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.”
The Productivity Commission again says de-regulate the sugar industry which is just more economic sabotage for farmers. Huge trans-national Corporations continue to strip the nation of its non-renewable natural resources. Donald Trump is leading the charge in the US to halt his country’s economic haemorrhage. The ALP and LNP’s only plan for this country is to open the gaping wound. This week’s symbolic alteration to work visa laws will not make more jobs for Australians.
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has asserted the Productivity Commission (PC) is a cancer upon the economic soul of Australia.
The Productivity Commission has advocated a return to the deregulation in the sugar industry and an abolition of KAP’s statutory marketing legislation.
Peter Harris is Chairman of the Productivity Commission. Mr Harris has previously served as Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and the Victorian Government agencies responsible for Sustainability and the Environment; Primary Industries; and Public Transport.
He has worked for the Ansett-Air New Zealand aviation group and as a consultant on transport policy. He has also worked in Canada on exchange with the Privy Council Office (1993-1994). His career with the government started in 1976 with the Department of Overseas Trade and included periods with the Treasury; Finance; the Prime Minister’s Department and Transport; and he worked for two years in the Prime Minister’s Office on secondment from the Prime Minister’s Department as a member of then Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s personal staff.
If his sterling career that earned him an AO is examined, one will find most positions he has held have encapsulated monumental disasters. For example Ansett, Sustainability and Environment, Overseas Trade, Bob Hawke’s personal staff, ad nauseam. This man’s antecedents should have sent him to jail not given him an award.
This Adam Smith-inspired, laissez faire Canberra bureaucracy has proven an abomination to Australian manufacturing and primary industries. This hideous, Marxist ideology shines as the epitome of the Liberal and Labor parties, leaving unregulated markets to the whim of the rapacious trans-national economies.
This man has steered the country into economic oblivion.
“The Productivity Commission has their sympathisers in the Liberal Party and the ALP ‘puppets on an AWU string’. And of course the AWU needing site coverage are ‘puppets on the Wilmar string’. In any event the ALP and LNP are the political wing of the Productivity Commission, PC and they are a cancer on the economic soul of Australia”, Mr Katter said.
“The Productivity Commission, whatever it was called at the time advocated the deregulation of the wool industry in 1990.
“In 1990 wool was bigger than coal. But the PC’s deregulation destroyed the wool industry, 73% of our sheep are gone. The price is shattered. Wool is now $2000m a year. Wool prices have improved but should be worth over $20B/a year.
“Next the motor vehicle industry. 84% of our Motor Vehicles were Australian Made in 1987. Following the PC recommendation the industry collapsed. Next year there will be none. Over $20,000m, once going to Australians, will now be going overseas.
“Now today their decision on ethanol. They have advised the Government that Australia would be better off sending $26B to the Middle East to buy oil instead of sending that $20B of this into rural Australia to buy “clean” ethanol.
“This is $60B a year in just 3 items, $50,000 per year/per family – lost, gone.
“We import all of our “whitegoods” from overseas. All of our “metal processing” in Australia is ceasing since the privatisation and deregulation of the electricity market has driven prices up 300%. They knew this would happen. It’s exactly what happened in California.
“So Mount Isa Mines has announced the closure of much of its copper processing. The nickel plant in Townsville has closed. Kagara Zinc has closed.
“The PC’s deregulation recommendation of dairy, eggs and sugar – but the price “down” to the farmers by nearly 30%. Whilst prices to the consumers rose 25%. Piggy in the middle got an extra $2B a year.
“What an appalling record.”
Mr Katter moved at the last sittings for a Parliamentary Inquiry with a view to replacing the Productivity Commission with a body based outside of Canberra, and consisting of people with ‘hands-on’ experience in production and commerce.
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.