Key presentations

AR Callaghan

The South Australian Department of Agriculture and its work

This paper provides an overview of the structure and function of the Department of Agriculture in the latter part of Callaghan's appointment as the Director of Agriculture (1949 to 1959).

The South Australian Department of Agriculture and its work (PDF 588.6 KB),  Allan R. Callaghan, C.M.G., D.Phil., B.Sc., B.Sc.Agr., Director of Agriculture, South Australia.  Circa 1953

Bill Matheson

Bill Matheson made a major contribution to changing of soil management practices in South Australia through a career that spanned over 40 years.

Review of Soil Conservation Board movement

The following presentation was given to the Jubilee 150 Soil Conservation Workshop held in 1986. The presentation traces the history of approaches to manage a range of soil degradation factors from the early 1940s (the influence of Herriot) to 1986. It covers the initial establishment of Soil Conservation Boards in 1947 leading to the eventual covering on the state with 13 boards.

A brief review of the soil conservation board movement in SA (PDF 436.5 KB)

Jim McColl

Jim McColl was the Director-General of Agriculture between 1976 and 1985, a time of significant reforms driven by global conditions, budget pressures and changes in government policy. A number of the changes introduced are captured in presentations McColl gave to staff within the Department and to associations external to the Department.

The key presentations following cover important subjects such as water policy and structural arrangements, the direction of overseas projects, the transition to a whole farm management approach to service delivery, extension services and charging for services.

The changes initiated by McColl influenced policy and programs within the Department and nationally for many years to follow.

Additional perspectives of McColl are provided in two other key areas of the History of Agriculture in South Australia, namely his Oral History and the account of agriculture and the Department during his period as Director-General. These can be accessed at:

Report on Visit to the Middle East/North African Region

This visit included Syria, Jordan, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq and was primarily to develop an over-view of the region, to evaluate the possible trade development benefits to South Australia, to follow up specific contacts by various countries concerning possible projects, and to visit the Project in Libya (and review objectives, staffing, and project management). The visit and report prepared led to the increased presence in the Middle East and North Africa, with projects being developed in Iraq, Jordan and Algeria.

Report on Visit to the Middle East/North African Region, 10 April to 7 June 1978 (PDF 138.0 KB)

Presentation to the Extension Workshop

The setting for the following presentation was the increasing global competition for Australian agricultural produce and loss of traditional markets, the decline in the contribution of agriculture to the economy and the need for structural adjustment. McColl proposed an integration of service delivery under a Senior District Officer with greater emphasis on socio-economic, financial and marketing aspects. The concept of the delivery of whole farm management services was introduced.

Presentation to the Department of Agriculture Extension Workshop, October 1979 (PDF 205.6 KB)

Charging for Government Services to Agriculture, The Way Ahead

The following presentation was given at a time of growing pressure on government funding and competition with resourcing of health, education and welfare services. There was also a fundamental divide between the public and private sector service delivery function with a widely held view that government should not be providing services where there was no market failure.

Charging for Government Services to Agriculture "The Way Ahead". Presentation to the AVA Conference, Adelaide, May, 1982 (PDF 312.4 KB)

Agricultural Consultants and Government - Future Prospects

This presentation outlines the impact of constraints on public sector spending, leading to the agency having a better understanding of the costs to deliver services and the trends towards commercialization of services. The presentation describes the future for the research, extension and regulation functions.

Agricultural Consultants and Government - Future Prospects. Talk to the Australian Association of Agricultural Consultants, 1983 (PDF 232.4 KB)

Deregulation in the Dairy Industry

The following presentation was made during a period of deregulation of many primary industry sectors, and after an IAC review and proposed legislative changes to the national dairy industry. The Government regulation relating to marketing were being removed along with the equalisation system. It was also the period of Closer Economic Relations with New Zealand and the unknown impacts on the Australian dairy industry.

Address by J.C. McColl, Director General of Agriculture to the Australian Dairy Institute, 4 June 1985 (PDF 128.3 KB)

Water policy presentations

McColl had a particular interest in irrigation and irrigation policy. This included the establishment of the River Murray Irrigation and Salinity Program (RMISP), collaboration with the Engineering and Water Supply Department in defining roles and responsibilities, to major national contributions to the water policy debate.

McColl's interest in irrigation policy continued post his resignation from the Department.  Between 1997 and 2001 he was the Presiding Member of the River Murray Catchment Water Management Board and between 2004 and 2011 he joined CSIRO as a Research Fellow working alongside Professor Mike Young, University of Adelaide.

Following are 3 papers presented during his time with the SA Department of Agriculture.

The paper below was presented to a workshop held at the Canberra College of Advanced Education. It examines approaches to valuing water in terms of the resource cost, social cost and opportunity cost. McColl notes the approach of water management authorities to recover the resource cost from water users.

Resource Allocation in the Water Industry – The Role of Market Forces, 24 May 1986 (PDF 380.6 KB).

This presentation provides a history of irrigated crops in South Australia, tracking the regulatory arrangements impacting on the supply of water from the River Murray.

River Murray - Issues and Options. Seminar presented to Colorado State University, April 1984 (PDF 385.4 KB)

The following presentation proposes changes to irrigation in SA, including the increasing role of the private sector in funding improvements, the need for structural adjustment, the transferability of rights and impact on water pricing, the impacts of changes in irrigation practices and competition for water.

The Future of Irrigation in South Australia.  Keynote Address at Seminar "Irrigation South Australia - Towards 2000", May 1985 (PDF 123.8 KB)

The speech below was presented to the 50th Jubilee Conference of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. McColl gave this speech near the end of his time with the SA Department of Agriculture. It initially examines the impact of global pressures on agriculture and the need for adjustment within the farming sector.

He questions the relevance of current marketing arrangements, in particular the role of marketing boards. This is in the context of projected lower levels of government assistance to industry.

Discusses some of the major and emerging policy issues such as the introduction of the R&D Levy, the cost of providing extension services, animal welfare, natural resources management, environmental pollution and the increasing importance of global trade agreements.

Agricultural Policy in Australia, Melbourne, August 1985 (PDF 208.8 KB)

The relationship between private and government agricultural services

This presentation examines the main functions undertaken by government departments of agriculture and comments on the role of the public and private sectors in providing services.

The relationship between private and government agricultural services

Paper given at a symposium organised by the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and the Australian Veterinary Association  Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and the Australian Veterinary Association, at Mitchelton Winery, Nagambie, 10 September 1986.

The relationship between private and government agricultural services, September 1986   (PDF 174.6 KB)

Dairy Marketing Case Study

This presentation covers the process for implementing deregulation of dairy marketing arrangements in the early 1980s, and the roles played by the Commonwealth and State Governments and industry.  It is unclear who this presentation was delivered to.

Dairy Marketing Case Study, by JC McColl, Director General of Agriculture, May 1986 (PDF 181.6 KB)

Agricultural Scientists - Where to Now

This presentation was delivered to the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science in Perth and takes a national perspective to the changes in role and funding of Departments of Agriculture with the implications to the management of agencies, the delivery of research and extension services and the relationship between the public and private services providers.

Agricultural Scientists - Where to Now (PDF 192.6 KB) Paper presented to the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (WA Branch), Perth, 9 June 1986 by JC McColl, Commissioner, Industries Assistance Commission (Previously Director-General of Agriculture, South Australia)

HPC (Peter) Trumble

The early history of the barley improvement program October 2001

This paper provides a personal account of the establishment of the first improvement program for malting barley in 1956. It outlines the contributions made by industry, research organisations and members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture.

The early history of the barley improvement program - October 2001 (PDF 384.1 KB)

Page Last Reviewed: 29 May 2018
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