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THE COUNTRYMAN

NEWS

 

Selwyn Johnston

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES'

ADVOCATE

(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

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AUSTRALIA'S 

PRIMARY PRODUCERS

INDEX

AUSTRALIA'S RURAL POLICY

THE ISSUE

It's Your Choice!

Policy Brief

      RURAL ACTION MOVEMENT (QUEENSLAND)

Small Business

     Beyond Blue

 

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THE ISSUE

The anger and frustration felt by struggling family 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. 

President Bush's 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 '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!

 

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POLICY BRIEF

  1. Impose strict 'TARIFFS', similar to those imposed by Australia's trading partners, on all IMPORTED agricultural products. This would permit ONLY the importation of additional agriculture products required for Australian consumption AFTER the acquisition of Australia's entire annual, or seasonal, crops.

ALTERNATIVELY

  1. A 'COMPENSATION PACKAGE' which will include:

  1. An immediate moratorium on ALL financial institutions from taking any action against primary producers on outstanding farm debts

  2. Full debt relief to ALL primary producers eliminated from the market by cheap foreign imports

  3. Immediate access to Government 'assistance' in real financial terms

  4. A Government 'Buy-Out' of family-owned farms, at current MARKET VALUE, with Legislative restrictions prohibiting the resale of the land to ANY foreign corporation

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.

 

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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:

  1. Have YOU had a gutful yet?

  2. Are YOU hurting enough to do something about it?

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!

 

 

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870