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Breaking the Sheep’s Back
by

From the author of the influential The Australian Merino comes the shocking true story of the decline and fall of the Australian wool empire – a tale that features a brace of Australian characters, political skulduggery and betrayal on a massive scale.

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Overview

Breaking the Sheep’s Back is the untold story of Australia’s biggest business disaster. It involves government complicity, and it is a political scandal that reaches into the offices of Cabinet ministers and prime ministers across six federal governments.

Breaking the Sheep’s Back is a private royal commission – over eight years in the writing, and involving a colourful and intriguing cast of characters. It is written by someone who was intimately involved in the industry at many levels; who was appointed by a federal minister to statutory boards after the disaster; who has spoken to most of the key players involved, and to those who were inside the Cabinet offices and Corporation and other board rooms; and who has had access to the key documents (such as board papers, government papers, private correspondence). It is a must-read account of Australia’s worst business disaster.

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Charles Massy

Charles Massy

Charles Massy gained a Bachelor of Science (Zoology, Human Ecology) at ANU (1976), before going farming for 35 years, developing the prominent Merino sheep stud ‘Severn Park’. Concern at ongoing land degradation and humanity’s sustainability challenge led him to return to ANU in 2009 to undertake a PhD in Human Ecology. Charles was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service as Chair and Director of a number of research organisations and statutory wool boards. He has also served on national and international review panels in sheep and wool research and development and genomics. Charles has authored several books on the Australian sheep industry, the most recent being the widely acclaimed Breaking the Sheep’s Back (UQP, 2011).