Downer on Flugge
:
What Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said about Trevor Flugge when he
appointed him as Joint Senior Agricultural Adviser in Iraq, 22 April
2003:
“I want to announce today the appointment of Trevor Flugge,
who is a very distinguished Western Australian farmer, as the Joint
Senior Agricultural Adviser in Iraq. He’ll be jointly holding the
position of Senior Adviser with an American – somebody from the United
States Department of Agriculture. And they will be responsible in the
short term for providing advice and assistance to Iraq, both in terms
of the rebuilding of Iraqi agriculture after thirty years of
dictatorship, and also they’ll be responsible for ensuring food
security and food supply. We’re delighted to have a very senior and
experienced Australian play this significant role. Australia has
long-standing involvement in Iraqi agriculture, not only through
providing wheat as we have done for many years, but also we have had
dry land farming projects in Iraq and we’ve had other substantial
involvement over many years with Iraqi agriculture. So I think Trevor
Flugge will be able to play a very substantial role. He is the former
Chairman of the Australian Wheat Board. He’s on a number of boards,
including the board of Wesfarmers. So he’s a distinguished businessman,
not just a farmer, who’s been very active in agripolitics in Australia
over many years. He will go to Iraq fairly soon to make an initial
assessment of the needs there. And I know from my own conversations
with him in the last couple of weeks that he’s already given a lot of
thought to what can be done to help Iraqi agriculture. This is also an
area where Australia will be providing substantial assistance to Iraq.
Our aid program is going to focus significantly on agriculture, but
also of course in other areas such as water and sanitation and the
like. But agriculture is going to be a real focus of our aid program,
and with Trevor Flugge jointly being Senior Adviser for the immediate
future on agriculture in Iraq, it gives us an opportunity to make a
real contribution to the rehabilitation of that country.”

Flugge on Flugge: What Flugge said in April 2003, before leaving for Iraq:
“I’m confident in my background and experience. I understand
agriculture from the grass roots level upwards. One of the strengths I
have in my work ethic is that I will work beside people. I believe in
building strong friendships, building trust and establishing an
openness for collaboration. But I’m also a tough negotiator. I feel
pretty confident that I’ve got what it takes and I’m grateful to have
the challenge. I’ve also got the international experience and contacts
to back that up.”

Flugge on Flugge: What Flugge told the Cole inquiry, February 2006:
“As a chairman, I was trotted out to open doors or to be a figurehead
to take a political beating for the sake of doing business or to
perform other ceremonial roles.”

Peter Fray

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