Man’s quest to save the Valencias

QUEST: Brian Mills is running as an Independent candidate for the seat of Farrer in this year’s Federal Election. Picture: Riley Krause.

GRIFFITH’S Brian Mills, who will stand as an independent candidate in this federal election, says his requests to debate with Sussan Ley have fallen on deaf ears.

“As an independent candidate for Farrer I believe that I have the right to have an adjudicated debatewith the member Sussan Ley,” Mr Mills said.

“I have issued and advertised 26 debate challenges, the most pressing debate relates to my long term plans to save the Valencia orange industry.”

Mr Mills said he and three others had started on a journey to save Griffith from decline three years ago and while they had listed a reduction in the volume of irrigation water as their top priority, phasing out carbendazim to save the Valencia industry was their second priority.

“In this election there are four groups with constructive plans for water, I am the only one trying to save Valencias,” he said.

Mr Mills saidhis strategy group hadbeen hampered by three problems of whichbeing ignored by politicians and the establishment was the first.

“I contested the State election in 2015 to get this into the open,” he said.

“Adrian Piccoli dodged me all the way so I wrote Is Australia a True Democracy? Volume One. Now Sussan Ley is dodging me.”

Mr Mills said aninability to get help to put a monetary value on the cost to farmers and the community as Valencia oranges are bulldozed was his second problem.

“I asked citrus industry people and organisations for tonnage estimates without success,” he said.

“I wrote to some accounting firms for monetary estimates based on my tonnage estimates without even getting a response.”

He said the third problem was aninability to get anyone to discuss his evidence.

“I can quote the page number and the sentence which I believe provides the evidence which can be used to convince the AFP of the bribery which I firmly believe has cost this community perhaps billions of dollars,” he said.

Mr Mills saidthe bribery was akey point of his plans to save the industry and arrived during the Senate Inquiry into Citrus held in Griffith on July 3, 2013.

He says a letter written to Senator Nick Xenophon by theCatherine King tated orange juice concentrate containing any level of the fungicide would not be permitted to be imported into Australia after April 2012.

“If that had been legislated, my contention is that many farmers who went to the wall or just gave up could have been profitably farming today,” he said.

“My contention is that Bill Heffernan and his six senators failed in their task so I wrote WHODUNNIT The Last Nail in the Coffin of the Citrus Family Farm.

“In it I describe how I believe that bribery involving two multinationals caused the very logical aim to never go to legislation.

“I made a presentation to the Australian Federal Police who said that my accusation could not be accepted at present but they would keep my reference number open.

“In our three years our group has been unable to get a Valencia orange grower to have meetings where we can record notes. We wonder whether no one cares or is it that no one wants to have their names recorded for fear of repercussions.”

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