21 June 2013: KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has dismissed as pre-election lip service the latest resurgent pledge by a major party to develop Northern Australia.
A discussion paper on northern development released by the federal Opposition today has been met with extreme cynicism by Mr Katter, who has spent much of his 40 years representing North Queensland as a Member of Parliament in heated debate with successive governments on key policies to develop the north.
We applaud the rhetoric but remain extremely cynical about the chances of reality, said Mr Katter today.
As Ive repeated a million times, theres 300 million megalitres in the northern third of Australia versus only 80 million megalitres in basically the other two-thirds, the Murray Darling Basin which is currently being locked up.
But the LNP was in power for 12 years and never built a kiddies wading pool let alone a dam. They never built a weir nor shovelled a load of concrete across the gutter. Of course now that the election has been called, once again they have come out making all sorts of promises to mask their prior failures.
So please excuse me for being cynical; that while theyre trailing behind the KAP in a number of key seats, they have stolen our line and assumed North Queenslanders are dumb bad mistake.
Mr Katter repeated his warnings that foreign ownership of Aussie agriculture was inevitable whilst the policies of successive Australian governments meant our farmers could no longer operate profitably in Australia, where they are forced to compete on an un-level global playing field created by an artificially-inflated $AUD, the result of interest rates 400 per cent higher than the rest of the world; and negligible support levels compared to those enjoyed by competitor nations (which the OECD has averaged at 41 per cent).
The current free market policies which make farming unprofitable for our farmers mean the whole Australian land mass will be up for sale whether its to the Chinese or the Callathumpians, said Mr Katter.
Give us profitability, by bringing the Australian dollar down to 60c and mandating ethanol content in fuels, or existing farms will go bust and sell off.
Weve already let 12 per cent of our farmland to be sold off to foreigners, and the only difference between the ALP and the LNP on this issue is that the LNP will sell us out faster.
But if the federal and state governments faced up to their responsibilities and like every other government on Earth introduced a 10-20 per cent ethanol mandate in petrol, our farmers could make money and youd be killed in the rush to take up land.
Theyd be the only farmers in Australia who would be able to make money because ethanol is the key to turning around farming in Australia. It also enables you to have a prosperous cattle industry because distillers grain, a by-product, is extremely valuable to cattle and poultry industries.
But reducing pollution and the deaths from motor vehicle emissions is the main reason most other countries have introduced ethanol.
And there can be only one reason why Australia does not have ethanol and the only explanation there can be is because the ALP and LNP are owned by the oil companies.