The beetles are a hit!

Observers of politics and agriculture within the Murrumbidgee catchment may have been entertained to receive an invitation to an information session on dung beetles to be hosted by Junee farmer and Senator, The Hon. Bill Heffernan on Monday, 11th May 2009. The Senator has been accused of maintaining dirt files in the past and, in addition to his unfounded slur against former High Court Justice Michael Kirby in 2002, was linked to the spectacular demise of former NSW Liberal leader John Brogden in 2006.

It was a surprise for this observer that the invitation arrived via email, as Heffernan claimed in 2007 during the announcement of Labor’s broadband plan, that he had never sent an email in his life.

However, what is most interesting about this information session is that it follows Heffernan’s colourful criticism of fertiliser giant Incitec Pivot during a 2008 Senate inquiry. As Chair of the Senate Select Committee’s inquiry into the Australian and global fertiliser market, Heffernan is recorded in Hansard as saying:
"You realise that we who have an interest to declare, like your shareholders, think that you are well and truly giving us one up the back passage? We really feel aggrieved about this.”

While the scatological language favoured by Heffernan might be compared to various fertilizers, it is truly an example of how challenges, such as the rise in the prices of Incitec Pivot products, can be met with alternative methods. Perhaps the Senator is not as conservative as he makes out?