12 February 2013: KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter last night told his colleagues in the House of Representatives that the two major parties must really be very committed to looking after the billionaires of Australia by selling off our resource industries and jobs.
Mr Katter was speaking during debate on theProtecting Local Jobs (Regulating Enterprise Migration Agreements) Bill 2012 which he has co-sponsored in a bid to stop the carte blanche importation of foreign fly-in-fly-out workers at the expense of plum jobs for Australians.
He told the Parliament that it would be eternally shameful to be associated with the current government in Australia, which has been the government responsible not only for the fly-ins but also the section 457s.
The founding principles of the Labor Party were that we had fought, and literally died, over the bringing people in from overseas to undermine our pay and conditions, which we had fought so hard for, said Mr Katter.
In Queensland, I think the sale of the railways damaged the government in such a way that it could never recover, (and) I think the flying in of 1740 miners from overseas to make some mining magnate richer will damage this Labor government in much the same way.
In many towns like Mackay, Mount Isa and even my own hometown, Cloncurry, it is becoming ‘Spot the Australian’ because they are all foreign fly-in workers and if theyre working for Australian pay and conditions then I am a Martian astronaut.
Mr Katter reminded the House that both the major parties had overseen governments in which Australias resources industries had been given away to foreigners leaving the profits, the resources, and now the wages, to be sent offshore while Australia is left with little more than holes in the ground.
And all of this is to make some mining magnate rich. You must really be very committed to looking after the billionaires of Australia when you have given all the gas resources away to foreigners, he told Members of Parliament.
The coal seam gas industry is reputed to provide $45,000 million to the Australian economy (and being processed through) Gladstone and at the two liquefaction plants in Western Australia, as well as one proposed for the Northern Territory. But there are no wagesit is just in a pipe with a motor pumping the gas without any requirement for labour.
Yes, there will be about 4000 jobs, but what Australia will be getting out of this vast resource is very, very small beer.
And yet we have the highest electricity charges in the world (while) a lot of other countries have reserved the gas so that they can provide cheap electricity.