Australia Day honour for Nixon

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

Gingin Angus breeder and retired politician Murray Nixon has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the general division for service to the Parliament, to the agricultural sector and to the community of WA.

Among a long list of his achievements, notable mentions include being an active member of the Liberal Party of Australia for more than 50 years, including Federal councillor and years spent working as chairman on the Rural Policy Committee.

Mr Nixon, who believes agribusiness and politics go hand in hand, said his proudest achievements were the introduction of livestock genetic evaluation system, Breedplan, more than 40 years ago and his work fighting for individuals' property rights as a politician.

"Breedplan was ahead of its time and offered producers the potential to accelerate genetic progress in your herd, tighten up your breeding operations to improve productivity," Mr Nixon said.

"I had a lot of fun with Breedplan and, in fact, I was using it before the Angus society was gaining accolades for it not long afterwards.

"I won champion carcase award at the Royal Show in 1979, and then in following consecutive years the society won first, second and third place for exhibit cattle at the National Show, using the plan."

Mr Nixon also said if you cared about agriculture, politics had a large part to play in effecting essential change to guide its prosperity.

"I've been working hard advocating property rights as Liberal party member for more than 16 years," he said.

"Property rights are the basis of a capitalist society and without them, not only farmers, but people who own land are not secure because they actually don't have anything." These days Mr Nixon said he prefers a quieter life.

"I'm still heavily involved in politics and have about 100 head of cattle on my farm," he said.

"I guess you could call me semi-retired."

Mr Nixon is currently a member of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association's Property Rights Industry Working Group Committee and president of the Gingin Private Property Rights Group.

He was formerly State president of the Junior Farmers, and a president of the Moora branch of the Farmers Union's Miling zone and member of General Executive (now WAFarmers).

His memberships included the United Beef Breeders Association and the Royal Agricultural Society, and he is a former Federal Councillor and WA Committee member of the Angus Society of Australia.

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