run 2000 Angus Breeders, 400 replacement heifers and breed most of their bulls.
He sells weaners off their mothers to graziers, feedlotters, live exporters and breeders. He has concerns for all people on the land, as he sees politicians taking less interest in the bush as our voting power diminishes. His major concern at the moment is the proposed mandatory NLIS for cattle. He is absolutely opposed to the scheme. He is also opposed to the present electoral system of MLA.
In the limited time John has to devote to the ABA, he supports the members of The Australian Beef Association in their effort to maintain and encourage beef production in the most practical and efficient manner, and with minimum interference from bureaucrats.
John is a member of newly formed group to get a better deal for WA producers called the Red Meat Action Group.
Andy Rea: Cape York
Richard Creswell: Tasmania