AACAInc. History

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The Association was formed on the 5th August 1944. The first “OFFICIAL” meeting was held at the Star theatre in Shepparton. Since then the Association has had branches operating in the following districts:- Nagambie, Shepparton, Euroa, Wangaratta, Ovens Valley, Geelong, Cobram, Albury, Western Victoria, East Gippsland, West Gippsland & South Gippsland.

So here we are to-day, 76 years on
“Keeping the Dream Alive”


The following points are taken from the minute books of the day. Some years are not listed, as there was nothing of significance to report. The Association has the original bankbooks and minute books from September 1944. 


YEAR        COMMENTS from MINUTE BOOKS & recorders comments in italics

1944 - A bank account was opened by the Shepparton Association, at the Nagambie branch of the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd. The minutes of the August 1944 meeting were confirmed in November

1945 - The AGM of the State Association of the Victorian Hay Press Owners Association, was held at the Star Theatre Shepparton on 5th October. One of the topics was the shortage of tie wire. The shortage of wire comes up again and again over the next few years.From the records, the Euroa, and Shepparton branches had a meeting with the War Agriculture Department discussing what was going to happen with fodder for that year.

1949 - Albury branch started, Our records of the Commercial bank Nagambie cease in 1949  (opened in 1944)        

1950 - At the AGM of the Victorian Hay Press Owners Association held on 20th September 1950 there is mention of a branch in Cobram. A bank account was in operation at the State Savings Bank Nagambie from around October 1950. From records and information received, we know the Gippsland group had its           germination in 1950 when Lewis Genoni and Gregory Dore started discussing problems with hay baling in the Gippsland District. They felt there was a need for some general understandings amongst farmers & contractors in Gippsland, and in their wisdom they felt there should be an Association to look after the interests of “hay balers”. Following on from those thoughts:- in 1950 Lew and Greg got together with several contractors, and through 1950, 1951 & 1952 made plans. In 1952 Greg Dore travelled to Nagambie to meet with the Victorian Hay Press Owners Association, where they discussed the introduction of twine to replace wire, and from that meeting pushed the desire for a Gippsland branch.

1952 - The AGM of the Victorian Hay Press Owners Association was held at the Grosvenor Hotel Shepparton on 9th September. At the meeting it was decided the minimum charge for baling meadow hay be, £2 / 0 / 0 per ton, and cereal hay be £2 / 5 / 0 per ton. There is mention of an Ovens Valley Association for the first time.

1953 - In the minutes of the meetings held at the Federal Hotel Melbourne, it is recorded that each branch pay an affiliation fee of  £5 / 5 / 0.
It was at this AGM that the name was changed to:--

"The Victorian Hay Balers Association"

The first recorded meeting of the Gippsland Hay Press Owners Association took place on 25th September 1953. We believe that it should have been looked on as a   branch of the:- “Victorian Hay Press Owners Association”, as that is the format of the other regions.

1954 - The 1954 AGM was held in the boardroom of the Australian Primary Producers Union in Collins St Melbourne. In the minutes under advertising, it states:- we [the State Association] have been giving information on prices for “several years” – several years  being the operative words. There is also a mention of a group in Geelong.In the same minutes mention is made about a contractor being successfully sued     for arriving late.[no names or details mentioned] Because of this action members were advised not to give arrival details. At this meeting the association agreed it must have a constitution

1955 - In the minutes of the AGM it mentions the “new” branch at Warragul. We know the Gippsland Association started in South Gippsland.  Talking with Greg Dore he felt the first meeting was held in Koo Wee Rup and subsequently in Bales and other local towns. This was the first recorded year the meeting was preceded by a dinner, all expense were paid by the individual member.

1956 -

In the mid fifties, (thought to be 1956) there was a name change by the Shepparton Association to:- HAY BALERS ASSOCIATION of VICTORIA The minutes mention an association had been formed in Wagga Wagga NSW and that they would join later. (No record of them ever joining, and they do not exist to-day) This was the first year prices were not advertised as a general rule, but we have a copy of a card produced by the Shepparton group listing prices! At this meeting the name was changed to:-

"The Fodder Conservation Operators Association",

On the motion of Mr Moll and seconded by a Mr Richardson and supported by Mr S Parris. At this AGM the constitution was ratified and adopted. [ground work started in 1954]

1957 - A request from the Victorian Dept. of Agriculture for prices, they were supplied with the note “we” are not in favour of advertising prices. (Things have not changed, the tide still ebbs and flows) In the minutes of this year the statement is made that:- Mr J Pearson resigned after being President since the first meeting. It is not clear  whether that referred to the Forties or after the name change in 1953. We believe   it was Jack Pearson from LONGWARRY NORTH.

1958 - AGM decided not to provide prices, [again].

1961 - A point of interest; mowing was listed at £ 1 / 10 / / 0 per acre,
Now, in to-days equivalent, would be in the order of $100.00 per acre give or take.

1962 - Mention was made of the first introduction of:-  Rayon Twine.

1963 - There are no records of the Wangaratta, Ovens Valley, Geelong, Euroa, Shepparton, Albury or Cobram branches after this date. The State Savings Bank account in Nagambie was closed on December 2nd 1963, the amount remitted was £118 / 4 / 7.

1970 - Prices again withdrawn from general publication.

1971 - A charge was made for the supply of our prices. Cost was based on the annual membership fee of the branch.

1972 - First funds into deposit stock. $140.

1973 - An association at Alexandra applied for membership, [no further note.]

1974 - First AGM held at Royal Agricultural Society [Show Grounds:] - Melbourne.

1976 - Second mention of deposit stock transferring another $100

1980 - First mention of:-  Western Victorian Branch. We know the group was in operation as far back as the late 60’s we have records   from the early 70’s. There were two group’s a Cultivation group and a Fodder group, they amalgamated in 1994

1982 -  Mention of:-  South Gippsland branch, [read with 1955 notes could it have been the West Gippsland Branch] First mention of Tractors to be fitted with knapsacks.

1985 - First contractor sued for bad workmanship, contractor lost.

1992 - After 18 years, the first AGM to be held away from RAS was held at B. Hedley’s. residence, in Drouin.
A joint meeting held in Hamilton. Last mention of deposit stock. $340

1993 - A G M at Rob Tylee’s residence in Drouin, with Vic Roads as guests.

1993 A.G.M. at Hamilton.

1995 - A.G.M. held at the Royal Hotel Drouin.

1996 - A.G.M. held at the Moama Sports Club?    [no records.]

1997 - A.G.M. held at the Seymour Club, Seymour?   [no records.]

1998 - A.G.M. held at the Seymour Club, Seymour?  [Insufficient numbers for a Quorum, R Molesworth, I Richards, & L Smyth only,]

1999 - Successful A.G.M. held at the Seymour Club, Seymour.

2002 - AGM Held at Lardner Park sponsored by Troutbeck Sales & Services on their stand.

2003 - AGM held at the Warragul Bowling Club.

2004 - AGM Held in Drouin at The Royal Hotel.

2005 - AGM held at site of Troutbeck Sales & Services Lardner Field Day’s.

2006 - AGM held at the Robin Hood Hotel Drouin. At that meeting the decision was made to change the name to:-

"Australian Agricultural Contractors Association"

Len Smyth appointed to office of administration manager for:- South Gippsland and Northern Victorian branches. Western Victorian Association produced their own full colour brochure, the first by any Association in the group

2007 - AGM held at the Robin Hood Hotel Drouin. South Gippsland & East Gippsland Associations amalgamated this year. Len Smyth appointed administration manager for West Gippsland branch.

July 07 The Association became an incorporated body.

2008 - The four groups produced the first full colour brochures; With, John Deere, AGCO, FarmTech, Silawrap, Tapex, DPI “FeedTest”, DPI “WEEDSTOP”,   being the first Corporate Sponsors. Recommendation to members to start using the Associations “Code of Conduct”, & “Conditions of Services & Contract of Engagement”           documents for each and every activity. Members were undertaking “WEEDSTOP” accreditation, and “Dairy Australia” silage accreditation. AGM held at the McMillan Centre Warragul. The Association introduced a machinery hygiene protocol, an industry first.

2009 - AGM sponsored by, and held at Integrated Packaging Reservoir. State Association ran a Forum in Ballarat on “Agriculture today & Tomorrow” was a great success.

2009 - Association became registered for GST.

2010 - AGM held at Integrated Packaging in Reservoir. Delegates to recommend to members a name change for each group. Changes to web address and e-mail addresses to:- info@agcontracting.org.au and www.agcontracting.org.au. Delegates at the AGM agreed to the State Association Secretary organising and           publishing on behalf of the Associations, a combined brochure for the 2010 – 2011 season, and to incorporate the celebration of the 67th Anniversary of the           Association and further that the State Association be responsible for all facets of the brochure; advertisers, printing, distribution, funding, and collection of accounts.

2011 - At the AGM of the State Association held on 14th March at Integrated Packaging the members decided that the proposed new constitutions be tabled at the separate Associations AGM’s in July for agreement to have them adopted. Bill Saunders raised the matter of training and induction this will be an ongoing matter. 16 members travelled to NZ on an education tour. The proposed silage forum did not get off the ground.

2012 - The SGM was held at Landpower Laverton on the 13th March. It was decided that each member Association should pay $500.00 annual membership, it was also noted that Nth Vic be given time to comply. Members were advised that Western Victoria & South Gippsland were now operating under the new constitution/rules. West Gippsland and Northern Victoria, had a couple of issues with the Corporate Affairs.

Introduction of new membership catergories.

Life member, Honorary member, Full member & Associate member.

Introduction of membership ID cards.

The Association made a donation to the Patel Health Fund, in Nepal. Members were advised that to keep the Association’s meetings in line with the Corporate Affairs the AGM will be in August 2012. All Associations are now operating under the new rules. The AGM was held at the premises of LANDPOWER Laverton 41new full members were welcomed, and 5 Associate members. The Secretary again made mention of the cavalier attitude to members replying to communications. Duncan McNeil moved a motion to bestow Life Membership on Len Smyth, seconded by Ian Richards. Len has been a delegate [since 1985] continuously for 30 years:- 8 years as Secretary, 7 years as Secretary / Treasurer, 5 years as Snr Vice President, 3 years as Jnr Vice President. Len Smyth thanked the members for the honour, and promised to:-

“Keep the Dream Alive”

2013 SGM - All members received a confidential spread-sheet on the Associations finances.The President moved a motion:- that the Secretary / Administration manager be reimbursed for time and out of pocket expenses from the brochure revenue. Seconded by Merv Zanker. An amount was agreed on and was acceptable to the office holder. The Association agreed to develop a “Registered Contractor” status from the NZ model. This will be developed and tabled at the AGM’s of the groups in July 2013.

2013 AGM - Secretary/Treasurer reimbursement to be in line with CPI movements. A Cd as well as brochures were to be printed this year. An Association diary was produced. A suggestion was made to amalgamate all groups, will not happen.

2014  SGM - The SGM was held at the premises of Power Farming Group Derrimut. It was decided to put steps at foot to amalgamate West Gippsland and South Gippsland into one Association, to be called Gippsland Agricultural Contractors Association Inc. With regret the Association accepted the resignation of President Duncan McNeil. Members agreed to implement a “Code of Conduct” for Days for Total Fire Ban. To be added to our existing document. The voluntary advice is:- That; on a day of Total Fire Ban, NO harvesting, baling, slashing, or any activity of a high risk nature should take place above, 35deg C, or a wind speed greater than 20km per hr, and a humidity of less than 30%. Should work of this nature need to take place, then a member should have a FULLY MANNED fire-fighting appliance IN CLOSE proximity to the activity, with a minimum capacity of 1,000lts. And further that the appliance should have a 1” hose of at least 20’ in length, with a fire-fighting nozzle attached, couples to a reliable pump of appropriate capacity. And further that the member and the landowner each advise the local CFA of their intention to undertake such an activity. This was agreed to at all Association meetings. On legal advice this did not transpire.

The AACAInc decided to enrol members in it’s own right, to accommodate entities where there was no local Association. Members decided to dispose of the “WEEDSTOP” trailer by auction to members. Members agreed it was time to examine the way we arrive at the recommended prices. We have engaged Asset Finance Management to assist with a complete review of the pricing structure. Members felt that dealerships were not supporting the products sold well enough    with spare parts, and stock of consumables.

2015  SGM - Mr Bill Saunders was appointed to President, The Association implemented a confidentiality agreement with members. The Association implemented a sponsorship policy. Tapex became our major sponsor. No further action on “Registered Contractor” proposal. A motion was moved by Tony Froon that “No alcoholic beverages be served during any meeting, or allowed to be consumed at any meeting” This was passed at all groups SGM meetings.

2015/2016 - At the AGM. To discuss the future operations of the Association:- Change rules to incorporate:- Secretary must be a FULL member of the           Association. Status of administration person; They do not have to be a Full member of the Association, and as such do not have a vote, and they will not be a spouse of a current officer, but they should be an Associate member. Incorporate into the rules that; only one General meeting is required per year, and   two committee meetings. The Association implemented a number plate scheme. At the SGM in March the Association made several decisions to go forward. The Past Secretary advised the meeting these were unconstitutional. Mr Robb put forward a scheme where new members get two years subscription for the price of one, for the 2017 – 17 and 18 year. This was agreed to. The President informed the meeting the Association will not be printing a brochure in the future. The Association agreed to donate $1,500.00 to the hay drive and spend $150.00 on a banner for the truck. Some days after this meeting the President and the Administration manager resigned. Stating that it was not workable from their point of view. A Special General Meeting was called for, to be the 5th May to consider the future. At the meeting in May Tony Froon was appointed President and Adam Whipp Vice President. Bob Callanan remained as Secretary and Matthew Best was appointed Treasurer.


Objects of the Association

The ongoing function of the Association is to be a forum for all members, and advertisers to discuss their mutual ideas, successes, failures, machinery information, and manufacturers responses to problems, to assist with the supply of products and services as and when necessary, to liaise with government departments and to further the interests of Agricultural Contracting and farming in general, by what ever means is deemed appropriate.


The history here in has been compiled from printed and anecdotal material. Should you have any other information that can confirm what we believe, or information to the contrary, please get in touch with the Association, we would like to hear from you. This production was up-dated as of 19/02/2014 from additional information received.

Australian Agricultural Contractors Association Inc
P O Box 1883,
Bakery Hill,

Or e-mail: info@agcontracting.org.au

“We have no problems with contractors who work for less,
for whom better to know the value of their work”


P.O. Box 1883, Bakery Hill, Vic 3354

Australian Agricultural Contractors Association

Official announcement: The Victorian hay Press Owners Association, 5th August 1944
But believed to have been in existence circa 1942 refer history page on web site.
Then, Fodder Conservation Operators Association Sept. 1956
Then, Australian Agricultural Contractors Association Inc, July 2007
PO Box 1883 Bakery Hill, Ballarat, VIC 3354
Web site - www.agcontracting.org.au e-mail - info@agcontracting.org.au
ABN 71 516 754 008 Registered address - 400 Froons Rd BUNNALOO NSW 2731

Contact Australian Agricultural Contractors Association