• Pieter Bekkers

Going Banana's

I have with the permission of the writer Pieter Bekkers placed this document on my Blog as a matter of public Interest. He has been fighting our local Bureaucracy for several years and spent a substantial amount of time and money trying to get substantive answers for his trouble.

As a legal disclaimer I must include that the following article/document shared and I Sam Wilks do not necessarily have the same point of view on this matter. However copies of transcripts have been reviewed and the document vetted through a third party.

Hi all,

The politics behind the banana eradication in the Top End of Australia and its wider programme

Three factors in the delay of the release of this document(article):

One) In May one of our members of Parliament offered to me to put this writing in document form and format it and check for remaining legal liabilities. I gladly accepted this generous offer. Imperceptibly over a period of 6 weeks or so this offer was withdrawn. No such words were exchanged.

Two) 19 June 2017 http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-06-19/banana-freckle-restrictions-to-be-lifted-in-nt/8631086

27 July 2012 http://www.abc.net.au/site-archive/rural/nt/content/201207/s3555219.htm

So, my fellow banana warriors, this is what Ken's announcement in June will really mean for you.

It must be noted that it is not intended to undeclare the disease, as in the 2012 story above, Ken Vowles is acting according to the instructions of those above him, I am sure of that. I will be an optimist and say to you, that the lie perpetrated on the community, that the disease is now gone, means the timeline for the reoccurrence of the destruction is 4 years at the max 5 years.

The kitty being totally empty then, does not mean much, as we are dealing with a number of "BLACK BUDGETS".

Grow in peace for the next couple of years, after that expect the return of people with supposed clean criminal history checks again invading your properties.

Note the MSM (Main Stream Media) will again be complicit.

My writing here is given extra credence by the article in the NT News of Monday June 19 2017 and I quote the last paragraph:

"Mr Vowles said, if banana freckle is found again, then the industry will have to go through the ban process again."

Three) The Northern Territory local government elections, took up some valuable attention which should be reserved for this series of instalments.

There was the added factor of me relying on a friend to bring about an efficient distribution of the intended material as well as its presentation.

Hi all,

In April, this year I had some enlightening conversations with a very well informed person, let us call him a chap.

I refer to this chap as Shallow Throat to protect his identity.

Some interesting titbits are that West the Pest, Stephen James West, a previous Chief Plant Health Inspector, whose job was validly gazetted, unlike those who came after him, did not resign from his job but was pushed out of his job. He took his numberplate “GO-WEST” East with him.

Then there was our Chief Empire builder, the last and again under Labor, Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Primary Industries. Alister Trier https://www.facebook.com/alister.trier

During the transitions from the old CLP government to the current ALP facsimile government, Alister was very worried that he would lose his job in the transition. Alister need not to have worried. The boss of the NTALCLP gave the nudge to the current Chief Minister and good old Alister was given extra responsibilities as in the Resources Department.

Three days later Mr Michael Gunner appointed Mr Ken Vowles, (KV1) my good friend, to the position of Minister for the 2 disparate departments now glued into one.

The sequence of events and its significance here was not lost on KV2.

To this day, I believe Mr Vowles (KV2) is doing what he is told. Mr Trier is his boss, I believe and I believe orders his Minister around.

Gunner was able to achieve this because Mr Vowles had been severely compromised on many levels; conflicted is possibly a better term.

Now please let it be known that I am at pains not to divulge just how Ken Vowles has been conflicted. Suffice to say that our often extensive conversations, which were very pleasant and informative for him and me and painted a great picture for me of Ken (KV1) , well they are not there any more. Ken is a mate. I am not going to kick him. Ken (KV2) and his policies are now a different beast.

Now back to Shallow Throat.

He was able to tell me that all over the suburbs banana plants have been left standing. This is of course a contributing factor in Banana freckle continuing its presence in the NT. I took the view to him that in biosecurity, the single most important thing is the idea of cleaning your boots and expanding on that concept and secondly the goodwill of the population.

Shallow Throat turned this around. Number 2 became number one.

I was questioned on the extermination crews from Adecco, the Swiss labour hire company and what type of decontamination they practiced, and I answered with “NONE”.

He also asked me if I had Panama disease in my bananas before the eradication, and I answered in the negative. He cautioned me against replanting, because at the time of replanting, my new banana plants would get Panama disease. We had some interesting exchanges of opinion and did not totally agree with each other.

At one point there was a very quiet exit of the government’s main contractor, Mr Kevin Cooper.

Well Kevin, the soft spoken manipulator of the truth exited because he was pushed. Kevin Cooper was a gong winning chap from New South Wales http://archive.dpi.nsw.gov.au/content/media-releases/2013/dpi-staff-in-australia-day-honours-list3

When Kevin came here he was quite an admired chap. Kevin visited me here at home at 11 am

on Monday the 2nd of February 2015 and I warned him that his continued participation in this fraud would leave a lasting stain on his legacy after resuming his retirement. The dollars spoke louder than these consequences and Kevin stayed at the helm as the contractor.

Shallow Throat really wanted to hear from me where this push came from to eradicate our bananas. I told him that this is a complicated conspiracy with as the end goal the total annihilation of Australia’s banana industry. I positioned Barnaby Joyce on top of the plot. He was assisted by forces in favour of FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) on the left and the right of politics and the import lobby groups, those being similar entities.

Barnaby would have liaised in my view with an infiltrator inside the Australian Banana Growers Council https://abgc.org.au/ I will not mention a name.

From there Barnaby would have liaised, I believe, with the chief of the NTALCLP, Mr Paul Henderson in his function as managing partner in http://bespokeapproach.com/team/paul-henderson/

From there control of the actions of Adam Giles and Willem Rudolf Westra van Holthe under the last CLP government as well as Michael Gunner and his current minister Mr Ken Vowles (KV2) would flow with as a constant the reappointment by Michael Gunner of the aforesaid Alister Trier, a very successful empire builder as written up in the NT News of Friday September 9 2016.

Alister, besides being a capable musician especially at CLP fundraising dinners https://www.facebook.com/Capricornia-116209691753422/ has been practising the art of drawing power to himself for a few decades. He first came to prominence when taking a bullet to a steer with 2 more ticks then the regulations allowed for. Beast rotted on the spot. Bad blood was generated in the Katherine region over this. Witnesses are happy to testify.

I positioned that I had a good friend on the top of Australia’s banana industry who is totally disagreeing with me and my annihilation scenario. He in fact lambasts people for bringing stuff into the country and jeopardising biosecurity. His arguments are faulty but withstand the scrutiny of those above him.

Yes, that means that my friend would not last very long at all if he sang the trumpet to the will- be victims.

Shallow Throat and myself talked about the Panama disease in Queensland. In March 2015 Panama was detected at a banana farm in Tully Queensland. Some outbreaks have been found since and found to be wrong. Others he told me have been found and kept under wraps deliberately. This is analogous to Chris Nathanael’s scenario hereunder where our strain of banana freckle also is in Queensland, and presents NO threat. It is managed and managed very well.

Highly placed industry sources in the Northern Territory say this refers to the strain of freckle Queensland and the Northern Territory have had for years. The strain they were trying to eradicate was a different strain of the freckle. A case of two conflicting opinions here. Panama on the other hand CANNOT be managed; some say it can be contained, that is doubtful in my view.

This Panama outbreak in Queensland has come about by either a deliberate movement of contaminated soil or as a result of the foreseeable consequences of labour hire crews moving from regions of the Top End to the banana growing regions in Queensland. The timing was also noted that our Panama disease trials were aborted at the Darwin Banana Farm at Lambells Lagoon near Darwin under pressure from the regulators dealing with our benign disease called “Banana freckle” and it occurred at the same time as the detection of Panama in Tully. Once again quoting the highly placed industry sources in the Northern Territory, Panama

disease trials are now fully operational again.

Same source: The important plant material for research from the Darwin Banana Farm was preserved in Tissue Culture at the NT Government's Berrimah Farm.

Now getting away from my deliberations with Shallow Throat.

The Main Stream Media (MSM) has constantly been a real thorn in the way of the truth. Unfortunately on top of the food chain, here we must mention the national broadcaster the ABC.

Airtime was asked for with the director of programming of ABC radio Darwin and the emails went nowhere. I have some sympathy for the woman, she found herself beached so to speak.

The airtime was asked for with the specific purpose of juxtaposing interviews with Willem Rudolf Westra van Holthe (now Honourable and Hapless) with the truth.

I am mentioning the previous minister this way, because it is now clear that I somewhat misdirected my energies and spite towards him and Willem was only a puppet in the greater scheme of things.

In Instalment 2 I will continue my coverage by the ABC and also spend some effort describing Newscorp’s finest efforts in assisting the annihilation efforts. I will detail the lack of clarity when asked for detailed expenditures on the NT level as well the federal level.

I will definitely move on the court case involving compensation on just terms and explain just how important it was that it failed for the senior bureaucrat and others.

I hope to move on the complicity of the THEN ALP opposition with the fraud.

From: Amateur Ethnobotanist <a.ethnobotanist@gmail.com> Date: Tuesday, 12 May 2015 6:33 am To: Ken Vowles <kennyvowles@gmail.com>, Kezia Purick <electorate.goyder@nt.gov.au>, Tropiculture <tropiculture@octa4.net.au>, Diana Rickard <info@rrrg.org.au>, Fred McCue <fredk.mccue@gmail.com>, Kerry Byrnes <kerry.byrnes@arnhemnursery.com.au> Subject: Update on fraud

This was at the back of the massive fraud when Chris and Kerry analysed it quite correctly I think way back in September 2014. This analysis needs a substantial update, where this is a part of a much more sinister plot.

If our elected representatives want to show they got some collective balls, they might want to start with the Voluntary Euthanasia Act which was torpedoed by a Kevin Andrews, many years back.

A new analysis will not let Willem Rudolph Westra van Holthe off the hook, basically because he is clearly not interested in his job. Nor will it let the chief empire builders Alister Trier or

Stephen James West off the hook.

A new analysis will not be finalised for a few weeks and will need extensive consultation outside

FaceBook. INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS NATHANAEL FROM TROPICULTURE AUSTRALIA, BANANA

FRECKLE – ABC RADIO COUNTRY HOUR on 13 10 2014

REPORTER: Joining me now is Chris Nathanael. He’s from Tropiculture Australia. He’s the Territory’s main distributor of banana plants to small commercial growers and his property at Bees Creek just near Darwin, it well and truly falls within these new banana freckle eradication zones. Afternoon Chris.

NATHANAEL: Good afternoon Matt.

REPORTER: The Australian Banana Growers Council thinks this eradication plan is a good one. What do you think?

NATHANAEL: Well firstly Doug Phillips omitted to say that occasionally there is an outbreak in Queensland for instance there was one in Cairns last year, just a minor one andthere’s a few others that pop up every now and then that are not documented, we should be quite clear on that and the other thing is he omitted to tell people that it’s all about stopping the Filipino bananas coming into Australia because...

REPORTER: Why is that I don’t understand that?

NATHANAEL: Well this is the only obstacle because you see they’ve got freckle over there and they seem to be able to control it ok with fungicides and so forth, hence the Australian authorities have said well look you’ve got banana freckle you can’t have the bananas into Australia. So that is the basis of it so principally...

REPORTER: As in it would ruin Australia’s argument if the industry allowed for the Territory to continue with this fungal disease?

NATHANAEL: Well no the fungal disease can be eradicated and I believe it can be and it can be further controlled. Now we have been told all along and several times on this program the DPI representative has said that you know they've got it under control when you have asked them or Carl has asked them whether they’ve lost it and they’ve said no they haven’t and it’s under control and now they’ve either lied to us or something new has come up which we’re not being told about but basically it is to stop bananas coming in from the Philippines and that’s what it’s all about and that’s why all that money has been put up by the banana industry. Now from our part it’s really quite pathetic we supply the retail industry with the bananas we supply small commercial growers and we‘ve been supplying the communities who’ve set up little plots of bananas...

REPORTER: Indigenous communities around the Territory?

NATHANAEL: All over the territory from Lajamanu up north to the Tiwi Islands ok and from border to border from the Queensland border to the WA border. Most communities bananas have come through here and...

REPORTER: You are their supplier and I presume with this eradication plan you’re going to lose that side of your business?

NATHANAEL: Well we’ve lost about $30,000 to $40,000 already this year in cancellation from small commercial growers and other areas that are under quarantine. So we’ve lost that and we will lose for the next I think it’s four or five years actually they’re deceiving us by telling us two and three years, it’s in fact closer to five years that we will not be able to sell a banana. So we’re of the game. The other thing is I just can’t understand it because if they stop, there are six zones, outside those zones you will find that bananas are going to be moved from area to area to area unless they come from a central place like us where we have clean material and

our material is clean, it’s been inspected so many times its unreal, so it’s beyond understanding and the last thing that annoys me is that I’ve just received an email from Alister Trier who is the CEO and he tells me that last week unanimously the Federal Committee in which there is a Northern Territory representative (see footnote) last week unanimously endorsed the new national banana freckle response plan. So our own representative, who is supposed to represent the Northern Territory, was part of the unanimous decision? I find that hard to believe.

REPORTER: I guess there’s no arguing that people want this disease out of the Territory. How would you go about it?

NATHANAEL: Well number one we’ve put up with what’s gone on now so I believe we should have had this under control by now ok. If we haven’t I want to know why because we’ve spent millions of dollars on it and millions of hours on it.

REPORTER: 30,000 properties inspected.

NATHANAEL: 30,000 and I understand as of several weeks ago there was about 60 properties that they found freckle and some of those are in the Darwin/Palmerston region. So you know 60 out of 30,000 it doesn’t compute.

REPORTER: What would you like to see happen from here on Chris Nathanael

NATHANAEL: Well they’ve got to think about what’s going to happen in the past. Number one we’re going to kill our banana industry thanks possibly to Queensland and they don’t want to see us progress any further so we’re going to kill it. I would like to see us relook at this plan. I would like to see the Chief Minister take it on hand because I don’t believe he has put enough effort into this or no effort at all and take it in hand and say hey there’s something wrong here, we’ve got all these clean properties and we’ve got people that are suppliers, people that grow

bananas and so forth, lets re-look at it and see how we could do it better.

REPORTER:is that the feeling you’re getting Chris that the whole industry up here is being sacrificed for Queensland?

NATHANAEL: Absolutely and I‘ve people all weekend either ring me or come in. This morning about an hour ago I had a small grower who only supplies a small amount of bananas for the local situation, an Asian gentlemen, and he was very upset because he’s going to lose his little income that he was getting from his bananas as well as his mangoes and so forth but his bananas and then there’s been a series of people who don’t BELIEVE the Northern Territory Government. The Northern Territory has been sacrificed by lack of representation and by lack of political will to do something about the freckle.

REPORTER: Just finally my understanding is the big banana farm at Lambells Lagoon will receive some type of financial compensation. What about a business like yours, is that something you will seek?

NATHANAEL: Yes we will, we’ve been told that we will receive, but heavens I can assure you it’ll be negligible and what happens to the next four five years? That’s what I want to know, so it’s not just a few dollars for what plants we’ve got here in the nursery and in the orchard but also what is going to happen for the next four to five years before we can get re-established.

REPORTER: Kerry Byrnes from Arnhem Nursery has given us a call. Kerry what do you make of the new banana freckle eradication plan?

BYRNES: Look I’m totally appalled by it. And there’s a couple of factors, first of all I have to say I totally endorse everything that Chris Nathanael said, he’s on the money business about the Philippine banana industry coming into Australia and the danger that it holds for the Australian industry and we understand all that and it’s very very true but here in Darwin and with the people out at Lambells Lagoon I do know that they’ve been, you know they’ve got Panama disease right across the road from them, from their front gate and the steps that they take to keep their place clean, it’s just world class and I know the guys that work there and I know how careful they are, in fact one of the guys working there use do to work for me and I just don’t understand why they what to see this place gone and secondly we at the nursery we supply and fill in the gaps that Chris leaves behind, you know he’s not doing all of it, we’re much smaller than him but we know what it means to people, the absence of bananas not being available that are fresh here in Darwin, it’s a huge hole that’s going to occur, it’s just nonsense how they’ve arrived at this decision and you know I’m speechless you know and that’s pretty rough for me.

REPORTER: If I’m a Queensland banana grower, all this news is deeply concerning. I need a guarantee that it will never come across the border. What needs to be done, what should be done?

BYRNES: Well first of all you have to look, what Chris said was right, they got 6 or 7 people out of 30,000.

REPORTER: The NT Department checked about 30,000 properties and got about 60 cases.

BYRNES: Where you’re going to find disease is not in nurseries and it’s not on farms, because we’re alert and we look after our business by spraying and monitoring. Where you’re going to find it is in the urban areas and that’s I bet where they found most of it and in any event they found very very little of it and seemingly they got it under control and so we’ve been sort of taken over and stood on by the national authorities or whatever they are because they want to protect the Australian industry but they don’t give a stuff about what they’re going to do to the Territory. They have to sit down and rethink this thing because we’ve got a really shallow economy here in the Territory, very very shallow and if you start bumping people off it causes enormous ructions socially and economically in the place you know you just can’t go oh yeah we’ve got to do what the feds say, it’s not on., it’s not on at all.

REPORTER: A tough time for business, we appreciate your time today Kerry.

BYRNES: Thank you ENDS Footnote: The name of the Committee was: Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) Its Northern Territory representative was Alister Trier in his then function of CEO of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

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