(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
The anger and frustration felt by
farmers at the devastating policies of successive Federal governments will
undoubtedly be targeted against sitting party
politicians, of all political persuasions, in the coming Federal election.
Primary producers of cattle, dairy, fishing, grains, pork, sugar, timber and wool, have been deregulated, restructured or otherwise decimated in the names of the National Competition Policy, economic rationalism and globalisation.
Thousands of international treaties
including the Lima Declaration and the General Agreement on Trade in Services
(GATS), plus countless World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and
World Bank agreements, are destroying the very fabric of Australia's society.
trade representative, Bob Zoellick, said the US wanted a Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) with Australia '… as absolutely broad as possible, and that includes
agriculture, manufacturing and services'.
But at what cost to Australia?
Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board
is to remove restrictions on US multinational investors, we must relax our
quarantine laws, remove the 'single desk' grain marketing policy, rewrite our
pharmaceutical benefits scheme, downgrade genetically modified food labelling,
and provide access for US telecommunications, airlines and banking services.
The most frightening aspect of all this, despite the FTA NOT being in the best interests of Australia, our elected representatives supported the FTA proposal, and its introduction effective 1 January 2005.
Unless there is a sustainable, and specific, RURAL POLICY to guarantee security and a continued viability for Australia's primary producers, a real possibility of Australia becoming a nett food-importer will become an eventually.
The party politicians rely on the
demonstrated by a significant number of Australian voters at election time to
ensure their re-election!
The party politicians rely on the 'apathy' demonstrated by a significant number of Australian voters at election time to ensure their re-election!
It's time for a change... or there's no reason to complain!
It is beyond belief that Australia's elected representatives have condoned the wanton destruction of Queensland primary industries, via deregulation policies, which only serves the interests of 'foreign multinational corporations'.
Queensland primary producers have 'had a gutful' of the national competition policy, globalisation, economic rationalism and free trade agreements with trading partners who subsidise their primary producers with thousands of millions of THEIR taxpayer dollars annually, while Australian farming families are being destroyed by these one-sided international agreements and treaties.
It's Your Choice!
The introduction of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) has the REAL potential to allow foreign multinational corporations to IMPORT cheap labour from third world countries, at rates of pay payable in their home country, to work on 'Company' owned properties snapped up at bargain basement prices from Australian farming families forced to leave their land as a result of Australia's Government policy of ratifying of international treaties.
It has ALREADY happened in the Queensland town of Emerald!
Other likely targets for international interests include the 'salad bowl' area of the Lockyer Valley, the coastal growing regions, and the rich fruit and vegetable region of Far North Queensland's Atherton Tableland.
Queensland's primary producers only have to answer two questions:
If the answer is 'YES' to both question, then the opportunity is coming for you to send your message to the political parties via the ballot box.
It's YOUR choice!
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870