April 26, 2005 | Graham

Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s most significant contribution to agriculture

Curiously, in all the tributes to Joh Bjelke-Petersen, no-one has mentioned his significant contribution to Queensland agriculture.
Press releases have lauded his long reign. They have credited him with starting Queensland’s coal industry. He is given the credit for the state’s tourism industry, and significantly raising the mean age by abolishing death duties. Joh was even apparently a feminist, creating the first woman cabinet minister in Queensland’s history. We know about his successful battle with polio.
Some things have been understandably ignored, such as his support for cancer fraud, Milan Brych, or the Horvath hydrogen engine. His enemies have dwelt on his record on human rights and democratic principles and institutions.
But why has no-one mentioned Joh’s contribution to agriculture? Joh entered parliament a wealthy man because of a very simple idea. He realised that if you attached a chain to two D9 tractors and dragged it between them you could clear a lot of brigalow scrub. This simple device allowed thousands of acres of Queensland brigalow to be opened for farming. Not an intricate idea, but it had a huge impact, some good and some bad, and it typifies the man for me.

Posted by Graham at 9:26 am | Comments Off on Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s most significant contribution to agriculture |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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