Category Archives: Free Trade
China and Free Trade making waves in 1917
THE GLUGS OF GOSH
C J DENNIS
With Illustrations by Hal Gye
FIRST PUBLISHED 1917
(Sir Stodge was ‘free trade’ advocate aka Sir George Reid who had a suburb in Canberra named after him.)
“…………But a Glug stood up with a cast in his eye,
And he said, “Far too many baubles we buy;
With all the Gosh factories closing their doors,
And importers’ warehouses lining our shores.”
But the Glugs cried, “Down with such meddlesome fools!
What did our grandpas lay down in their rules?”
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, he opened his Book:
“To Cheapness,” he said, “was the road they took.”
Then every Glug who was not too fat
Turned seventeen handsprings, and jumped on his hat.
They fined the Glug with the cast in his eye
For looking both ways–which he did not deny–
And for having no visible precedent, which
Is a crime in the poor and a fault in the rich.
So the Glugs continued, with greed and glee,
To buy cheap clothing, and pills, and tea;
Till every Glug in the land of Gosh
Owned three clean shirts and a fourth in the wash.
But they all grew idle, and fond of ease,
And easy to swindle, and hard to please;
And the voice of Joi was a lonely voice,
When he railed at Gosh for its foolish choice.
But the great King grinned, and the good Queen gushed,
As the goods of the Ogs were madly rushed.
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, with a wave of his hand,
Declared it a happy and prosperous land…………..”
from Kev Crisscross
Brainless senators cut off their noses to spite their face
Speaking after the defeat of his amendments to the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018, Senator Anning expressed his disappointment that party politics couldn’t be put aside to give Aussies access to late model reliable, affordable second hand vehicles.
“It’s bitterly disappointing my amendment to the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 was voted down. It would have meant that hundreds of thousands of Australian working families who currently struggle to afford a reliable car would have been able to afford one.” Senator Anning said.
“This would have been a direct and immediate improvement to their living standards, yet the Senate rejected it out of hand.” Senator Anning continued.
“The amendment I moved mirrored recommendations by the Productivity Commission. It was very reasonable and would have gone a long way to improve the motoring industry in the Australia.”
“The recommendations suggested the Government progressively relax restrictions on the importation of second-hand passenger and light commercial vehicles; and called on the Government to relax import restrictions on second-hand cars to allow widespread wholesale importation of late model second-hand vehicles from countries such as Japan.”
“The simple fact is that relaxing import restrictions on late model second-hand cars and commercials would increase the supply in Australia, increasing competition amongst sellers and driving down prices,” Senator Anning continued.
“The only opponents of this measure are the new vehicle dealers, who see an increase in their supply of good, reliable second-hand cars as a threat to their own profits. Well, I say that the government isn’t here to protect the profits of a minority at the expense of everyone else.”
“Unfortunately this Senate is more intent on passing Greens legislation which will increase the cost of living, than reducing the cost of living for Aussies already struggling to stay afloat.” Senator Anning concluded.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter slammed the Government on foreign ownership in Parliament yesterday asking if there will be a new regime to stop selling Australia, or is it business as usual, Australia for sale?
Tensions mounted as Mr Katter listed the major foreign owned or run companies, stating that free trade means jobs exported, cheap labour imported.
“The biggest farm in Australia ‘Van Diemen’s dairys’ is 0wned by China, the 2nd biggest ‘Cubbie’ owned by China, the biggest grain farms ‘Nicoletti’ owned by China, biggest farming aggregation ‘Kidmans’ controlled by China, the biggest of all, ‘Ord stage 2 & 3’ owned by China, Australia’s most strategic port, Darwin owned by China, Taxi Hire industry Uber foreign owned, the car manufacturing, glass, textiles, petrol, whitegoods – all gone overseas,” Mr Katter said.
“What has free trade done for us? It gave away the entire coal seam gas reserves of this nation; $23 billion a year was given away. We gave it away for six cents a gigajoule and we bought it back for $16 a gigajoule. In fact, it is cheaper to buy Australian gas in Tokyo and bring it back to Australia than to actually buy it in Australia. That was a magnificent free-trade deal.
“We freed up the wool industry–oh, what a magical achievement; it is now costing the nation $16 billion a year. Ethanol: ‘Oh, we must have a level playing field; we must have a free market.’ So while Brazil produces ethanol and provides a $4 billion cross subsidy to its sugar industry, we’re ‘free trading’, so we import $23 billion worth of petrol every year instead of producing one litre of petrol of our own, which, of course, we could do tomorrow with ethanol.
“Oh, and we wiped out the entire manufacturing industry of Australia. The car industry alone was $25 million a year. Just in coal seam gas, wool, ethanol and motor vehicles, we have lost $40, $50, $60, $70 billion in just five items.
“Do we have a new regime that won’t continue to sell off Australia, or is it business as usual – Australia for sale?” Mr Katter said.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today continued his insurgency against the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 (TPP-11) as it heads into the Senate by unleashing a tirade on the Government’s claim that Australia will be ‘last in the queue’ should the bill be shot down.
“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.
“The Federal Government couldn’t drive the drover’s dog to a drink in the Murranji Track, and yet, they live in a world where their peculiar Adam Smith policies eliminate any reference to the assumptions upon which free markets are valid.
“Adam Smith would turn in his grave if his principles had been used to abolish arbitration in the dairy industry when there were 15,000 sellers in the market, and only two buyers: “Woolworths and Coles”.
“These people would fail the most elementary economics course at a reputable university and yet they continue on with the most crude and snivelling supine pathetic resort to the mantra of free trade when it has removed our car industry, made us petrol mendicants, blast production, halved our cement and steel industries and reduced us to two quarries: iron ore and coal.
“Take note, if the TPP-11 is signed it will be the greatest blow to democracy in 300 years, and will amount to nothing more than a new form of Corporate Colonialism.
“This agreement is not about trade, it’s about sovereignty,” Mr Katter said. “Governments will now be stripped of their power to regulate the behaviour of overseas companies and will face legal consequences if they do. The cigarette smoking case is a classic example.
“Companies will be able to come here under certain terms and conditions and no Government will be able to change those without fairly horrific consequences, if at all. It takes away our sovereignty and hands it over to the giant foreign owned corporations.
“Once in place, withdrawing from the TPP will ensure the wrath of countries infinitely more powerful than our own.
“Over the last two centuries America has constantly enforced these principals upon the Latin/American countries and reduced them to grinding poverty if not quite mendicant states”
Mr Katter expressed concern over the foreign workers who would be let into the country under the TPP agreement.
“Foreign workers will pour in and they are already at high levels, there are 600,000 foreign workers a year coming into an economy creating only 200,000 jobs a year. They are taking our jobs and undermining our pay and conditions, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
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 being the value of one free ice-cream a week for each farmer. The cattle industry has always had a fairly good deal on access to the US and the sugar industry was wiped like a dirty rag. It got nothing. The powerful ‘Florida cane mafia’, as they are called, laughed.
“The Americans on the other hand, wanted quarantine dramatically weakened. Our quarantine was dramatically undermined and our drug and pharmaceutical rules of entry dramatically weakened. They achieve both their goals, and it was hailed in the American congress as ‘wonderful for America’ and I quote: “I know Australia, there is a view that they got shafted, but I think there was some things in there for them”. Yes, there was, but we couldn’t find them.
“The Government told us how wonderful it was for us, but there were no specifics.
“These are the people that have halved our wage structure in the mining industry. They say labour costs are killing us. A decent income for our workers is what we strive for in this country. And what was once our great pride and achievement in the days of the Bjelke-Petersen/ McEwen Country Party governments, now it is apparently a mark of shame.
“I absolutely believe we are now retreating back to the days of colonialism, the only difference being that it is Corporate Colonialism and not Imperial Colonialism.
“We will continue the fight against the TPP-11 in the Senate by introducing an amendment and we plead with all Senators not to turn the control of their country into the hands of foreign corporations.”
LNP/ALP free trade deals costing us dearly
01 March 2018: Federal Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter slammed the Prime Minister in Question Time today asking when the ALP/LNP will leave the fantasy land of the ‘Sydney Suits’ and realise the ‘Struggle Street’ caused by free market fundamentalist.
The fiery session began with Mr Katter questioning what free trade has done for – or rather done to – Australia. Tensions soared as Mr Katter announced facts to back his claim of how free trade has destroyed Australian jobs, and asked when the ALP/LNP would realise the struggle they’ve imposed on Australians.
“Could you advise what free marketing has done for – or rather to – Australia?
Are you aware that the ALP/LNP free marketing of wool is 68% and a $16b loss, gas – sold offshore for 6c and now onshore we pay $16, that’s a $23b loss, motor vehicle industry another $21b gone, petrol (instead of ethanol) $19b loss, Galilee Coal Railline $12b.
That’s just five items equalling a $91b a year loss.
“When will you and the ALP leave the fantasy land of the ‘Sydney Suits’ and realise the ‘Struggle Street’ you’ve imposed on Australians?” Mr Katter asked.
It is not the first time Mr Katter has spoken on free trade this month; he ferociously delivered a message during the first week of Parliament, a video which has now gone “viral” online.
“What are the facts about our free-trade deals? The last one was with the United States. They wanted pharmaceuticals and they wanted phytosanitary quarantine removed. That was what they wanted. According to the Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers, we wanted dairy, beef and sugar.
“Did they get what they wanted? Yes. They got an open-door policy virtually for pharmaceuticals and for phytosanitary requirements quarantined. We have a board now which consists of half United States and half Australia. We pleaded with them not to allow the prawns in. If you allow prawns in, you will get white spot. Well, we got white spot, citrus canker, Panama disease, black sigatoka and papaya fruit fly. Our phytosanitary requirements are an absolute joke.
“What did the free-trade deal do for us? $91b a year gone,” Mr Katter said.
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
No government-mandated strategic reserve supply of fuel
by staff writers
A former army Chief turned senator has warned that the Liberal and Labor policies of turning Australia into a service nation could leave us vulnerable to attack from near neighbours.
The loss of any ability to manufacture on a medium scale, basic motor vehicles, parts or advanced weaponry and the inaction of government over a mandatory fuel reserve storage plan could halt any prolonged military protection for the nation by our troops.
Free trade has sounded the death knell for most Australian industries and the petroleum refining industry is no exception.
The Australian Institute of Petroleum says the domestic context of high operating costs, ageing facilities, increasing sea miles for the transport of crude to the refineries, shallow berths that are not suitable for large crude carriers, increasing technical complexity needed for refining of the broad range of crude oil and the high Australian dollar, put Australia at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in the closure of some domestic refineries that are no longer commercially competitive.
Jim Molan was the chief of operations for coalition forces in Iraq and will enter the senate next month, replacing former deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash who was forced out due to dual citizenship.
He has issued a stark warning about Australia’s readiness for war, saying the armed forces could be ineffective within 19 days if current stockpiles of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel run dry.
“We are almost unique throughout the world in that we don’t have a government-mandated strategic reserve of fuel,” Senator Molan said.
“There are things that we can probably never build in this country, such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the most advanced missiles,” he continued.
“But we should guarantee their delivery to Australia — which you can rarely do — or we should have them in warehouses.
“Unless we have a plan to get them when we need them … then I, as an ex-military commander, wouldn’t want to cross the start line in doing something militarily unless I had those warehouses behind me.”
The 2016 Defence White Paper warned Australia’s dependency on fuel imports was a risk given tensions in the South China Sea, which is a major shipping route.
US military assistance not guaranteed
Senator Molan has also warned that military support from the US is not guaranteed and the Federal Government needs to be more prepared.
“Australia should be thinking about the level of defence expenditure that we are prepared to commit ourselves if America was the centre pole of our defence policy and now may not be as strong as it once was,” Senator Molan said.
Senator Molan said US Defence Secretary James Mattis has raised concerns about the readiness of the US military’s readiness for war.
“That should be ringing bells all over the world,” Senator Molan said.
Half of Australia’s fuel is imported- five refineries left
The Petroleum Institute has thrown its weight behind imported fuel claiming the closure of the refineries will not lead to negative price outcomes for consumers. Australian fuel prices reflect an import parity price, which is the price in international markets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was clear in its advice to the API committee that as a result of import parity pricing, the retail price for petrol is not impacted by refinery closures.
Australia can source its liquid fuel needs from a diversity of sources so that if one source becomes unavailable other sources can meet demand according to the committee report.
Following the closure of the Clyde and Kurnell oil refineries, refinery capacity in Australia will decrease about 28 per cent and leave five operating refineries.
Domestic refiners will produce just over half the fuel consumed in Australia with the remainder being imported. Consequently, concerns have been raised about the viability of Australia’s oil refinery industry, and the potential impacts of declining domestic refinery capacity on the economy, energy security and employment in the sector.
The most pessimistic view was that this is the beginning of the end of Australian refining, and the most optimistic view was that there is a future for Australian refining, albeit under increasing competitive pressure.
The committee noted that during the last decade the oil industry has invested over $9 billion in its Australian refineries.
The Liberal and Labor free trade mantra has all but destroyed our once great manufacturing base. No cars, no parts, no tyres, no fuel, no white goods, no military aeroplanes, no guns, only minute amounts of ammo, no boots, clothing or equipment for the military. All of it is imported.
The SSM plebiscite could have been hacked with a predictably skewed result. In any case Cairns News has a long-standing policy of ignoring the gender neutral campaign started years ago by the feminist movement, contemporaneously referred to as the ‘femminazi’ collection of dykes.
Canberra is infested with thousands in this clique. They sit in the multitude of offices found in the Prime Minister’s Department many drafting bills such as the SSM legislation which was passed yesterday in the Lower House.
This newsletter will continue to use the grammatically correct terminology of Mr; Mrs; husband; wife; de-facto; girl; boy; married couple; fisherman; waiter; waitress, ad infinitum.
Time after time Australia has been the guinea pig for the cultural revolution orchestrated by the United Nations and the
Dark Government which is largely unknown to the average Australian. The SSM continues the tradition paving the way for the seemingly normal people remaining on the planet. Every day Mormon lifestyles seem more attractive.
The growing fascism emanating from state parliaments will be evident to all when the Queensland ALP begins its legislative attack on the business and farming sectors during this term of parliament.
The campaign to restore the Upper House should begin in earnest drawing its members from the existing number of state politicians without adding any more. – Gil Hanrahan
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.”
Queensland prawn farmers, stricken by white spot virus, deliberately introduced into the farmed prawn industry by Chinese importers will be slugged with a $36 million levy by the federal government to clean up the disaster of free trade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce has not ever once mentioned that the flawed LNP ideology of free trade which demands Asian produce be allowed into Australia, has caused the obliteration of the $358m prawn industry.
Today he said the industry would be charged with a levy to clean up the LNP mess.
Chinese prawn importer, Sino, has had its import licence revoked and will face serious criminal charges for breaching Australian quarantine laws.
Sino and four other companies allegedly were caught providing samples of non-infected green prawns for biosecurity testing by the Federal Agriculture department when their imported consignments were known to be infected.
Four more foreign importers are in the government sights allegedly for deliberately breaching biosecurity rules.
Today the Queensland Government has confirmed white spot virus has been found in wild prawns in Moreton Bay off Brisbane and now cannot be stopped.
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter said, “I congratulate the Government of the Australia with their free trade policies and no quarantine.
“Our prawn industry has been sacrificed on the altar of free trade.”
Welcome news from the Liberal and Labor church of free trade – Adam Smith would be proud of Mr Turnbull, Mr Shorten and their Uruguay DOFAT mandarins
Today the Queensland Government has confirmed White Spot virus has been found in wild prawns in Moreton Bay off Brisbane and now cannot be stopped.
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter said, “I congratulate the Government of the Australia with their Free Trade policies and no quarantine.
“Our prawn industry has been sacrificed on the altar of Free Trade.
“Not only all our industries have been exported overseas, and our jobs exported overseas but you’ve imported workers from overseas, which has been a cancer upon our pay and conditions and job opportunities in Australia — but now you’ve succeeded in destroying our oceans.
“Because the currents flow north, White Spot will now be taken up the Qld coast and infect the Great Barrier Reef.
“This was done with eyes wide open.
“Every single person associated with the prawn industry and every scientist who ever looked at this knew if you brought the prawns in, you’d bring the White Spot in… and the IHHNV and heaven only knows which hundreds of other diseases we haven’t identified…and these damn people in Canberra run around talking about our clean green image,” said Mr Katter.
The Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) President Matt West owns a prawn farm in the Mackay region. In a media report from January this year, Mr West says although his stock are some distance from the Sth East Qld region damaged by the outbreak, the disease can spread rapidly, “especially if it gets hold in the wild”.
NB: Cairns News published an exclusive story on January 10, 2107 about Chinese prawn importer Sino deliberately altering prawn samples for biosecurity testing. The company has been charged by Federal Police for falsifying records allowing white spot infected prawns to be introduced into Queensland. Imported green prawns infected with white spot virus used by anglers for fish bait are thought to have infected seven Gold Coast prawn farms and now Moreton Bay near Brisbane.