Category Archives: agriculture
Dairy, citrus, potato, pineapple, prawn, fishing industries, motor vehicles, pulp, paper, fibre, fuel, plastics and more finished, now sugar
HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has urged the Federal Government to stand up for Australian cane farmers after India’s decision to dump millions of tonnes of subsidised sugar on the world market.
The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP, whose electorate is home to a sugar industry worth more than $300 million a year, said India’s actions were a kick in the guts for local cane farmers.
“This is a disgraceful decision by India at a time when our producers are already dealing with a poor world sugar price below the cost of production,” he said.
“It is not a level playing field when India’s sugar industry is getting the equivalent of an $850 million government assistance package, including help to export their product,” he said.
Mr Dametto’s call for action was backed up by KAP leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter who was also furious at the situation.
“Our country will not survive continuing to be what economist Trevor Sykes called the “only virgin in the brothel,” Mr Katter said.
“Most of my last speeches in Parliament have been what I’ve hoped are fierce attacks upon the hypocrisy of free trade; upon our industry representative organisations particularly in agriculture.
All we’ve got out of these bodies in Canberra is a clapping of hands for every free trade deal.
“What country on earth free trades?”
Mr Katter also cast doubt on the willingness of industrial countries like China or India to be transparent when it came to playing by the rules on free trade.
“Does anyone seriously believe that China or India free trade?” he said.
“The damage done by deregulation has been colossal. The damage was done by national Liberal governments. The National Competition Policy was forced upon the states by the Federal Government. I know this because I was then in that Federal Government and this was one of the major reasons I left.
“Before deregulation, the sugar producer was receiving $473 a tonne and the price to the consumer was $1040 a tonne (104c per/kg). A mark-up of around 100 per cent.
The “current price” to the producer is $317 per tonne and the price on the shelf is $1750 per tonne ($1.75 per/kg). That’s nearly a 600 per cent mark up.
“The supermarket chains have said “thank you, we love you Mr Government. You have enabled us now to charge the consumers a 600 per cent mark-up instead of a 100 percent mark-up”.
“American farmers get paid for sugar around $600 a tonne, French farmers’ $700 tonne, Thailand farmers around $450 a tonne, and Australian farmers, $317 a tonne. We have the most poorly paid sugar farmers in the world and that is the outcome of government free-market policies.
Mr Katter said free trade had ravaged multiple agricultural industries in Australia, pointing to the US Free Trade Agreement as an example.
“The American free trade deal was about dairy, beef and sugar. The value to dairying was quoted as one free ice-cream a week for each farmer. The cattle industry has always had a fairly good deal on access and the sugar industry was wiped like a dirty rag. It got nothing.
“Mark Vaile, the then National Party Minister for Trade, said before a negotiations started, “There would be no deal unless sugar was included”. To call anyone in the National Party a liar is not really correct, they are actually jokes. They are not the beer in the bottle; they’re the label that tells you how good the beer is.
“When Tony Abbott rose to his feet to congratulate Andrew Robb on securing the free trade deal with China, all the Liberals and their flunkies – the Nationals – stood up and gave a standing ovation. I said to the MP next door to me, “Abbott just wrote his own death warrant”.
“A couple of months later, he was gone.
“What they don’t tell you on beef, is yes, you can get beef into the US free of tariffs (around two per cent), but the USA beef subsidy is around 30 per cent. Under the Free Trade Agreement, it stays.
“The subsidy in India on ‘fertiliser alone’ was, when I last looked, $2.3 billion a year. The Indians believe in cheap food for their people, and quite rightly so. The ALP and LNP believe in free trade – yeah, for the supermarket giants.
“But clearly not in cheap food for the people.”
Senator Fraser Anning, Katters Australian Party is pushing to have the Bank Inquiry extended to give farmers dispossessed by avaricious banks a fair go
Its just Two weeks until 14th August – “Extend The Banking Royal Commission Event” by Senator Fraser Anning
Parliament House Canberra 9.30 am start.
(Please forward this to your friends, supporters and other bank victims / survivors)
Hi Readers, The news is that
- Several speakers at the event have been giving their stories to the Media. You might read them this coming week. (Tristan Chapman, David Gilham are in the SMH, Tanya Hargraves on ABC TV (see her summarised story below)
- Michael Sanderson 0421176997 email@example.com and Craig Caulfield firstname.lastname@example.org can assist you finding rooms to share with others to make accommodation cheaper ($50 / night) if you contact them soon.
- Many people from WA & Qld are making the trip.
- If you cannot attend the event but want to, please email me asap so we can list the apologies on the screen prior to it starting.
- There are at least three people who want to get to Canberra but are strapped for the funds.
- If anyone can assist someone with making the trip to Canberra, please notify me 0435423636 so I can put you in touch with them.
1) How to assist the event and make it a success
- This event may be the last really good chance to influence the Royal commission to do it`s job properly
- As well as encouraging as many Victims/ survivors to attend, please encourage family & friends to attend in support
- The room can hold 300 plus standing room around the edge of the room.
- As well as attending the event, Please start making appointments to meet your local member and your state senators in Canberra on 13th, 14th or 15th Aug to inform them you want the royal commission extended. Their office numbers are on the web.
- Ask/arm twist etc your Local member / senators to hear the event from 9.30 am to 11 am on Tuesday 14th Aug in Parliament house in the main committee room
- Put messages on face book, twitter, web sites, talk to media to attend the event. The schedule for the “Extend the Banking Royal Commission Event” is • Tues Aug 14th 8.30 am – 9.15 am suggesting those attending should arrive at Parliament House and go to Main Committee room on level 1• 9.30 am Senator Fraser Anning welcomes guests etc• 10:35 – 11:05 am Media asks the speakers and Fraser questions about why the royal commission should be extended• Suggest all visitors go to lunch 11:30 am – 12.30 pm
- • 11: 20 am room begins emptying
- • 9:35 – 10.35 am interviews conducted to a sharp timetable ( each speakers story will be edited down to a number of dot points to go on the screen so audience can read that while each speaker is interviewed)
- (Speakers will need to assemble inside the main Marble entrance at 9 am and be escorted to the Committee room – so they don’t get lost)
- • Mon Aug 13th 6 pm at Forrest hotel (30 National Circuit) rehearsal for the Event the next day (speakers need to attend this)
Other events that visitors could attend in the Senate in the afternoon might include
- 2.30 pm? – Reintroduction of the motion to Extend the Royal Commission by Senator Fraser Anning in Senate
- 5 pm – Senator Anning`s Maiden Speech?
- After Speech party at 6 pm (free drinks and food)
- Paul Herman wants to get a team to visit several Ministers and Senators
He is looking for people affected by
- Predatory Lending,
- Loan Application Fraud,
- who have been unable to meet mortgage payments,
- who have lost their home,
- or been bankrupted or liquidated.
He wants to coordinate meetings and have a number of people with him
To join him, contact Paul Herman 0408 332 057
We (organisers) believe the success of the event will rely on a combined effort – Here are some ways others will evaluate the effort
All the Best
Advisor to Senator Fraser Anning
Lakeland farmers have been told they no longer own the water after rainfall hits the ground on their properties.
Desperate for irrigation water to keep their banana crops alive the State Government delivered a mortal blow preventing farmers from building any more dams over 50 megalitres capacity without applying for an expensive licence.
Mareeba-based Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy officer Patrick Huber broke the devastating news at a meeting of Lakeland farmers recently.
Mr Huber stressed that water caught in domestic rainwater tanks was safe from government hands but any other water belonged to the State.
Releasing the Draft Water Plan for Cape York Peninsula he said overland flow had to be protected and the department would soon require land owners with existing dams, large or small, to supply dam measurements and capacities to the department.
Within 12 months of receiving the information the DNR would then issue a licence for the water and install meters on all private dams to get an idea of water usage.
When questioned if the reason for water meters was to charge landowners for their own water, Mr Huber said there was no mention of this in the draft plan.
It was pointed out that other Labor states began charging farmers fees for private water storages more than a decade ago but DNR staff denied this was their intention.
The Draft Plan allowed for total usage of only 2.5 per cent of the entire water availability on Cape York, which did not impress the meeting.
In the Normanby Basin which includes Lakeland, “the Draft Bill allows 2000 ml for general use but has allocated 16,000 ml to indigenous groups because they are the largest landowners under the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act,” Mr Huber said.
“If farmers require more water allocation they can buy it from various indigenous bodies at commercial water trading prices.”
The Plan allows for a total of 516,350 ml of unallocated water across Cape York.
Lakeland stud cattle breeder Bill Reddie questioned why no more dams could be built saying he had lived at Lakeland since the 1980’s.
“There is more water going down our gullies than 30 years ago which could be caught,” Mr Reddie commented.
Weipa grazier Mr John Witherspoon said he was angry the DNR had not provided any allocation in the Watson catchment or allowed more water for farm usage across the Cape.
“The State Government is right out of touch with the Peninsula and we should be demonstrating against them over taking away our water rights and charging so much just to apply for a licence with no guarantee of getting it,” Mr Witherspoon said.
In attendance at the meeting was Katters Australian Party candidate for Leichardt Dan McCarthy who questioned the reason for restricting land owners access to the vast amount of fresh water on Cape York thus preventing any further agricultural development.
“I am very concerned about the overarching policy of only allowing 2.5 per cent of water that falls on Cape York for farming,” Mr McCarthy said.
“The government needs to make up their minds. They are restricting access to a mere 2.5 per cent of rainfall that falls from the sky claiming any more would be detrimental to the environment, yet on the other hand they squeal like a stuck pig that runoff is killing the reef.
“We are blessed with abundant water during the wet season and we should be encouraging land owners to capture more water rather than the State Government persecuting them for using a natural resource.
“It’s disgraceful situation that legislation is leading towards farmers having to install meters on their own dams on their own properties which will lead to them having to pay for their own water..
“We are constantly told that runoff is killing the barrier reef but farmers want to capture water runoff.
“KAP policy is that farmers own any water that falls on their property so how is it they can eventually charge farmers for their own water? – contributed
by Gil Hanrahan
The farming industry’s beloved Liberal National Party is about to betray them again when Liberal MP Susan Ley will today introduce a private member’s bill into the Lower House that would ban live sheep exports to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer months in 2019 and close the sector down entirely in five years.
The last major double-cross for agriculture by the Liberals was in 1999 when PM John Howard introduced the Environment and Biosecurity Conservation Act which was the key for the states to introduce severe vegetation management laws.
How much more government intervention the industry can take is anyone’s guess but soon over-regulation will choke all primary industry to a standstill regardless of the political hue in Canberra.
The last bastion of neo-liberalism, the National Farmers Federation and Meat and Livestock Australia have committed their final Judas act by rolling over whenever pressure is applied by activists.
The traitorous ABC troll responsible for shutting down the live cattle export industry based on false and misleading television footage of Indonesian-bred cattle being mistreated by bribed abattoir workers is Susan Ferguson.
Coincidentally she is the wife of Q&A presenter and ALP sycophant Tony Jones.
Ferguson and the Animals Australia snake Lyn White aided and abetted by the ABC shut down the live cattle export trade overnight in 2011.
It is on the record these misguided, athiest animal rights activists indirectly caused a number of suicides across the agricultural sector.
As a consequence a group of cattle producers is suing the Federal Government for $600 million in compensation after live exports to Indonesia were banned by the Gillard administration.
Now it seems the trendsetters of the left division in the Liberal Party have joined in to support the Liberal backbencher’s anti-export bill.
Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said Labor will lock in its support for what will be known as the Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill.
Livestock producers should be aware these fifth-columnists won’t stop with sheep. Those opposed to live export are rounding up their forces right now to shut down cattle exports. http://www.animalsaustralia.org/
These pagans believe animal rights take precedence over human lives in a similar fashion to the Queensland Labor Party and it seems the Liberals who continue to allow tourists and North Queensland inhabitants be torn apart by monstrous crocodiles.
The sheep meat industry and producers had better take a strong stand instead of simply rolling over as normal. If they leave it to the producer bodies they might as well hand the farm keys to the Chinese now.
What will their starving, urbanised grandchildren say?
Confusion reigns in the Mareeba office of the indigenous Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui.
Constituents in the Cook electorate since Ms Lui occupied her office earlier this year, have complained they cannot meet her face to face. Just who is the member?
They first have to get past her close minders, former Labor senator, Jan McLucas and former Labor candidate for Leichardt, Sharon Howes.
Both staffers guard Ms Lui jealously, and as one Labor insider put it, “…they will have to keep Cynthia wrapped in cotton wool….”
On Wednesday Ms Lui, originally from Yam Island in the Torres Strait, was engulfed in controversy when she shamelessly backed the stringent legislative amendments to the hated Vegetation Management Act in parliament which will again see Cape York Peninsula sterilised of any development.
Chairman of the indigenous Cape York Land Council Richie Ah Mat told the ABC he would fight the new laws to the bitter end and had already instructed lawyers to ascertain if the VMA breached the Native Title Act.
Unfortunately for Mr Ah Mat, the Land Council knew well before it agreed to back the Labor Party at the state election, these new laws would be enacted.
A life member of the ALP who asked to remain anonymous, was critical of the anti-clearing laws which he said would again stop any development of vast Aboriginal freehold land holdings on the Cape.
“Richie is just playing the game. He knew this was coming but they backed Cynthia Lui at the election, doing other deals with the Labor Party which will be of great benefit to members of the Land Council,” the disgruntled life member claimed.
“The Land Council was told by the government if they don’t support them at the election they will simply turn off the money.
“Richie and the Land Council are paying lip service and are lackeys of whatever party is in power.
“They won’t bite the hand that feeds them.”
Leader of Katters Australian Party, Robbie Katter warned regional Labor members, in particular Ms Lui the party would target them at the next election for “disregarding the wishes of their electorates” by allowing the government to shut down any development on their land.
Cairns News has been contacted by a member of an influential Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) who complained the VMA had scuttled their plans to create a productive cattle breeding property in the north of the Cape.
“We are very angry,” she said.
Cynthia Lui has been associated with politics for most of her life and should know how the flawed system operates.
Her father, Gaetano Lui was a close associate and supporter of the late Queensland National Party Premier Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen and remains a tenacious conservative voter, according to sources on Thursday Island.
When he was Chairman of the Torres Strait Regional Authority in 1996, Mr Lui was a strong voice behind the push for autonomy for the Straits.
Discussing self-rule for the Torres Strait, Gaetano Lui, stated, “ the central force behind this plan [for the TSRA] is our strong commitment to empowering our people to determine their own affairs. It is about controlling our own destiny and putting power back in the hands of our people.” (from HRC)
While the ALP holds power in the state and his daughter holds the seat of Cook, the Torres Strait will remain a part of Queensland. The indigenous people of Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait will have no say under a state or federal ALP government.
“This is why Cynthia’s father never got a mention during the election campaign,” said the Labor insider.
Editor: Our editorial policy when dealing with indigenous informants usually is one of anonymity. Recriminations can be culturally dangerous in some situations.
This compelling movie should be viewed by every Australian. As Australia is the 52nd state of the US, it is only a matter of time before these standoffs occur here. The Commonwealth of Australia is registered with the New York stock exchange, regulated by US corporation law. The Queensland Corporate Labor Government comes to mind when farmers are finally pushed hard enough to take a stand against the proposed vegetation management laws that are designed to shut down viable farmers and graziers in the state. If all of the state’s farmers banded together to stop the corporation’s policies of halting development, the ALP would be stymied.
About 30,500 businesses carry out agricultural activity in Queensland. Agricultural industries contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy each year. It will be up to farmers to decide if they want their business to continue or will allow the edicts of the UN agreement, Agenda 30 to which we are a signatory, shut them down. The ball is in your court Mr Primary Producer!
The ball also is firmly in the court of city consumers. Do they want to eat Queensland’s renowned clean and green produce or would they prefer imported, tainted food from countries such as China or Asia? The federal Liberal Party, aided and abetted by the ALP has signed free trade deals all over the world. The laissez faire policies of governments came back to bite them when the $87.7m farmed prawn industry was destroyed last year by imported prawns from Vietnam infected with white spot disease, all under the holy grail of free trade. Anne Bressington MP talks about the devastating effects of Agenda 21, now Agenda 30
by Gil Hanrahan, editor-at-large
Queensland farmers want to stick to their guns but the Labor infested public service has refused several hundred handgun licence renewals over the past 18 months causing many cases of animal cruelty.
Farmers need handguns, which have been a part of their tools-of-trade since the first sheep and cattle were offloaded at Botany Bay in 1788.
But the socialist Queensland Labor Party is denying them a licence to carry one even if a farmer has been licenced for 20 or more years without incident or a change in circumstances.
Should a farmer find a cow with a dead calf stuck in its uterus while giving birth and the cow is on its last gasp after the crows have pecked out its eyes and those of the calf, he has no option but to kill the cow. How? He is 20 klms from the house and the nearest rifle because he is on a horse or motorbike.
He could cut the cow’s throat with a pocket knife, that is if he is still allowed to carry one.
The LNP Opposition in 2011 helped outlaw pocket knives by voting with the ALP to ban them. Agforce was dead quiet about this one.
Once a farmer would take his revolver out of its holster and shoot the cow, being the most humane thing to do while appeasing the brain-dead Animals Australia and the RSPCA both of which refuse to provide midwives for Brahman cows.
There are a number of alternatives for hard-pressed farmers such as buying one of many anecdotal ‘hot’ handguns available on the black market or to inadvertently misplace the licenced pistol, which happens on occasion.
Katters Australia Party State leader Robbie Katter says he will step up the pressure on the Labor Party when Parliament resumes to force the ALP Marxists to instruct the Weapons Branch to renew all licences for farmers.Police Minister Comrade Ryan like his predecessor Captain Bill Byrne has a generational hatred of farmers as this new parliament will reveal.
There is palpable union and Labor animosity towards those on the land producing clean and green food for Queenslanders, which unfortunately includes the Labor Party. Agriculture will be in for a torrid time unless the KAP cross-bench can hold them at bay.
The ALP is skating on climate-changing, thin ice even though it has a two seat majority, thanks to an abundance of vote fraud and the ethnic welfare vote. Before the new parliament sits, the Member for Mulgrave and former Treasurer Curtis Pitt is about to be hauled before the powerful Ethics Committee after the LNP alleged he misled the last parliament by pushing through a sweetheart deal for the Tram and Bus Union. Pitt’s fate is up in the air.
Another alternative is for farmers to launch a Federal Court class action to lay bare the unlawful Australia Act 1986 and the alterations to the Queensland Constitution in 2001 by the political miscreant, Peter Beattie without a referendum.
Has anyone noticed since 2001 how Beattie, Bligh, Newman and Palaszczuk refer to “my government’. Does anyone remember giving the ‘government’ to an individual?
Beattie removed the Queen and installed the Premier as the new head of State for the corporate, Socialist Republic of Queensland.The legal mechanism used by the malcontent Beattie can be found in the record of proceedings in the Cairns Magistrates Court: Queensland Police –v- Walter, 2016, QP1700886562 QPS.
If farmers could actually band together for the common good just for once, the Federal Court would have little alternative but to find there is no criminal law in Queensland applying to those citizens outside of the political parties, just the common law which exists across the nation.
The never-ending battles of the Coral Sea
by Viv Forbes, science writer
For at least 50 years Australian taxpayers and other innocents have supported a parasitic industry in academia, bureaucracy, law, media and the tax-exempt Green Alarm “Charities”, all studying, regulating, inspecting and writing about yet another “imminent threat to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.”
The Queensland Labor Party Government is about to embark on another reef-runoff onslaught against coastal farmers that is intended to close down farming along the entire coastline, from Cooktown to Brisbane.
It has become the never-ending battle of the Coral Sea.
The threats change, but there is always a doomsday forecast – Crown-of-Thorns, oil drilling, fishing, cane farming, coastal shipping, global warming, ocean acidity, coral bleaching, port dredging, chemical and fertiliser runoff, coal transport, river sediments, loss of world heritage status etc. Every recycled scare, magnified by the media and parroted by politicians, generates more income for the alarm industry, usually at the expense of taxpayers, consumers or local industries.
The reality is that sea creatures would starve in pure water – all marine life needs nutrients, salts and minerals. These come from other life forms, from decomposing rocks and organic matter carried to the sea by rivers, from dissolving atmospheric gases, or from delta and shelf sediments stirred up by floods, cyclones, dredging or coastal shipping. No one supports over-use of toxic man-made chemicals, but well-run cane, cattle and coal companies can co-exist with corals.
Corals first appeared 500 million years ago and have proven to be one of Earth’s great survivors. They outlasted the Carboniferous Forests, the Permian and Cretaceous extinctions, the dinosaurs, the mammoths, the Neanderthals and the Pleistocene cycles of ice age and warming. They thrive in warm tropical water, cluster around hot volcanic fumaroles and survive massive petroleum spills, natural oil seeps, tidal waves and volcanic dust. They have even recolonised the Montebello Island waters devastated by atomic bomb testing in the 1950’s.
The ENSO oscillation of blobs of warm Pacific water which caused recent coral bleaching can be identified in historical records for at least 400 years. Corals have survived El Nino warmings for thousands of years and they will probably outlast Homo Alarmism as Earth proceeds into the next glacial epoch.
See the Supercorals:
Corals do not rely on computer models of global temperature to advise them – they read the sea level thermometer which falls and rises as the great ice sheets come and go.
In the warming phase like the one just ending, ice melts, sea levels rise and the reef that houses the corals may get drowned. Corals have two choices – build their reef higher or just float south/inshore and build a new reef (like the Great Barrier Reef) in shallower, cooler water. When islands sink beneath rising oceans, corals may build their own coral atolls as fast as the water rises.
Then when the cold era returns, ice sheets grow, sea levels fall, and the warm era coral reefs get stranded on the new beaches and coastal plains. Usually the process is slow enough to allow the coral polyps to float into deeper warmer water closer to the equator and build another reef.
This eminently sensible policy of “move when you have to” has proved a successful survival policy for the corals for 500 million years.
Humans should copy the corals – “forget the computer climate models but watch real data like actual sea levels and . . . move when you have to.
by ABC national rural reporter Brett Worthington
The validity of the Federal Government’s backpacker tax is under fire, a year on from the legislation passing the parliament.
It’s almost exactly a year since the Coalition struck a deal with the Greens to impose a 15 per cent tax rate on working holiday makers.
But proceedings initiated in the Queensland Federal Court today claim the backpacker tax breaches international treaties and discriminates against foreign workers.
The backpacker tax taxes all working holiday maker earnings at 15 per cent. Previously, they were eligible to earn up to $18,200 tax free.
Irish-based Taxback.com has initiated the legal action on behalf of workers from the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.
“There is a breach with double taxation agreements,” Taxback.com’s Eileen Devereaux told the ABC.
“There’s an audience that arguably don’t have a voice on the ground.”
The legal action claims the backpacker tax is in breach with treaties Australia has with the UK, US, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey.
Ms Devereaux said workers from these countries represent 50 per cent of people who travel to Australia on 417 and 462 working holiday visas.
A spokesman for Treasurer Scott Morrison said he could not comment on the matter because it was now before the court.
The news has come as a surprise to federal politicians and agricultural lobby groups.
All had assumed the debate was over and industries had adopted the new tax rates.
Prior to last year’s deal with the Greens, the backpack tax debate raged for 18 months, with the agricultural and tourism sectors claiming the uncertainty was harming their industries.
Ms Deveraux said international lawyers wrote to the government to flag their legal action in September.
She said the government responded to that letter and she hoped further negotiations would ensue.
Ms Devereaux said she hoped the government would seek to reinstate previous working holiday maker legislation to prevent the legal action from needing to proceed.
She said the backpacker tax risked giving Australia a poor international reputation.
“These individuals are de facto ambassadors for Australia,” Ms Devereaux said.
“They ultimately fuel the tourism industry and sector into the future when they bring back their various experiences of Australia locally.”
Green preferences are driving the Labor Government’s proposed draconian environmental policies as a trade-off for the Adani coal mine approval.
A source close to the ALP is warning Wild Rivers “on steroids” rebadged as ‘Pristine Rivers’ will be put back on the table along with revamped, tough vegetation management laws should the ALP win the upcoming election.
The source said revisiting Wild Rivers and vegetation management laws are on the agenda for the upcoming State ALP conference to be held in Townsville at the Convention Centre on July 28 and 29.
A World Heritage listing over the Laura sandstone escarpment country, mooted by the State Government, also looms large for the people of the Peninsula.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is moving to pacify the Greens’ hostility over approvals to allow Australia’s largest coal mine in Central Queensland to go ahead.
Trad and her colleague, Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Stephen Miles, have not yet taken into consideration the strident opposition of Cape York Peninsula communities, the Cape York Land Council and pastoralists alike, some of whom claim they will campaign against the party at the State election expected on November 4 this year.
Pastoralists and some communities believe a World Heritage nomination by the State Government will be the precursor for listing the entire Peninsula, in effect the beginning of the end for the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities sitting on vast tracts of grazing property.
In a recent radio interview, Chairman of the CYLC, Richie AhMat castigated the proposed new versions of Wild Rivers and vegetation laws as well as the existing environmental overlays on most Aboriginal freehold and Deed of Grant in Trust land(DOGIT) covering nearly one half of the land area of the Peninsula.
Referring to the Wild Rivers legislation, Mr AhMat asked how the government expected Aboriginal people to start up businesses and to be economically viable “when these land restrictions appear out of nowhere?”
“You can’t talk about economic development on one hand and you can’t talk about indigenous employment on the other, and you can’t talk about Northern Australia on both hands.”
In reply to a question about the as yet undisclosed ‘Pristine Rivers’ policy Mr AhMat alluded to funding that had been allocated in the past two state budgets purportedly for consultation with traditional owners.
He said he was worried about all the rivers in Cape York which could be affected by a lock up policy.
“All of our rivers in Cape York are fresh water rivers, water is a huge commodity now and nobody in their wildest dreams 10 years or fifteen years ago expected them to buy a bottle of fresh water,” Mr Ah Mat said.
“To buy a bottle of fresh water is more than a litre of fuel.
“Why does the government want to lock up Cape York, because they have a 20 to 30 year plan but they aren’t talking to anybody, it’s all secretive because we are out of sight and out of mind.
“We fought long and hard against the wild rivers, long and hard and we were untied as one on Cape York.
“This Pristine Rivers believe me there are rumblings about it in 1 William Street (Executive Building) now.
“This legislation over land is going to block everything.”
Gordon Rasmussen, Katters Australian Party candidate for the Cook electorate, which takes in all of Cape York, agreed with Mr Ah Mat.
“It looks like Northern Development is just a talk fest because what Mr Ah Mat says about locking up all the rivers and land on Cape York makes a mockery of the $5 billion federal fund for northern land development,” Mr Rasmussen pointed out.
“How does the federal government expect to achieve anything in an area like the Peninsula to help economic development for struggling communities when the State Government has divided up most of the Aboriginal land into nature reserves, national parks and heritage areas?
“If the Labor Party gets back into government we are all in for a very rough trot.”
Party duopoly throw farmers to the wolves
The Queensland Government’s Farm Business Debt Mediation Act, which it is spruiking in a media release today, is a ruse to cover the fact it has completely failed to address the farm debt crisis.
“It’s another frightening example of a government putting ambulances at the bottom of the cliff,” Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said.
Robbie is warning people not to be fooled by the Government’s ‘solution’ which comes into play next month. “A farm debt mediation mechanism doesn’t solve the debt problem, it just means that when the farmer is finally completely crippled by debt, they can shut their business efficiently. It’s a complete slap in the face to the entire agriculture industry,” Robbie said.
In March this year, the government and LNP refused to support KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which would have addressed the unsustainable levels of farm debt, which is bringing Queensland’s agriculture industry to its knees.
“Through the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce that I chaired in this parliament, it was clear that the debt problem is massive and that a significant response from the Government was required to address it,” Robbie said.
“In 2015, I thought the Palaszczuk Government was serious about identifying solutions to address rural debt issues with the formation of a Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce. I was wrong. Just like the opposition they prefer to leave it to the market. This approach has delivered a declining sugar industry, a decimated dairy industry and some of the most expensive gas and electricity in the world.”
“Governments intervene in markets all the time. Between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, there’s about $5 billion worth of low-interest loans to help stimulate the industry. However, when it comes to supporting agriculture, and particularly family enterprises, the Government doesn’t want to touch it”.
“Instead of supporting KAP’s Rural Debt Bill, which was created off the back of extensive investigation and consultation, and would have made a real difference to fixing the rural debt problem, the government pushed through its mediation act to make it look like it was doing something,” Robbie said.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s just another example of how little the major parties care about anything that’s happening outside of Brisbane.”