BY Editor, CAIRNS NEWS
WHILE Keswick Island locals prepare a major Australia Day protest against the Chinese owners of a 117-hectare development on their southern Whitsundays island, the Coalition and the ALP have fobbed off Kennedy MP, Bob Katter’s attempt to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of Australian agricultural lands.
Given the bullying trade sanctions the communist China regime has recently imposed on Australia, the major parties could have drawn a line in the sand, but instead buckled at the knees under the weight of “global investment” forces and their Chinese Communist Party allies.
Katter’s amendment to the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 was voted down by Labor, Liberal and Nationals MPs in the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon (December 7).
The amendment read: “… not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House calls on the Government to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of agricultural lands and place a ban on the acquisition of assets of strategic economic importance or strategic defensive importance to Australia”.
At Keswick Island, the new development leaseholders China Bloom, are blocking locals’ access to beaches, destroyed a large jetty, blocked access to the airstrip that brings tourists to the island. and to add insult to injury, blocked national park access. Others who are leasing properties within the 117-ha lease were given just a few days to move out. Locals and supporters are planning a major protest on Australia Day with a flotilla of boats.
Australians, and mainstream party politicians in particular, have been bedazzled by Chinese money and business for the past decade or longer, forgetting that Chinese businesses are controlled by the CCP if not outright run by them. The level of Chinese ownership of Australian land and businesses such as Cubbie Station is not only embarrassing but a national security issue.
The Katter’s Australian MP said he wasn’t shocked or surprised as the major parties had become addicted to foreign investment over the past two decades. “Australia has a fight on its hands and the fact is the ALP and LNP sold our electricity network, the maintenance of our sewage and water supply, our farmland, strategic ports and water to the Chinese,” Mr Katter said.
“The history books will state that the major parties sold their country out. Today my amendments that the Government move to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of agricultural lands and place a ban on the acquisition of assets of strategic economic importance or strategic defensive importance to Australia, was voted down by Labor and the LNP.
“North Queenslanders should note that the Members for Leichhardt and Herbert voted to keep selling their country off. I thank my crossbench colleagues who had the guts to vote for Australia and our sovereignty.”
In March 2015 China Capital Investment Group bought Daydream Island Resort and Spa for about $30 million. Former owner Vaughan Bullivant had originally asked $65m. A year later CCIG bought South Molle Island in the Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef for $25 million – chickenfeed for the global financier. South Molle had been held on a perpetual lease by Koala Adventures owner Craig Ross.
And then came the arrogance of Chinese money in the purchase of the 117ha of Keswick in 2019. Unlike normal development applications that go on for months and years, the Queensland Department of Resources swung the door wide open to China Bloom to develop an elite resort to host 3000 visitors – and to hell with the locals. So can we expect planeloads of CCP officials, bureaucrats and their families flying into Queensland and taking over an island? And who benefits? Not the local people blocked from the airstrip and the former large jetty.
Maybe the locals can build their own resort, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a response from the Palaszczuk government and their Department of Resources, with its record of obstructing, oppressing and destroying farmers and other Australian businesses across the state.
This is the same government that trusts the Chinese communists to write their election software codes. And it looks very suspiciously like a guaranteed election result pays dividends for the ideological cousins on both sides of the deal.
Bob Katter, KAP Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth, Alan Jones and Robbie Katter tell the Liberal and National Parties they have had enough!
THE LAST STAND IN WINTON: WE WANT A RECONSTRUCTION BOARD
5 December 2014: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said today that the ‘The Last Stand in Winton’ – the Rural Debt Crisis Summit was unanimous in its determination to seek a reconstruction debt approach to farm debt.
Approximately 400 people including leading economists, politicians, Government Ministers and farmers from around Australia attended the Summit called by the State Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter.
Radio Presenter Alan Jones was the guest speaker who promised he would be delivering the message from the bush to the people in the cities and the politicians in Canberra and the capital cities. Mr Jones received a rousing standing ovation from the audience who he told to ‘put their shoulders square and fight’.
“Farm debt has exploded in 9 years from $31,000 million to over $64,000 million last year,” Mr Katter said.
“To reconstruct the bad end of that debt is achievable by Government and they need to move in immediately in a situation where the banks are foreclosing at a rate of 10 properties per week.
“Banks do not just foreclose, they’re using duress and even mis-representation to get people to agree to terms without putting them into receivership.”
Mr Katter said the meeting unanimously rejected the Government’s offer of more debt by way of concessional loans.
The meeting also called for a moratorium on all bank foreclosures until the drought ends.
Farmers spoke from the floor to give heart-breaking accounts of their farms being sold up after generations on the land.
A Winton Rural Crisis Committee will now be established to take forward the outcomes of the meeting.
The resolutions agreed to at the meeting are:
Drought and other natural disasters
1) That the current Drought Assistance approach is a failure and this approach is rejected outright as manifestly inadequate
2) That the meeting calls on the Council of Australian Governments to convene an inclusive working group (within a month) to develop a new approach to drought and other periods of natural disaster consistent with the WTO Agreement on Agriculture framework
3) That the new approach support stressed agricultural businesses by providing:
· Prompt direct funding assistanceSimple conditions of access
· Low interest loans
· Greater certainty as to the availability of assistance
· A form similar to the previous QRAA model, and
· Other features arising from subsequent industry deliberations
4) That governments increase the number of Rural Financial Counselling and other support services in the state of Qld and place them appropriately around the state.
5) That Australian farmer incomes and profitability be made central to government policies, including in a reworking of the inadequate Agriculture Green Paper
6) That the Senate Economics Legislation Committee proceed in its enquiry into the Reserve Bank of Australia Amendment (ARDB) Bill as a matter of urgency
7) That the Federal Government commit to the provision of finance to fund the reconstruction and development of Australian Industry with urgent attention to rural industries and infrastructure
8) That the State government provide affordable Risk Mitigation Insurance to give effective cover against natural disasters
9) That interest rates are excessive and incompatible with sustainable production, industry profitability and international competitiveness. The Federal Government to work towards reducing interest rates.
10) That the Australian dollar is un-competitively high and calls on the federal government and the Reserve Bank to put in place methods to compensate Australian industries and reduce the dollar.
11) That governments and banks immediately enact a moratorium on forced farm sales until effective action is taken on the resolutions above
12) That the meeting supports the Winton/Western Rural Crisis Committee in its efforts to advance these issues and relevant other issues subsequently raised with appropriate industry and government representatives and agencies