KAP Leader and Federal Leader for Kennedy Bob Katter today unleashed his ‘katter-tonic’ rage at the Government’s $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) requiring $50 million minimum contribution, which he said would stop Australian owned projects going ahead and simply subsidise foreign owned corporates that needed it least.
The NAIF proposal requires a minimum loan amount of $50 million and an equal contribution of capital from the developer, which most Australian owned projects would not be able to raise.
Mr Katter today also used Question Time to demand the Minister for Trade explain the Government’s comments in the Australian Financial Review that the loan scheme would assist foreign investors, though the Minister deflected the Question to the Minister for Agriculture.
Since the Northern Loan Plans $50m requirement eliminates northerners it will stop the Northern Beef On-farm Irrigation Plan worth $6b a year.
And since the Govt’s largess goes to (Financial Review Monday) the Darwin Port owners, Wilmar Sugar and JBS Swift – all monopolistic foreign corporations.
And all with corporate plantations, foreign fly-in contractors and mill workers.
What benefit to Australia, Minister?
“The Financial Review says that the Government is already in discussions with Landbridge, a Chinese Corporation who own the Darwin Port, and Wilmar International, a foreign owned corporation that every sugar cane farmer in North Queensland probably hates,” Mr Katter said.
“Add to that list JBS Swift and ask any cattlemen who’s being paid $3 for meat that’s being sold for $20 what he thinks of them.
“But these are the companies we’re subsidising. This is not giving our resources to foreign corporations, this is paying them to take it.
“To get the minimum $50 million subsidy you have to put in $50 million and I can tell you because I have got all the red hot projects in Nth Queensland, they’ve got as much chance of raising $50 million as flying to the moon.
“So no one in Queensland can get the subsidy.
“But Landbridge, Wilmar Sugar and JBS Swift – all foreign owned corporations – will further their control of their industries at the expense of Nth Queensland farmers.
“They will take all of these resources, they will take all the water from the rivers, and they will be subsidised by the Federal Government.
“Has the current Government learnt nothing?
“The Free Trade deal was announced and within 4 weeks the PM was out on his head – if there’s not a causal relationship there then I’ll walk to Burke backwards.
“Yet the same Minister who got universally pilloried over the Port of Darwin sale is still out there trying to sell our resources.”
Mr Katter said that there were 15-30 projects totaling some $100 million in North Queensland alone that could go forward at a moment’s notice, some of which simply need engineering updating and assessment.
“The project with the most power behind it is the Upper Burdekin Irrigation Scheme (UBurIS) – it’s been sitting there for 60-70 years, that’s the first project I’d go forward with,” Mr Katter said.
“The Karumba Port could be developed to provide a critical export route for the live cattle market, along with a canal linking the mid-west mineral resource regions.
“We could also finish the Hann Highway and build the railway line into the Galilee Basin with this money.”
Mr Katter said that the Government now needed to be ready for the people’s fight.
“Let me serve notice that KAP will fight this up hill and down dale.
“We will fight tenatiously – and there will be roll overs and sell outs – we’ve already got them in the Federal Parliament as they control both sides of politics.
“But out there are Australians who will stand up and fight.
“We are going to call public meetings and I expect every decent Australian to turn up and show their rage and anger at this LNP Federal Government which is an absolute disgrace to this nation.
“And the Government might well win, but they’ll have a lot of blood on their hands, that’s for certain,” Mr Katter said.