Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke sent in a photo of herself on a farm and listed “agricultural” enterprises that she had allocated public funds to — including a bakery — to prove that she was indeed fighting for farmers following our articles last week. If you’re feeling a little confused as to why she chose to include a bakery in the list, you’re not the only one. Also on her list of ag-related grant recipients was a honey institution that produces medical and cosmetic products and a cricket farm — like for humans who eat insects. Yes, you read that right. Let’s start from the beginning. Last week I gave a voice to those in the dairy and beef industries who put food on our tables. Several generational farmers from Brunswick and Waroona reminded Mrs Clarke that she represents an electorate that produces a fair bit of the State’s milk and beef. Their comments came after Mrs Clarke was seen endorsing a pro-vegan group days after her victory. The animal sanctuary does some fantastic work, there’s no doubt about it, but farmers asked for Mrs Clarke’s support too. I backed them in an opinion piece and called for Mrs Clarke to fight for our hard-working farmers. And Mrs Clarke didn’t like it. She appeared to have taken it personally and decided to block me from her public Murray-Wellington MLA Instagram page. This is not her private account, but a political page where she posts all her election commitments and information. Blocking a journalist, so they can no longer see your public political information and call you out, is not in the best interests of the people in my view. With the Liberal Party no longer the official opposition and the Nationals with low numbers too, journalists must continue to watch over politicians and hold them to account. So Mrs Clarke, if you have nothing to hide, why block a young journo? Secondly, I’d like to address several claims made by Mrs Clarke’s supporters about the articles in last week’s Reporter being “one-sided”. Mrs Clarke’s office was contacted twice for comment. We did not receive a reply until after the paper had come out. Her media adviser — who I must admit is usually pretty good with getting back to me — said they were on leave and didn’t see it — fair enough, but Mrs Clarke should be available even after the election is done and dusted and even when her staff members are on leave. After all, when asked how many days a year she would work, in the Reporter’s election Q&A earlier this year, Mrs Clarke replied “every day”. Although Mrs Clarke’s team missed the deadline, we have still gone to the effort to publish her side of the story in this edition. It’s your job to fight for us Mrs Clarke, not hide from us when we call you out and ask you to be more balanced. And thirdly I’d like to encourage Mrs Clarke to listen to the farmers, who claim they have not been heard. In her right of reply, Mrs Clarke sent in a photo of herself on a farm for us to publish and listed some ways in which she had helped farmers — which included funds to Manukalife where honey products are made for medical and cosmetic purposes, C-Wise where organic carbon is recycled and Grubs Up Australia, which is a cricket farm for humans who eat insects. I do commend Mrs Clarke for supporting progressive farming enterprises because that is the way of the future, however she must do more to help our beef and dairy farmers at ground level. Also on the “agricultural” related funds list sent in by Mrs Clarke was the Waroona abattoir owned by an overseas businessman and a bakery. What does a bakery have to do with farming? Can someone please explain?