Category Archives: Farmers
A must view video, The decarbonization terraforming of planet Earth is now under way. A new project has already been launched that will install mega machines across five U.S. states to harvest “life molecules” out of the atmosphere in an effort to shut down photosynthesis and unleash global food crop failures that destroy human civilization.
As food supplies deliberately tighten up world-wide amid the Covid plandemic, the communists of the Northern Territory Labor Party led by Chief Minister Michael Gunner have begun their move against cattle producers and farmers.
Cattle producers have been slammed with a compliance regime unequalled in Australia, exempting Victoria, that will cut cattle numbers in the Northern Territory by at least one third and increase operating costs up to 50 per cent.
The United Nations Environment Program has its fingerprints all over the NT legislation that will force the un-fenced Territory property lessees to declare unbranded cattle as feral and have them shot, similar to the Queensland National Parks Service which has been recently shooting branded and unbranded cattle across Far Northern Queensland.
At a time when producers are experiencing unprecedented high cattle prices predictably the NT Labor Party swoops like a vulture.
Most cattlemen in the Territory have not recovered from the federal Labor Party’s overnight ban of live export cattle in 2011. One NT producer took the former federal Labor Minister Joe Ludwig to court suing for damages over the ban. In June 2020 Justice Rares of the Federal Court awarded the Brett Cattle Company $3 million plus costs.
Justice Rares said Ludwig had acted with malfeasance in public office and that his decision was invalid.
While NT producers have had more than 12 months of record prices, it will take many years to recover from Ludwig’s death sentence for a number of producers who committed suicide and the original litigant, Dugal Brett’s death in a helicopter crash at Waterloo Station in 2015.
The Civil Aviation Authority blamed dirty fuel after an investigation of the wrecked chopper. No helicopter pilot has ever intentionally put contaminated fuel into a machine. Every pilot is meticulous about fuel supplies and carry their own fuel pumps with filters to ensure there can be no dirty fuel going into their tank.
The NT Labor Party is ramping up the regulations, with which primary producers will not be able to comply.
This regulatory grab for NT leasehold pastoral holdings will have a significant impact on how properties are managed.
Whenever the bogeyman word ‘sustainable’ bobs up it is a clear indication of impending UN control.
Land clearing of any nature will be a thing of the past and new dams for irrigation will cease to exist.
The ALP is bringing in Agenda 30 sustainability thresholds that will be unable to be met especially in the dry arid zone. https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda
Albeit NT cattle properties have been well overpriced the new agenda will cut their value significantly, thus reducing a grazier’s debt to equity ratio.
Banks will be moving in because most pastoralists hold significant debt.
Then on cue comes China which already owns Darwin Harbour and other pastoral properties in the north including Stage 2 of the Ord River Scheme.
This strategy by NT Labor is not their idea. It follows hot on the heels of similar Deep State moves using land acquisitions in the Mid West of America where Bill Gates and Jeff Bazos have bought huge swathes of prime farm land to grow crops such as soybeans which will be used to manufacture artificial meat.
Thus the removal of NT livestock and their minuscule CO2 and methane emissions in lockstep with the false doctrine of climate change.
Fortunately the hot climate and lengthy wet seasons of the NT do not lend themselves towards broad acre dryland farming but the new regulatory regime will have a dire impact on rangelands cattle production.
More on this story soon.
Letter to the Editor
Changing Climate is the farmer’s work tool to produce your food.
The teacher who refused to turn on a school AC on a hot day to protect the environment (C -M, Nov 24), needs dismissing for low intelligence, my grandparents often spoke of extreme climatic conditions as told to them by their parents and during their lives. Australia has experienced about 24 major droughts since 1803 and a 23-year mega-drought between 1500 and 1522, and 7 lesser droughts. Clearly history should be a compulsory subject.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
Climate changes did not just start in recent times (Noah’s flood, the Murray River dried up in 1915), climatic extremes recorded going back to 1AD are on the net. If you want to know about climate change talk to a farmer the changing climate are their tools of trade they work with to produce our food, If you want theoretical baloney talk to others.
G J May
CHANGES to a farm worker Industrial Relations Award means that fruit pickers will now receive a guaranteed minimum wage but Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, says the farmers will bear the brunt of an increase in costs in the supermarket as a result.
“The decision by the Fair Work Commission to provide a minimum wage for farm workers is a good decision because it will encourage people to become farm workers and not have to get everyone from overseas.
“Having said that, cost structures have to be born by the farmers – they can’t pass it on.
“We have only two or three people that sell fruit and vegetables in Australia and combined they have over 75 percent of the market. They pay the farmers whatever they feel like paying the farmers.”
Mr Katter said that farm incomes from the supermarkets giants had barely changed in the last 30 years ago but the price of food to the consumer has skyrocketed more than 250 percent.
“The real problem here is that the farmers had their collective bargaining rights taken off them. For the workers, this is a good thing that they have got their bargaining rights, but the farmers don’t have their bargaining rights because the National Party deregulated most of their industries.
“So yes, the workers can and should be given a better go but the people who are going to be punished here are the farmers and the benefit to the consumer, is nil.
“There is a as much chance of the supermarket giants passing on that charge and giving it to the farmers as I have got of becoming a beetle rider from Booroola.
“So, Mr Government, give back to the farmers their right to collectively bargain. The workers have that right and they should have it and the farmers should have it.
“You took it off them and they’ve been screwed through the floor. There were 270,000 of them, now there is a 160,000 of them. What a cruelty. What a cruelty. And the Australian people are paying the price.
“All those changes, clearly, we know who profited by them. It wasn’t the worker. It wasn’t the consumer, and it most certainly wasn’t the farmer.”
by R J Lee
It’s now official. Agforce once Queensland’s agricultural and pastoral representative body supposedly created to protect farming from megalomaniacal governments has again rolled over this time supporting the totally discredited theory of Al Gore’s climate change.
Ever since Agforce accepted government funding about 15 years ago the once representative farmer’s lobby group has become a puppet of the socialist Queensland Labor Party.
Agforce’s membership has dwindled to just over 5000 over the past decade largely because of its dalliance with the socialist policies of the Labor Party and ineffectiveness in negotiations to keep the Marxists out of food production.
Agforce simply toes the National Farmers Federation/Liberal Party nexus line with major issues such as so-called climate change, a part of the UN sponsored attack on farming world-wide based on the Agenda 21 now 30 environmental depopulation agreement signed in Rio by all governments in 1992.
Now Agforce CEO Michael Guerin says agriculture doesn’t want a free pass from its responsibility to the planet.
Mr Guerin is not intelligent enough to understand that agriculture’s primary responsibility to the planet is to feed it without the Albatross of United Nations depopulation plots aided and abetted by ‘governments’ such as the LNP and the ALP.
By 2050 if the zero emission target is met, plant life will cease to exist because it needs carbon dioxide and lots of it. A farmer would have to be delirious to aim for any reduction of CO2 at today’s levels let alone in 30 years time. Smart farmers should be making CO2 generators so they and their crops can survive, especially in a place like Australia with almost zero emissions now.
He says AgForce wants agriculture to lead Australia’s charge towards net zero emissions by 2050, not be exempt from it, and be recognised for the positive contribution it makes.
“Agriculture is a strong part of the climate change solution and is ready to take part in the conversation with Australia’s science community and political leaders to ensure an evidence-based approach was implemented to achieving our targets,” Mr Guerin said.
“It will be incredibly difficult for Australia to achieve its climate change targets if agriculture is excluded from our nation’s goal to reach zero emissions.”
There it is Agforce members and to the remaining majority of the farming network. If you believe this hocus pocus you should not be involved in farming.
The only climate change the world is suffering is a deliberate man-made one that is being used as a weapon of war by Russia and China with the yanks coming a poor third.
We have been in an unofficial war with parts of the world for years and since at least Biden, using massive, proven beyond any doubt voter fraud, stole the US election in November.
The first rule of war is to know that you’re in one. The second rule of war is to delineate who is a friend and who is a foe and that, of course, in a covert area is very difficult to do.
It’s not just information warfare, it’s really 5th Generation Unrestricted Warfare.
We have lived the past several years being unrelentingly strafed by Unrestricted Warfare. The most challenging part of this is getting your head around it and achieving situational awareness, especially because very often, the enemy is not only domestic but it has also parked itself inside your head or inside the heads of your loved ones via unceasing propaganda (ABC), such that perhaps your friends and family have been conquered by the enemy and they are acting on behalf of the enemy and they don’t even know it.
This is a global, covert World War IV in 5th Generational Warfare. The primary means of it are informational, cyber and psychological, which means that most of the terrain is human, not physical…There is some physicality but most of it is human terrain.
Under the Agforce strategy and a dubious LNP federal government, farmers are facing a bleak future and woe betide the population should they be stupid enough to support the NWO Labor Party.
Zero emission nonsense will plough farmers and pastoralists six inches under. Until the agricultural sector wakes up that the UN is driving these depopulation policies under the guise of the Agenda 21/30 Treaty then they should pack up and live on a beach.
“War is when your government tells you who the enemy is. Revolution is when you figure it out.”
from ABC Rural
International travel restrictions are not only costing Queensland’s horticulture industry millions, they are also impacting the mental health of fruit and vegetable growers, a new report has revealed.
- Crop losses from labour shortages have more than doubled in the last month, costing farmers more than $43 million
- Nearly 25 per cent of growers report a decline in mental health and physical health
- Two-thirds of growers report financial stress and some are at risk of foreclosure
Crop losses from the labour shortage have more than doubled in the last month, now totalling more than $43 million, according to the National Farmer’s Federation’s Lost Crop register.
Now, a new analysis by peak body Growcom has found 25 per cent of growers are reporting an associated decline in mental health, with 75 per cent experiencing financial stress.
On Queensland’s Scenic Rim, vegetable grower Mitch Brimblecombe knows the situation well. Still dealing with drought, he now faces another challenge.
“We were about to walk into a field, and I rang my labour contractor and said, ‘Right we need a few extra people,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I’ve got no one.'”
With international borders shut, the backpacker workforce that Australia’s fruit and vegetable industry rely on to pick their produce has disappeared.
So too has millions of dollars in income for farmers.
“There’s a lot of growers who haven’t registered or thought about their crop losses because they don’t want to think about it,” Mr Brimblecombe said.
“But that $43 million — [it] could be double that to be honest.”
Growcom have been processing the other information reported by growers on the Lost Crop Register.
“In many cases farmers are harvesting crops themselves, all through the night in some instances, it’s taking a toll on their physical health,” said Growcom’s Richard Shannon.
The Growcom analysis also found a number of growers reporting they were at risk of foreclosure.
“Watching their produce go to waste, that in many cases they’ve been looking after for 12 months or more — it’s their livelihoods that are at stake here,” Mr Shannon said.
Mr Brimblecombe said that the COVID-induced worker shortage was having a compounding effect.
“Certainly having all those factors come into it,” he said.
“You’ve got drought, bad prices, no labour to harvest your crop — it all takes a toll.”
The ‘quarantine bottleneck’
Industry advocates say they want federal and state governments to increase incentives and expand quarantine.
“The Federal Government will tell us that there is 20,000 or so Pacific Islanders with a job offer and visa to enter Australia and do this work, but the bottleneck is quarantine,” Mr Shannon said.
A spokesman for the Queensland government said that it continues to offer $1,500 payments to people who take up jobs in agriculture, that’s on top of up to $6,000 the Federal Government is offering to help with relocation costs.
But as of this week, just 93 people had applied for the Queensland scheme.
Mr Shannon acknowledges that the pandemic has highlighted the over-reliance on backpacker labour.
He said now was an opportunity to look at long-term labour supply.
One idea being floated is an industry-specific visa that would allow people to come and work during harvest, then return home.
“That’s an idea and a program that’s worked really well with Pacific Island nations,” Mr Shannon said.
More people seeking help
Dr Kirsten Hunter has been practising as a clinical psychologist in regional Queensland for 20 years, based in Toowoomba.
“There can be a culture in the agricultural world of not reaching out for psychological support,” Dr Hunter said.
“Of course the suicide risk amongst the male rural population is a bit scary, very scary.”
Federal member for Kennedy in Far North Queensland, Bob Katter said the next person to talk about Australia’s ‘clean, green image’ should be shot by the firing squad, after the Agriculture Minister axed a biosecurity levy designed to protect Australian farmers from pests and diseases.
“We are a net importer of fruit and vegetables, I repeat a net importer, and we are bringing in fruit and vegetables from across the world,” he said.
“If you have no border protection and check only 0.1% of the products coming in (that’s one grape in a thousand), then you are hardly clean and green.
“Ultimately every single disease foreign countries have, we will have.
“This has proven to be true in recent times with the introduction of noxious pests and diseases like the Fall Armyworm, banana-destroying Panama disease, and the destruction of prawn farming from White Spot disease.
“Quarantine has virtually been abolished in Australia; it is farcical.”
The KAP policy is to implement a 10% charge on everything coming into the country.
“That is to pay for the necessary policing of a country with one of the world’s largest coastlines,” he said.
“We have no protection currently. That levy would boost our biosecurity operation.”
A $1.9 billion road and rail package will boost the Queensland economy and drive more jobs, while getting people home sooner and safer.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hailed the historic deal which fast-tracks spending on a host of road and rail projects all over the State.
The Morrison Government will bring forward nearly $650 million in funding and provide more than $680 million in new funding, with the Palaszczuk Government committing $606 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the Government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management.
“We want these road and rail projects delivered as quickly as possible so Queenslanders can benefit from better infrastructure, but importantly we want to boost the economy now.
“We will bring forward more than $440 million in federal funding on top of the nearly $3.8 billion we will spend across the state over the next 18 months,” the Prime Minister said.
“By bringing forward these important road projects we will drive jobs, boost the economy and make Queensland roads and highways safer, while reducing travel times so people can be with their families instead of being stuck in traffic.
“We will bring forward funding for a total of 20 projects right throughout Queensland, including key upgrades on the M1, Bruce, Warrego and Cunningham Highways, and the North Coast Rail Line.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the agreement means jobs.
“I have always said we work best when we work together,” the Premier said.
“We have called for a better deal for Queensland and the Prime Minister has listened.
“We’re getting projects off drawing boards to create more jobs in more industries and deliver the things that make people’s lives better.”
Both governments have reached an agreement on $9.3 billion Inland Rail project, paving the way for the delivery of the project in Queensland.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals Government is focused on job growth and strengthening the economy.
“The Government’s record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline is delivering projects people want and need, while providing employment opportunities and economic growth across Australia, in particular in regional communities supporting local jobs,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Inland Rail project is a critical investment for Queensland and is projected to create 7,200 construction jobs and a more than $7 billion boost to the state economy.
“We’re also bringing forward funding and delivery for key projects to benefit not only road freight but improve safety for locals and tourists such as the Rockhampton and Mackay ring roads.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said details of the projects included in the deal will be released shortly.
“This is a massive win for Queensland,” the Minister said.
“The Gold Coast’s northern suburbs are growing quickly so we need to start upgrades on the M1 at exits 41 and 49.
“Queensland’s money for those projects was already locked in, so now we can get on with them.
“We delivered a record $23 billion over four years for road and transport in this year’s state budget.
“This deal boosts that record investment and will strengthen the pipeline of work coming online.”
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new package followed a significant funding boost for Queensland at the most recent Budget.
“Since coming to Government we have committed more than $25.7 billion towards infrastructure in Queensland and this new package will now see around $10.5 billion delivered across the state over the next four years,” Minister Tudge said.
“These commitments build on an already strong track record of investment by the Morrison Government in Queensland through projects like the Gold Coast Light Rail which will contribute to our SEQ City Deal.”
National Farmers Federation, which doesn’t represent family farmers, wants them to make way for China
National Farmers Federation solution is to get rid of the farmers
Farming is an essential service
Barnaby Joyce joins in the chorus to throw farmers off the land
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has today slammed the National Farmers Federation (NFF) after they appeared on national television and announced they were lobbying the government to provide financial incentives to drought-affected farmers to leave their land; a campaign which is being echoed by the National Party.
A livid Mr Katter said, “Your solution is to get rid of the farmers. It is in the back of the mind of every intelligent Australian ‘why do you want these people out?’ So your big corporate masters, Chinese investors, prominent amongst them can buy them out and we can have corporate farmers. The city suits and foreign nations will be our farmers and we peasants will be out there working for nothing in little towns that are vanishing. That is the solution by National Farmers Federation.”
The NFF, a farming lobby group, proposed six measures to the Government last week, one of which was an incentive payment to leave the land. Other measures in the proposal were rate relief to help pay local government charges, payments that are the equivalent to Newstart allowance, $2,000 top-up of the Assistance for Isolated Children allowance, two-year interest free government loans and a plan to work with state and territory governments to eradicate feral pigs.
While the NFF has been critical of the ad-hoc response to drought by the Government, Mr Katter believes that exit packages are not the answer.
“The KAP, the political party I belong to, says Reconstruction Bank. It’s just so simple that you’ve got to be curious why they won’t do it.
“The Reconstruction Bank, through the Government, can borrow at, probably, a bit below 2% so it can lend at 1.9%. Where aa farmer now owes an average $1 million, he has to find $54,000 a year to pay to the bank. Under the Reconstruction Bank he’ll now be paying $16,000 to the bank.
“The Reconstruction Bank buys bad ‘in danger’ debts at a discount. The farmer will then owe the Reconstruction Bank not the full $1 million he owed the bank but only $850,000 giving him leeway to buy fodder.”
Mr Katter also took aim at the Government’s sorry attempts at financial assistance for primary producers, “The Federal Government claiming they have done something with the farm and financial assistance grants, that one is one huge whopper. Hungry Jacks would love that one, that’s the biggest whopper of all.
“It was the Rural Action Council of Far North Qld, secured at Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd’s Drought Summit that gave us that concession. The tragedy is when Rural Action was screaming against former Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson’s, dreadful comment that “we don’t need 240,000 farmers in Australia we only need 120,000”, well the National Party has achieved its objective, we now have less than 120,000 farmers and of those farmers around one in 10 have been on welfare payments, the Family Assistance Grants, given to us, not by our traditional party, the National Party, but by our traditional enemies the ALP.”
“If the KAP gets a commanding position in the Parliament, as Knuth, Katter and Dametto have said again and again, they will immediately reintroduce the reconstruction bank which was successfully run for over 100 years in Queensland.
“We have already lost half of our farmers in the last 20 years. Clearly it is the intention of the NFF, and their political wing, the National Party, to get rid of another half. The farmers are doing it tough? Their solution: get rid of the farmers.”
Queensland Treasury Corporation on its knees – trading insolvent
Unable to offer freight subsidies ALP drives in last nail for primary producers
The Queensland corporate Government has again proven its disdain for the bush, ripping vital water, fodder and livestock freight subsidies from the hands of drought-stricken producers, State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said it was telling that the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development, Comrade Mark Furner, had revoked the subsidies only months after the North West cattle industry was decimated by almost 10 years of drought followed by extreme torrential rain.
The Minister announced on Friday that the subsidies would end due to the “poor management decisions” of those farmers who accessed the scheme.
Minister Furner said producers who already live in drought-declared areas — around 65 per cent of the state — would not immediately be affected by the changes, but they will when their drought declarations are lifted.
Mr Katter said the recent partial revocation of drought declarations in the Flinders Shire and Charters Towers Regional Council areas meant producers in these parts would never receive the subsidies again.
“If you’re going to take away something then what is the alternative to try stabilise a critical rural industry through prolonged drought?” Mr Katter said.
“This doesn’t just hit the producers themselves, but all of the contractors built around that industry as well – this is an industry-crippling decision targeting people who are already on their knees.
“I mean no disrespect, but the fact is that this has been signed off by a Minister who lives in Brisbane, has always live in Brisbane, and would find it very difficult to understand how these natural events can rip through otherwise well-performing battlers in the industry that we need to retain in the future.
“I almost choked on my cup of tea when I heard the Premier refer to Minister Furner as the ‘Farmer’s Friend’ in Parliament a few weeks ago; we are all being taken for a ride here.
“I am unsure as to how bad things need to get before our governments realise the actual value of our food production industries.
“We’ll likely be spooning processed foreign meat out of tin by then, because it is getting near on impossible to achieve sustainability in our food production industries in this state.
“My recommendation, and the recommendation of many, has long been the establishment of a government-owned and run Rural Reconstruction Board.
“This would mean the government could utilise its advantageous borrowing rates to provide new credit to the well-performing primary producers who are struggling on their balance sheets.
“This is not about propping up inefficient business, but about increasing self-sufficiency and negating the need for government subsidies and handouts altogether.
“Overall it would save the state money, but I note this is something neither Labor nor the LNP has given the time of day.”
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
The federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter on June 25 introduced a private member’s bill into the Australian Parliament to protect the economy and bank customers from dangerous financial speculation and predatory banking.
The Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018 is based on the USA’s successful Glass-Steagall Act. It will separate Australia’s commercial banks, which hold deposits, from risky investment banking, as well as other financial services that Australia’s banks have acquired in recent decades, including insurance, superannuation, wealth management, and stock broking.
The ongoing Financial Services Royal Commission, which Bob Katter led the political fight to establish, has laid bare the predatory banking practices that the bill will end. The revelations from the royal commission have been so dramatic that it has attracted global attention, and kindled fear in the City of London that Australia’s inquiry could lead to a renewed push to break up Britain’s too-big-to-fail banks.
Katter excoriated Australian banking in a passionate speech introducing his bill. “The situation in Australia is ugly and it is evil”, he said, “and this legislation is needed to overcome those problems and what effectively it says is—‘Mr Banks you are no longer out there in the market, in the arena buying and selling. Your job is to loan to people that buy and sell, develop and invest. You don’t do that, you judge them.’”
Aside from the conflicts of interests in banking, Katter’s chief concern in moving Glass-Steagall is for the looming financial crisis arising from the banks’ speculation in real estate and derivatives. He identified the reckless speculation threatening the financial system today was also the cause of the 1929 crash, which led to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933.
“What we’re talking about here is derivatives: when you don’t buy a loaf of bread; you buy a contract to buy a loaf of bread”, he said. “That is what we call a derivative.
“Glass-Steagall came in and it overcame the vast bulk of those problems so that the American economy ran fairly effectively, making it three, four, five times the size of any other economy on earth, until Mr Bill Clinton, ‘Mr Free Markets’ himself. … In 1999, he abolished the Glass-Steagall Act. Within two years, the dot-com collapse occurred, taking down trillions of dollars of savings, superannuation and retirement moneys of Americans and the rest of the world, and in 2008, as we’re all familiar with, came the GFC.
“Clearly, that timeline indicates the necessity for Glass-Steagall legislation in this place.”
The most immediate danger for Australia, Katter emphasised, is from the bubble in the real estate market.
“The housing boom in Australia today—does anyone seriously think that we are not sitting on the brink of disaster?” he warned. “A quarter of Australia’s population, maybe a third, live in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. The average price of a house is over $800,000. That means that 50 per cent of the houses are over that value. Yet the average income for an Australian after tax is about 50 grand a year [$50,000]. So how are they going to make the repayments on a house? And yet they’re buying houses. The banks are financing them. The banks make money when you go broke and they sell the house out from under you. They don’t lose money; they make money out of what has occurred. They should be held responsible.
“I would love to be in a business that is guaranteed by the government”, he continued. “If I buy a corner store and I know that, if I go broke, the government’s going to give me the money, everyone will be buying corner stores in Australia. They are given this, but there is no responsibility placed upon their shoulders to act in a prudential manner.”
Katter singled out the team of people responsible for organising the bill, including Robert Barwick, Dr Wilson Sy, and Bob Butler. Sy is the former principal researcher at bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority). Barwick and Butler are representatives of the Citizens Electoral Council, which has led a nine-year campaign to get Glass-Steagall legislation enacted in Australia.
It is significant that on the same day as Bob Katter introduced his bill, Australia’s biggest bank CBA announced it was demerging from its wealth management businesses, as if to send the message that Glass-Steagall legislation is unnecessary because the banks are doing it voluntarily. On closer examination, however, CBA is not completely demerging from other services, and along with the other big banks it is continuing to speculate in dangerous derivatives and other forms of financial gambling. Only a strict Glass-Steagall law will end these practices, which is the intention of the Katter bill.
As a private member’s bill, Katter’s Separation of Banks Bill 2018 will only be debated if a majority of members of parliament agree to do so, which will require the support of one or the other major party. Ordinarily, the governing Liberal Party would be expected to protect the banks, but many Liberal politicians are shocked by the revelations of the royal commission and are concerned about a financial crash. And what about the Labor Party—will it block or delay Glass-Steagall the way it blocked the banking royal commission for six years, or return to its roots as champions of working people against the Money Power? It will be up to the Australian people to demand the major parties stop protecting the banks, and allow a debate and vote on Glass-Steagall.