Larry Pickering at his best
22 November 2017: Bob Katter MP, Federal Member for Kennedy, is furious former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce took part in selling Adani to China after news the Adani Group is close to securing finance for its coal mine and railway track in coming weeks with Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies backing the venture.
Media reports a director of Adani Mining said just days ago they would no longer need funding from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and a formal announcement of a financial close was imminent. It was reported in The Australian on Nov 14th Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo wrote to top Chinese officials to vouch for Indian giant Adani. The report said they sent a letter to the chairman of China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission saying they welcomed “foreign lending to support the development of major projects in Australia”.
“If you sell your country out, then you’re a traitor,” Mr Katter said.
It was also reported Chinese enterprises and export credit agencies invariably require that materials for key infrastructure are sourced from China, effectively shifting work out of Australia and undermining Adani’s claims its project will create many thousands of additional jobs for Queensland.
“Half Australia’s coal reserves will be controlled by whoever owns that railway line. It was not good enough for the ALP and LNP to sell our coal seam gas, now worth $25b a year. This is enough money to restore our outpatients at our hospitals, and give every pensioner and young families 10 grand each and every year.
“We sold the gas for 6 cents a unit we are now buying it back for $16 a unit – our own Australian gas. And now we are going to do the same thing with coal.
“Does anyone think a spineless Government in Canberra are going to stand up to the Chinese Government when they take over all of our unexploited coal reserves? The Greenies think they will stand up to that? Do they think the spineless ALP Government will stand up against the Chinese Government? No, they won’t.
“This will go down as the biggest sell out in our country in Australian history, and will let all the world know that Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and LNP PM Malcolm Turnbull will go down in the history of Australia in infamy,” Mr Katter said.
The deadly mantra of free trade has threatened the existence of the $358 million Australian prawn industry after white spot disease contaminated prawn farms in the Logan River south of Brisbane.
Imported raw green prawns from Vietnam, Thailand and China where the highly contagious white spot virus is rampant, have wiped out southern farms, forcing the government to place a ban on imports of green prawns.
Infected prawns die quickly and all the Logan River farms have been destocked in the hope of decontaminating the river.
It is thought that green prawns used for fish bait, were the source of contamination.
Although the virus has no effect upon humans, it would have a serious economic impact on the seafood industry in southern Queensland.
North Queensland farms have not yet contracted the virus and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says the priority was to protect the northern industry which catches 20,000 tonnes of wild prawns and farms another 5200 tonnes worth $86 m annually.
Chinese prawn importer, Sino, had its import licence revoked on Friday 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.
Other imported products such as cooked, marinated or crumbed prawns do not carry the virus.
Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter whose electorate has a prawn farm, warned the Federal Government not to allow imports from white spot infected countries.
“All other ‘smart’ countries won’t import seafood from a country that has white spot, Mr Katter remarked.
“But we have some of the lowest quarantine protections in the world.
“Quite frankly I can’t think of anything that has been stopped from coming in.
“Out of probably 100 horticultural applications, all have been agreed too, similarly with seafood.
“Australia has for some time been a net importer of seafood. We pleaded with the authorities to refuse the application to bring in imported prawns. They brought in prawns. Now we have white spot.”
The grocery duopoly, Woolworths and Coles, being the largest retailers of imported prawns, have found themselves smack in the middle of the industry crisis, that Logan River farmers say will eventually kill off all farmed prawns.
The duopoly, best known for not supporting local farmers, enforcing low farm-gate prices and dodgy supply contracts has remained quiet, but should take the blame for the impending destruction of the local prawn industry square on the nose.
The Liberal, National and Labor free trade policies have produced the toxic fruit of Australian primary industries.
Fortunately American President-elect Donald Trump has sounded the death knell for free trade but it will be too late for Australia.
17 November 2014: REPORTS that the Federal Government will sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China today, is simply more billows of bulldust from Canberra which will blow away the last venture of manufacturing and decimate agriculture in this country, KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said today.
“At the present rate the Chinese are gobbling 6-7% ownership of Australian agriculture each year, according to the figures I have seen.
“This is really a joke; the Chinese are practically taking the tariffs off themselves.
“After 9 years, when the dairy tariffs are phased out, the vast bulk of the food exports into China will be produced on Australian land owned by Chinese, produced by the Chinese and manned by section 457 Chinese workers. Indeed, it is very generous of them to take tariffs off their own products they are exporting from Australia to China,” said Mr Katter.
“The ridiculousness of all this is that is we don’t have anything to trade with. We don’t have any subsidies and tariffs to remove. We have no bargaining chips to trade with in this country.
“We had the National Party Minister tell us how the American free trade agreement will save Australian agriculture and at the time there was only three areas where we weren’t free trading – sugar, dairy and beef.
“Once the agreement was finalised there was absolutely no benefit to the sugar, dairy or beef industries and to requote one of Australia’s leading economists the only benefit Australia received was an ice cream a week.
“The Americans blew away our strict quarantine protections under the previous free trade agreement, and we are certain our quarantine protections will be further eroded with this. Their diseased product will be allowed into Australia, and for how much longer will we be clean and green?
“Meantime there is a farmer being foreclosed on every four days in Australia.
“We will be very specific and warn my fellow Australians unless you sink the ship load of eco-rats that run Canberra and occupy seats in Parliament that we will continue to witness the complete and utter destruction of Australian agriculture,” Mr Katter said.
KAP Leader and the Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter MP is furious about the Federal Department of Agriculture increasing their fees and charges for live cattle export, by up to 66% in some cases.
As outlined on the Department of Agriculture’s website, processing, administration and overnight fees have risen to over $529 per 15 mins processing time.
According to Cattlemen in the Gulf this would equate to roughly $5 per head of cattle leaving Australia by sea.
Mr Katter believes that the Government have given with one hand but taken with the other and the additional fees are the difference between making a profit and running at a loss.
“Over 2000 farmers are in banking default in Qld. Only 168 applied for their concessional loans and only 64 of them were eligible for the assistance.
“To impose $5 a head fees and charges on top of what they (cattlemen) have been through in the last 3 years shows the callousness and officiousness of the ALP and the LNP ministers. This announcement leaves any decent Christian person with a foul smell of sewage in their nostrils.
“The ALP Government with their mindless callous vandalism, wrecked the live cattle export producers and their numerous contractors and employees and now this LNP mob are sitting on $720 million of loan monies and on top of this they have applied a $5 extra charge per head. We are talking about 10% of their entire income. After mustering and cartage, I doubt whether they would be making $300. $5 is the difference between making a profit and making a loss.
“Even before the live cattle debacle, there was only a 2% profit to cattlemen and now thanks to this Government, we can reduce this by 100%. In a similar situation, as a 29 year old Member of Parliament, I exploded with rage when a similar charge was imposed in a similar situation. Half a dozen ministers backed me up and I thought there were going to be fisty cuffs in the party room.” Mr Katter said.
The announcement to increase live export fees comes at a time when the industry is just starting to get back on its feet. Cattlemen were buoyed by the prospect of a renewed live export market, only to now be fit with live export fee increases.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is a loco motive coming at you at 100klms an hour.” Mr Katter said.
Bob Katter, Steve O’Connor and Robbie Katter at the Karumba live cattle processing wharf, Qld.