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Bob Katter nails it: we are being deceived about the FTA with China

Bob Katter is a man I’ve never paid much attention to. He’s on the other side of the country and might as well be on the other side of the planet as far as I’m concerned. But when a friend sent me the link to Katter’s speech in Parliament last week on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement I sat up and took notice. It’s a gem. It sparkled. You need to see it.

Here it is:

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (17:50): I feel sorry for the members of the government, I really do. They get a brief and they have got to get up and tell us how wonderful the free trade deal is and how it is going to save the world. I was in this place and saw the then Prime Minister stand up and lead the clapping for Andrew Robb on the free trade deal with China and I thought, ‘Maybe I know nothing about politics, but if this is getting you votes I am a Martian astronaut!’ Four weeks later he was thrown out a window.

You think you are deceiving the people of Australia. You are not. When they hear ‘free trade deal’, they hate you. Understand that, because I might not be an expert in a number of fields, but after 41 years of straight wins in pretty hostile territory, I can tell you that I know a little tiny bit about politics. I sat at the feet of the great master, Bjelke-Petersen. So if you are not interested in governing the country, if you are not interested in helping your country, maybe you might just think about your survival.

I feel sorry for the LNP. They somehow think that Australia is this big, huge country and that it can produce a magnificent amount of agricultural production. It most certainly can produce a lot more than it is producing. But it is not a big, huge agricultural country at all. There is 53 per cent of Australia that is designated as desert and 23 per cent is designated as Indigenous lands. Since the governments of Australia will not give title deed to those lands, they are sterilised. That is 76 per cent gone. There is seven per cent that is national parks. So, if you take out that 83 per cent, there ain’t a lot left.

The concept that huge areas of land will produce huge areas of food—sorry; that is wrong. There are a few thousand hectares, maybe 30,000 hectares, of land that is producing about a quarter of Australia’s beef production. They are called lot feeders. Basically the cattle do not wander around chewing grass. That is not the way beef is produced anymore in America or in Europe or in Australia. It is done in lot feeders. So you have a different concept altogether, where you do not need huge areas of land. Your competitive advantage is in that lot feeder. That is where the action comes. You have a competitive advantage in that area.

Somehow they think, ‘There are millions of people in South-East Asia, and we’re going to be able to sell all this food to them.’ Mr Deputy Speaker, I would refer you to the statistics. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that we will be importing food from those countries. Let me be very specific. When I stood up in this place 15 years ago and said that this market fundamentalism, this free market rubbish, will destroy your country, I said that Australia could become a net importer of food. Every 10 years, the imports increase at 103 per cent and the exports increase at 21 per cent. You do not have to be Albert Einstein to figure out that the graphs will soon cross.

Mr Deputy Speaker, you must understand that, if every Chinese city had two 20-storey buildings with tanks on each storey, then they could produce all of the protein requirements for China. They do not have to buy any of our beef. They do not have to buy any of our seafood product. In fact, if you look at a graph of the increase in seafood production in China, if you extrapolate that graph on for about 30 or 40 years, in theory all of the world’s protein would be coming out of the prawn and fish farms in China.

I am fascinated by how this is going to help Australia. The last speaker, the member for Lyne, touted the beef industry. I do not know if he knows anything about it. I rather doubt that he does, but he touted the beef industry. Well, let us have a look at what this free trade deal does for the beef industry. We sell our beef at the present moment at $2 a kilogram. If you look at the average price, it is a lot less than that, but I will take $2 a kilogram. Its 10 per cent tariff has been abolished, so that is a 20c advantage we get. The beef sells over there for $32 a kilogram. Those are the figures that have been given to me. But now the Australians are going to have a terrific advantage of 20c, so it is $31.80 now. Jeez, that will lead to a huge increase in the benefits for the beef producers of Australia! A difference between $32 and $31.80, and the member of parliament who sits beside me here, the member for Lyne, seriously touted that as something that is going to help the beef industry? Why doesn’t he do his homework? Why does he just take the drivel that comes from the frontbench? And the drivel that comes from the frontbench is dictated by the giant corporations that bankroll the mainstream parties.

Having dealt with the LNP, we will move on now to the ALP. If ever there was a day on which ‘Red Ted’ Theodore would turn in his grave and the founders of the labour movement would spit upon the people that sit in this House and call themselves Labor members, today is the day. When I walk out of this place, there is a magnificent portrait of a bloke called Charlie McDonald. Charlie McDonald was the first member for Kennedy, and every time I go out I salute Charlie. Six of Charlie’s first seven speeches in this place were railing against the importation of foreign labour. Well, this document opens the door to it. This man went out and helped form the Labor Party, the labour movement, of Australia. They fought and died, literally—there were three shearers shot dead at the strike, where Waltzing Matilda was written a couple of months later—and the entire executive of the AWU were jailed for three years with hard labour for having a strike. These men and their families went hungry. What happened when they got arbitration was that the miners said, ‘We’re bringing the coolies in from China. Ha, ha. Take that, Buster Brown; take that.’ And the cane plantations said, ‘We’re bringing the Kanaks in to be cane cutters, so take that, Buster Brown; take that.’

So the first member for Kennedy stood up in this place and courageously fought to create the Labor Party—and the people who sit here on $200,000 or $300,000 a year, enjoying the benefits from the creation of that labour movement, sit here and betray every principle that was put forward by those people. Charlie McDonald would turn in his grave. But I am proud to say that the people of Kennedy are still represented by people who are not sell-outs, who are not under the control of the big plantation owners or the big mining companies. No. We are under the control of the people of our area. That is who we are under the control of and proud to say it. This opens the door that the Charlie McDonalds died for. The ALP today sold them out—lock, stock and barrel. There is not a trade unionist in Australia who is not looking at the ground and being ashamed of his association with the labour movement.

Let me become very specific. I am fascinated. I am just a poor, humble, simple Cloncurry boy. Clearly, these wunderkind—over here and over there—have decided to have free markets. The honourable member over there, Mr Brough, is making faces; he thinks it’s funny! I will tell you how funny it is, my friend. You have to buy everything from overseas. The last whitegoods factory, which is at Orange, closes this year. So you have to buy all your whitegoods from overseas. About 40 per cent of the steel in your house—the roofing on it, the reinforcing steel for your floor—comes from overseas. About 40 per cent of your cement comes from overseas. All your whitegoods and all the motor cars in your garage will come from overseas, next year. The clothes you wear will all come from overseas. Your footwear will all come from overseas. The petrol you put in your car comes from overseas. Everything we buy comes from overseas. Where are we going to get the money to buy all of these things?

The honourable member there, Mr Brough, laughed at me. People have laughed at me ever since I came into this place and started talking about this. I want it on record that he laughed at me, because the history books will pass judgement upon him. They will say: ‘Who are the people who destroyed this country?’ We have to buy everything from overseas. Where are we going to get the money to buy all our petrol, to buy all our motor cars, to buy everything in our houses and to buy the clothes on our backs?

Let me turn to food—and people in this place laugh at me about this. This country is now a net importer of pork. It is a net importer of seafood. It is a net importer of fruit and vegetables. It is only a matter of time. As I said, it is 103 per cent every 10 years, the last time I looked, and a 21 per cent increase in exports every 10 years. Inevitably—as the sun rises—we will become a net importer of food. You cannot eat live cattle or unprocessed grain, but if you take those two commodities out we are getting pretty close, in fact, to being a net importer of food. People in this place have laughed at me, but the people of Australia are passing judgement upon them, already, as we talk.

Where are we going to get this money from? We have only two things now that we export, and everyone knows that they are iron ore and coal. I am not here to denigrate those industries. In fact, I pray every night of my life to the good Lord that it does not come to pass, the continuation of what we are suffering in the thermal coal industry. But I would not like to be backing myself in, and I will not go into the problems of the thermal coal industry. What you have is what you have, in iron ore.

The country has to buy everything from overseas—and all they have to buy it with is iron ore and coal. A little bit of gold. Of course, aluminium is doomed. Aluminium is electricity. It came to Australia when we had the cheapest electricity in the world, in Queensland. Australia now has the second highest electricity charges in the world. So it will be bye-bye aluminium. It will be bye-bye all mineral processing, because it all depends upon—and I am sick and tired, in this place, of hearing ‘It’s high wages that are killing us!’ Wages look pretty bloody small when compared with the cost of mineral processing, which is the cost of electricity.

It is due to the incompetence of the people in this place and of state governments who have taken electricity charges up 400 per cent in 10 years. That is what your free markets and privatisation have done: 400 per cent increase, in electricity charges, in 10 years. For 10 years before that, in Queensland, there was no increase at all. For 10 years before privatisation and a deregulation of the pricing mechanism we had no movement in price at all. My case rests. It dooms aluminium and it dooms mineral processing, so you are left with iron ore and coal. The income from iron ore and coal—maybe $150,000 million or whatever it is—is not enough to meet our imports. It is nowhere near enough.

You are living in a country that is going broke at 100 miles an hour. You cannot buy everything from overseas when you have nothing to sell overseas. The people in this place with their market fundamentalism, their fanaticism, have imposed upon Australia a regime that no other country on earth has to suffer under. Every other farmer on earth gets 40 per cent of his income from the government. Our poor farmers get six per cent. I conclude on that note. So much for your free trade. (Time expired)

 

51 comments

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  1. hilderombout

    What a fantastic speech! He really calls a spade a bloody shovel doesn’t he. I am proud of Bob for telling the truth!

  2. Kate M

    Scarily good. I’m hoping that someone can dispute the facts in his speech. Because if he’s right – we are in DEEP……….

  3. kerrl

    Bob Katter is a character but many, many times he is right on the money!
    I was disgusted with my federal member, the idiot Frydenberg, when he laughed after Katter walked out last week in anger when stupid young Joshie, refused to answer his question directly and instead went into full politibulllshit speak!
    A well formed speech from a man who serves his constituents!
    We need more independants and less party puppets!

  4. Rocky

    My God, where will all this end. I fear for my grandchildren. Today’s major parties are despicable, self serving bastards.

  5. Denis

    Both major political parties have sold Australia down the drain. They have destroyed our strong manufacturing industry. They have destroyed our public assets that used to provide governments with revenue. They have sold our sovereignty to multinationals and the US war mongers.

    When I left school in 1956 at age 15 there was full employment in decent jobs for everyone. Anyone who wanted work could get a permanent full time job.

    All Federal, State and Local governments put on thousands of apprentices each year who received the best training and which produced excellent tradesman.

    Even though most industries were labour intensive they seemed to survive okay, not like today where many businesses only last about 6 months before going bankrupt.

    One family member could support their family and buy a house with only a little hardship. Today a family struggles to put a roof over their families’ head with both parents working, in many cases in more than one part-time, casual, poor paying job.

    Since about 1970 when globalization started everything has been going pear shape rapidly and they keep telling us the LIE about how good neoliberal/privatization approach is for growth and prosperity.

    It seems to me that growth and prosperity is reserved for the very few at the top of the pyramid.

  6. Kaye Lee

    One very important thing that Bob left out of his speech and that no-one much mentions….

    China has a safeguard clause which allows it to add customs duties to fresh and frozen beef carcasses and meat when Australian beef imports hit a volume trigger of 170,000 tonnes.

    “In 2013-14, Australia exported 161,000 tonnes of beef to China worth $787 million,” Mr Fua told the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Treaties.

    “The concern here is that given the growth in Australian beef exports to China, which has been exponential in the last few years, the risk here is that the trigger will be reached fairly quickly and China is able to apply extra customs duty which appears to be against the spirit of chapter two [of the FTA],” he said.

    Mr Fua said a similar situation applies to Chinese imports of Australian milk and cream solids.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-27/australian-beef-not-as-free-under-china-fta-as-imagined:-inquiry/6652300

    Considering it is going to take 9 years for the tariffs to be completely removed, we will be way past the trigger point for them to be reinstated.

  7. mars08

    Cui bono?

  8. Matters Not

    Promises, promises and even more promises. Australia has a ‘free trade’ agreement with the US which was signed more than a decade ago. It ‘promised’ to achieve much. The ‘models’ said so. As to the ‘reality’.

    Asked whether any of that modelling had been subsequently checked against the actual outcomes, she replied: “Not that I am aware of.”

    “I am not aware of any economic modelling that’s been, I guess, remodelled,” she said. “But certainly the objectives and that are outlined in the feasibility study are very much part of the negotiated outcomes, so the free trade agreements are only entered into when they achieve the objectives that have been set out to begin with.”

    Labor MP Jim Chalmers expressed incredulity saying that the department was asking Australia to believe claims about future agreements with India and the Pacific bloc when it hadn’t checked the claims it had made in the past.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-flying-blind-on-free-trade-agreements-says-productivity-commission-20150721-gihdn7.html#ixzz3pvfjuVum
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

    I read somewhere that this particular agreement benefited the US to the tune of $27 billion while Australia received $5 billion (All approximate figures).

    Further:

    Ahead of the US Australia Free Trade Agreement the department published modelling conducted by the Centre for International Economics that said it would boost Australia’s gross domestic product by $5.7 billion. A study conducted a decade later by the Australian National University found it had boosted trade not at all.

    I should add that this ‘modelling’ was done by the Centre for International Economics which describes itself as a boutique economic consultancy. It’s not part of government.

    The ‘assumptions’ underpinning the models are not on display.

    Just imagine any enterprise that didn’t evaluate the ‘outcomes’ in terms of its aims. Madness. Perhaps best not to know?

  9. stephentardrew

    Pretty to the point. L-NP and Labor are drawn form the same economic rationalist gene pool and Bob is spot on about the Labor Party. Destruction of manufacturing will go down as one of the great acts of idiocy and malfeasance in this countries history. Coal is doomed so where does that leave us? Licking at the boots of every country we have signed a trade agreement with because we are so incompetent at negotiations. Andrew Rob will go down as one of the great traitors of all time.

  10. stephentardrew

    Thank you Matters Not and Kaye for the hard facts. What a disgrace.

  11. Matters Not

    As for Bob Katter. I met him on a few occasions (shared some plane journeys) and he certainly is an interesting politician. He was Minister for Northern Development and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs from 1983 to 1987 in Queensland and his work in Aboriginal Affairs was first class. He is still remembered fondly in that regard. He had other ministries as well.

    His father was once a member of the ALP but Bob was for many years a member of the Country Party, later the National Party. He was a strong supporter of Joh.

    The views he expressed in this speech have been espoused for decades. While some of the examples may be new, the themes remain the same.

    Bob is immensely popular in the electorate. The LNP throw everything at him without success. His son is now the State Member. Katter always is on the side of the under dog. He must always be the outsider. That’s why he couldn’t join the other ‘independents’ in supporting Gillard.

    He is ‘always’ late for appointments including aircraft departures.

  12. salt of the earth

    Has Lord Fauntleroy Velveteen….( commonly known as Malcolm Turnbull) shown any emotion whatsoever. No I didn’t think that slimy fraud would. He a leader in the free trade conspiracy along with the rest of the morons of the LNP. Labor at least puts some caveats, like restricting cheap Chinese workers flooding in.

  13. brickbob

    Good God,where do we go from here? some people call Katter the ;;; mad hatter,but i know whose mad and it aint Bob.””

  14. Matters Not

    Here’s a more recent study of FTAs and how the ‘performance’ never matches the ‘promises’.

    The “empty promises” of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have hurt rather than helped Australian agriculture … balance of trade positions for Australian agriculture and food manufacturing (A&F) had deteriorated since beginning FTAs with New Zealand, the USA and Thailand … Australian food exports to New Zealand have levelled off since 2011 with a US$600 million Australian deficit on food products in 2014 …

    His conclusion:

    Dr McGovern said the three agreements had “clearly failed to deliver”.

    “There has been deterioration in the A&F trade position under each of the three agreements,” he said.

    “Australia’s trade performance with the rest of the world has been better than with non-agreement partners.

    “These figures clearly show FTA ‘partners’ have increasingly outperformed Australian enterprises.”

    Of course McGovern could be wrong. But we will never know because the proponents never follow up.

    https://www.qut.edu.au/business/about/news/news?news-id=96361

    It would seem that, as far as the politicians are concerned, Katter is the only one prepared to say the Emperor has no clothes.

    Another article from the same author. https://theconversation.com/free-trade-agreements-fail-to-boost-australian-agriculture-and-food-manufacturing-47576

  15. ranterulze

    Aah the Kat in the Hat. Forget his idiosyncrasies and focus on the essence of his argument. Well said and should be reposted, tweeted, shared widely. And I especially appreciate his exposure of the so-called Labor Party

  16. paul walter

    Anyone who despises the neo lib/FTA ideology is a friend of mine.

  17. su

    bloody brilliant Bob – I am liking you more and more

  18. musicinhills

    Bob must be waking up to reality, I always wondered about the very right wing, nay, fascist grazers in his area. Bob does like history
    He is very good on Red Ted history, and admires Red Ted, It was Bob’s father that was in the labour party then went to the country party
    Old Bob Katter and Joe Backash were good mates and lots of funny stories there. All good blokes. Bob Katter would have to be the cleanest bloke in politics today.

  19. mmc1949

    I’ve only read the first three chapters of this* book but the intro alone nails it …. the interdependence of the public and private spheres (government and big business) for the benefit of the very few that the rest of us pay for, being whipped like slaves while we’re about it. It is about the UK but could equally well apply to Australia and the US (and more). Of course, the application is global too. Corruption is redefined, as it should be when you get to the nitty gritty and join the dots.
    Well might we fear for our grandchildren …. and for their grandchildren too.
    Can’t recommend this book more highly, although preaching to the (mostly) converted here.

    * How Corrupt is Britain?
    Edited by David Whyte
    Format Paperback | 208 pages
    Dimensions 134 x 212 x 18mm | 220g
    Publication date 15 May 2015
    Publisher PLUTO PRESS
    Publication City/Country London United Kingdom
    ISBN10 0745335306
    ISBN13 9780745335308

    Thanks to my local library for buying this for me 🙂

    The “Look inside” feature at Amazon gives a taste in the first six pages.

  20. gangey1959

    WOW. That is all plain scary. Why don’t we just go back to a post WW2 Australia and do it all for ourselves, whilst giving anyone else a home at the same time.
    We could build cars,and solar and wind power plants, and all the things we used to make when I started work at Vulcan in the early 80’s.
    Life was good back then, and there was a point to it all.

  21. Andrew

    Coming from someone who wants to loosen gun laws so his son n law who has the rights to a eight shot gun can make a fortune… Please the guy is a red neck. Didn’t even know who Walter Mikac was he is the mad hatter.

  22. Roswell

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. It’s Katter’s message that’s important here. I don’t like his position on gun laws either. But I like this v

  23. Dorothy Long

    Seems nobody took any notice of him in the media when underneath the article you have opportunity to donate to journalism. Opportunistic Greed is what he talking about.

  24. oldfart

    ‘we are being deceived about the FTA with China”
    It would be foolish to believe the deception stops or is limited to FTA’s

  25. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure how giving people the “opportunity” to help cover the costs for this site can be called “opportunistic greed”. It is offered for free with no obligation. People volunteer their time and Michael pays the bills. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  26. Barry

    A “true believer”. Katter should replace Shorten Also: how is it that Britain and the USA are making cars at record levels, and our motor vehicle industry is closing shop?

  27. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Kerri and everyone who tweets.

    Bob Katter has made this point a bunch of times. We have seen here, the number of people saying the Chafta and the TPP will be bad for this country. But there is only one way to stop it. We need to get around 30 independents into every parliament, since they are the only ones who represent US, rather than the parties.

    As long as we are stuck with 2 parties we have no representation.

    Back to those who tweet. Tweet this page directly from your browser with the hashtag #30Independents because that is the conversation we need to have.

  28. Janama

    Bob, Australia is 7,692,024 sq kilometers – 17% of Australia is 1.3 million sq kms. That’s 6 times the size of the whole of Great Britain which supports a population of 60 million.

    Not exactly a small area for agricultural production don’t you think?.

  29. JohnB

    Bob Katter is a showman – he is talking to his parochial followers, telling them what they want to hear.
    I agree with his summation that free trade agreements don’t deliver Australia the benefits touted, but not for the simplistic agricultural reasons Bob is putting forth.
    In my view it is corporate imperialism that is pushing these various FTA’s – their intention is to eliminate independent sovereignty of minor nations – to make them subservient to “global business”.
    Gullible self aggrandising ideologue politicians are selling us citizens out. That is the major threat to Australia.

    But on to Bob’s speech:
    His claims that Australia will become a net importer of food appeals to the ill informed; his simplistic figures on land use do not hold up to close scrutiny.
    Research of his land use claims is below:

    Area of Australia = 7.6 million km²
    Katter:
    53% is desert;
    Actually 18% is desert
    – refer http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/national-location-information/landforms/deserts

    Katter: 23% is Indigenous land;
    Actually 17.8% – per Gov Statistics:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/land/nrs

    (Note 17.8% indigenous presents a double count, as vast majority of indigenous lands are in desert areas.
    I estimate only 5% of indigenous land is productive/arable) – refer map: http://www.wwf.org.au/our_work/partnership_with_indigenous_communities/indigenous_protected_area/

    Katter: 7% – National Parks;
    Not 7%, more like 4% “….Over 28 million hectares of land is designated as national parkland, accounting for almost four per cent of Australia’s land areas…”:
    http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/national-parks

    “…That is 76 per cent gone..[+] there is seven per cent that is national parks. So, if you take out that 83 per cent, there ain’t a lot left.…”
    Not true Bob, more like 27% (18+5+4) gone – ….. 2/3rds of which is unusable desert.

    Using Katter’s inaccurate figures, only 17% of land is left for productive Domestic /Industrial /Agriculture (7.6Mill x .17) 1.3 million km² ( 130 million Hectares)

    Using more accurate numbers in Katter’s list above indicates 73% of land area is available for other productive uses.
    As some of the 73% remaining area is semi arid land, the estimate is consistent with ABS statistics:
    According to ABS:
    7121.0 – Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2010-11:
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/7121.0Main%20Features42010-11?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=7121.0&issue=2010-11&num=&view=
    “..Approximately 53% of Australia’s total land area used for agriculture.
    = 4,076,760 km² ”
    … = 407.6 million Hectares

    His logic is contradictory.
    “…The concept that huge areas of land will produce huge areas of food—sorry; that is wrong…
    followed directly by
    “…here are a few thousand hectares, maybe 30,000 hectares, of land that is producing about a quarter of Australia’s beef production…”
    If 30,000 ha can produce 25% of Australia’s beef, why couldn’t 407 million ha produce enough food to sustain Australia?

    The claim that 30,000 ha lot-feeders can exist as standalone beef producers is also misleading. Feedlots need much support from many other agricultural services and resources, water, grain, waste disposal, environmental protection measures, breeding/yearling stock supply etc.

    “…Approximately 40% of Australia’s total beef supply and 80% of beef sold in major domestic supermarkets is sourced from the cattle feedlot sector. (Approx 2 million cattle are slaughtered in Australia each month = 24 million p/yr.)
    Two thirds of Australia’s beef production is exported to over 100 international markets…”

    https://futurebeef.com.au/knowledge-centre/feedlots/

    60% of Australia’s cattle slaughtered are not from feedlots – this is the sector outside that highly productive 30,000 ha that supplies ‘stock’ and support to feedlots.

    Katter’s implication that our export customers can simply setup feedlots on their small land areas and then become exporters themselves is fanciful. Most do not have, and can’t provide the necessary backup resources required for large scale cattle production.

    “…if every Chinese city had two 20-storey buildings with tanks on each storey, then they could produce all of the protein requirements for China….”

    That is clearly a fanciful claim – if it could be done they would be doing it already.
    ‘Aquaculture’ is in it’s infancy – it is mostly carried out in conjunction with existing waterways/oceans.

    Closed ‘inland’ aquaculture is very costly. commercially/environmentally risky and energy hungry.
    The amount of clean water required, waste disposal, disease control, present almost insurmountable problems at this time.
    “…While solid wall closed-containment systems provide a better alternative to current aquaculture methods, there are still concerns in regards to sustainability and overall environmental impact. One of which includes the disposal of discharged water from the systems and their potential for contaminants into the external environment. Another barrier to sustaining these systems is energy, the high cost of pumping water through the system and maintaining the necessary electricity to meet the demands on a commercial scale…”
    http://www.oceanfutures.org/news/blog/future-sustainable-fish-farming

    The Chinese have major ‘clean’ water supply problems – Katter’s vision of 2x 20 storey fish farms in each major city supplying enough protein for China’s population will not happen in the foreseeable future – it is not viable – it has unsolved risks, and unsustainable costs. Cheaper to look after our oceans.

    Katter has offered no sustainable solutions, just political grandstanding – and judging by the small part of his speech I have analysed and found wanting, I will not bother testing the validity of his other assertions.

  30. Brian Parkes

    This is our sad country today – that the political and industry leaders line their pockets as best they can while the future of our Australian people goes down the tube. When will true and honest leaders rise up and put our people and our children first?

  31. Kathy Connolly

    You can all throw shit on Bob Katter as much as you like, but the majority of you live in the cities and towns of the coast, get out in the bush and see how much these people fight to put food on your plates every day! None of you know or care how hard they fight to get through every day and then go out and do it all again. Bob has always fought for the underdog, and let me tell you, they sure need someone on their side, as the rest of the government don’t give a shit! So long as they get their big salary and massive payouts at the end of a few years of doing nothing for the people! Wake up to yourselves before it’s too late.

  32. jimhaz

    What? Farmers are hero’s now. They just do what they do because it is the only thing they have learnt to do – same as everyone else, including soldiers.

    I only have sympathy for farmers during long droughts, which we haven’t had for a while. Otherwise as they vote for the regressive National party – frankly dear I don’t give a damn.

  33. Zathras

    Here’s an example of an FTA in practice.

    The US/Canada FTA included provisions for competition for services.
    An American Parcel Delivery Company wanted to establish a Canadian branch but found they could not compete with the cheap and efficient local postal service.
    The Canadians then had to increase the cost of their own domestic parcel delivery service to allow the Americans to come in and compete with them.
    Brilliant!

    I always though Katter was more than slightly crazy (and still do). However even a broken watch is right twice a day and Katter is very correct in most of what he says.

    He’s correct enough for us all to be concerned and start asking awkward questions from those who sold us on these latest agreements and to remain on guard for those areas where we are worse off.

  34. Kaye Lee

    Kathy,

    I often hear that sort of lament from farmers. And then when they have the bumper years they buy new tractors and helicopters to minimise tax instead of putting money away for the inevitable bad years. My business also provides an essential service but when we suffer a downturn, there is no-one offering me assistance or cheap loans.

  35. David K

    Kathy, can a farmer make a tractor or a plough or a pump or any of the other hundreds of things that make modern farming possible?
    Maybe smelt some ore and fashion a shovel? No?
    Then without the input of others said farmer would be reduced to scratching in the dirt with a sharpened stick just to feed their own family, never mind the nation.
    Farmers do fulfill an important role, but we should not forget that we are first and foremost a society.

  36. LEN PAGGI

    Thank you for that speech Bob. Unfortunately you are by and large correct. A big factor of our income you left out however, is the abolishing of the mining tax.Norway applied the resource tax on their oil fields and have stashed $1.1 trillion, invested all over the world,
    We have some $480 billions deb tin the federal alone.
    Rudd was one of the most popular elected PM until he tried to introduce the mining tax.
    The mining giants placed $26 million on the table for the madia to tear him to bits.
    Remember Gina on the back of a truck screaming herself hoars with:AX THE TAX.
    They were successful in indirectly sacking a PRIME MINISTER of AUSTRALIA
    When that horrible bastard Tony Abbott came to power the tax was completely axed.
    If we look at Rio for instance, when they were selling iron ore for $180 /ton and production cost was $42/ton, they were making $138/ton
    CLEAR PROFIT!!!! on 225000000 tons per year production.
    225000000 x $138 = $31.05 billion profit per year
    If they had paid the proposed 40% mining tax, it would have returned $12.42 billions to the owners of the resource,THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE!!!
    If then they had paid the 30% corporate tax that other companies are asked to pay, Thy would have paid another $ 9.3 billions to the
    Australian people.
    They would have been still left with some $9 33 billion profits NOT PENUTS!!
    Rio paid less than $6 billion totatal, therefor doing us, the Australian people,out of over $ 15.7 billions in one year alone!!!!
    BHP had similar rsults and then there were all the other iron ore miners.
    We are only dealing with iron ore here, lets not forget Coal had a similar tax which they did not pay.
    We are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars we were robbed of.
    AND THAT ARSEHOLE ABBOTT BRAGS ABOUT WHAT A WONDERFUL THING HE DID BY ABOLISHING THE MINING TAX !!!!
    He and his cohorts should be tried for treason !!!!.

  37. salt of the earth

    Remember that Turnbull sat around the same table along with all those others, and gave they full support to Abbott. The media and the so called fearless journalists aided and abetted in in the blatant theft of the natural resources which belong to all Australians. Now these same hypocritical media are falling over themselves to lick the boots of the ‘messiah’ from Wentworth. A pox on all of them.

  38. Patrick Deegan

    You know my old cousin Reginald Francis Xaviour Connor, Illawarra (Minerals and Energy Minister) Whitlam Government in the mid 70’s… saw this coming. He wanted to “Buy Back The Farm.” They just refused to believe in his ideas. He was a radical also. Okay he tried to get money illegally. He was frustrated. It was not only his idea, there were others. He was the scapegoat, that eventually bought down the Labour Government.

  39. Alison Ryan

    Try reading Patrick Wood’s book called Technocracy Rising-The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation. Here Patrick has researched Free Trade Agreements. We don’t hear about Agenda 21 in our media. We don’t hear our politicians bring this into the open publicly. But we do hear about Sustainable Development and this is what Free Trade Agreements are all about. UN and elite globalists, the Trilateral Commission, play a big role here. Bob is correct. This is grand deception. I hope and pray some MPs listen to him.

  40. crypt0

    Well … I see what is written above … for and against …
    And I gotta tell you, , regardless of all the mathematics, farmers buying helicopters and so on …
    My people were farmers, and I can tell you, they worked all day and half the night.
    Rain, hail or shine. And sadly, no helicopter, or Mercedes. Same as all our neighbours.
    My money is on Bob Katter being right.
    You may not see it, but your children surely will.

  41. musicinhills

    Kathy Connelly is how we feel, most of us in regional Australia, don’t forget we still have a few family properties, but the big Corporations owned property’s set the rules, this augment about farmers and people in the cities has a lot of complexities it is far from cut and dried
    but most of us still don’t realise how lucky we are but a lot of us also can see that our children and grandchildren are and can not have any of the opportunity’s that we had, because WE like a mob thoughtless people used up all their resources and while we raced around bickering, the money hungry from other countries have raced in under our nose’s and snaffled it all up.

  42. mars08

    “The money hungry from other countries have raced in under our nose’s and snaffled it all up.. ..” because the money hungry in THIS country, aided by foolish, short-sighted politicians… invited them to come and take it. Remember Abbott’s idiotic remark straight after becoming PM? Australia is open for business. In fairness though, he wasn’t exactly the first…

  43. Kathy Connolly

    I am sorry if some people can’t see the forest for the trees in this discussion, we need to stand back and look at the bigger picture here, I realise that the farmers do depend on a lot of other industries to be able to do the amazing jobs that they do, every day, and half the night, especially during harvest and planting times. I’m sorry if I stepped on anyone’s toes, my apologies for that, but we still need to wake up!

  44. Kaye Lee

    Kathy,

    My response to you was unreasonable and I apologise – it came from a long standing argument I have with my cousin who is a farmer. I do know how hard farmers work and I know the heartbreak of being dependent on weather. I am cross with myself for persisting with the “who works harder’ argument. As others have said, we must be a team.

  45. Tom Overton

    Sorry to the person who stated Bob Katter is immensely popular in his electorate. Check the figures. He scored 29% of the primary vote last Federal Election. He stood 80+ candidates in several seats on the east coast and only won his, thanks to a preference deal with Labor and the Greens. Bob is a ‘has been’ and the people of Kennedy are over his theatrics and shenanigans. He attends Parliament less than any other MP and votes more with Labor than the conservatives. High time he retired.

  46. June M Bullivant OAM

    I have always like the principles and common sense of this man, we should hear more of him, we need more of this kind of politician and less of the others with their nose in the trough and looking after the rich, thanks Bob for speaking in plain English, a lot easier to get our head around. And I bet you he was just about talking to himself as the rest would not like to hear his.

  47. JohnB

    @June M Bullivant OAM March 26, 2016 at 6:28 am
    There are 7 links included in my post that were used to gather my ‘figures’.

  48. Ray Jensen

    If you take the time to Bob’s address to parliament you will understand that our “once” great country has been sold out by this and previous governments. We need people in government that will lead this country back to prosperity. Most present day MPs only care about there own desires, not those of the people who voted for them. A typical example is the sell off of our land, most people I talk to are against this but still the majority MPs feel it is ok. They don’t listen to the voters or care because we are supposedly xenophobic.

  49. suemaynes

    I once had Bob Katter call me to ask about our land ownership rights as I had been part of a team intensely learning about them. When I started to explain what we had found, he told me I was wrong. So the conversation ended.

    What we have recently found however, is that the Australian Government operates under its own rules and regulations through administrative law. YOU don’t have a voice in administrative law – so govt can do what it wants without any reference to whether or not you, and your industry, are harmed.

    It is all about money – usually the amount going into their pockets or the amount international corporations pay them to make rules that benefit those corporations. And there is no way you and I can compete with that sort of lucre.

    Bob Katter MAY have a good heart in all this. Bob Katter MAY speak up well in defence of the people. But Bob Katter gets paid by a system that could not give a S##t – and you and I can do nothing about it.

    So Bob can say all this and get away with it. But Bob won’t change anything until he tells you all about how the system of law the Govt operates in , is the real problem we face. Stirring us all up about the actions that are created under that system of law are diversions.

    The day he tells us about the administrative law takeover of the Cth, will be the day he will tell us all the truth.

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