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Is the “Defence Land Grab” Turnbull’s “Carbon Tax Lie?”

In 2010, Tony Abbott, supported by the media in epic proportions, touted Gillard’s infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” as THE lie that cost Abbott the Prime Ministership. Moving forward to 2017, an even bigger lie has been revealed. This just may be THE lie which allowed Turnbull to hang on by the skin of his teeth to power.  This lie is the Turnbull Government remained silent on the compulsory acquisition of farming land in Central Queensland for supplying land to the Singaporean Army for defence training.

Lust for Power and Political Lies

When the lust for political power is such that it sees citizens denied their rights, or it denies voters to make an informed vote, it is up to all of us to stand up against that.

Prior to the election in May 2016, the LNP MP for Capricornia, Michelle Landry announced that the Turnbull Government was investing in defence at Shoalwater Bay.  Landry was pleased to announce that this would pump millions into the local economy and it was a positive for small business.

In all instances, Michelle Landry framed the Shoalwater Bay investment in terms of an upgrade, implicitly insinuating that the upgrade was to existing facilities. Landry omitted the cold hard facts that this also included, or had even the potential to include compulsory acquisition of nearby farming land, owned by local farmers for generations (see maps in link above).

In addition, Bill Byrne, QLD Labor Minister for Agriculture has also accused Defence Minister Marise Payne of misleading the Senate.

QLD Labor Minister Byrne said that:

“There is no doubt in my mind that vital information was withheld to gain electoral advantage, and I am raising the possibility that Minister Payne… misled the senate estimates hearing,”

How Long Have They Known?

On 18th March, 2016, Defence Minister Payne issued a press release which detailed the enhanced development of training operations between Singapore and Australia.

military-increased-access

Therefore, in March 2016, the Defence Minister, Minister for Trade and Investment, Special Envoy for Trade and the Foreign Minister knew that an increase of Singaporean Troops was earmarked or military training facilities. The question is:

Did not one of these Ministers have any awareness that this increase would indeed require an expansion to the military training areas?

Was this promise made without even developing an understanding of how it might impact on people living in the region or the impact on our economy?

Has the Member for Capricornia, shown absolutely no interest in asking her own Party about any perceived negative impacts on the constituency she is supposed to represent? 

Do You Even Budget?

The Federal Budget papers do not detail any expenses for upgrading the Military Operations in Shoalwater Bay.

However, in capital expenses, the Government does commit to $29.9 billion over 10 years from 2016‑17 to 2025‑26 to support initiatives in the Defence White paper which includes:

A number of ADF training areas in northern Australia will receive upgrades by 2020, including Shoalwater Bay (Queensland)

Once again, Shoalwater Bay and Townsville are only discussed as upgrades and not as an expansion.

In October, Senator Payne took a question from Senator McDonald regarding the memorandum of understanding with Singapore. Senator Payne detailed that the Singaporean Army will invest “around $2.25 billion in upgrades to Australian training areas while up to 14,000 Singaporean troops will join our own for training for up to 18 weeks per year in Australia.”

However, in Senator Payne’s response in the Senate, she details that this inclusion in the Defence White Paper includes increasing international defence engagement. The CSP will particularly enhance training area access and joint development of facilities.

Shoalwater Bay Expansion

The expansion was announced in the Senator on 8th November. Senator Payne advised the house that she would make sure that ADF would conduct extensive engagement and consultation. This has not occurred and Farmers were advised via a letter of the compulsory acquisition of Land, a shock to many. The Coalition Government decided upon compulsory acquisition of land without consulting Farmers. 

This afternoon I updated the Senate on how the Government is engaging with local businesses and community leaders in Central and North Queensland ahead of the implementation of the Military Training Agreement with Singapore.

Posted by Marise Payne on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The strategic partnership is detailed as developed in May, the White Paper states upgrades as an aim. However, in May, 2016, the Government did not detail any expenses for an expansion, just an ‘upgrade.’ The Government knew the increase in Singaporean Personnel and the aims of the strategic plan, at least in May. Why did they not question the logistics of this increase? QLD Minister Bill Byrne goes into much more depth here.

Lies or Incompetence?

The Government either hid the information regarding the compulsory acquisition of farming land from voters prior to the election, or they were incompetent in their planning with the Singaporean Army in the land area that was required to achieve the aims of the strategic plan.

If the Government was evasive and did not disclose in May that this land was a necessity to acquire by force of compulsory acquisition, then the Government is also incompetent by excluding the loss of revenue from Beef Producers in the region in the Agriculture revenue within the Budget. This will rip approximately 100,000 head of cattle from our local producers and severely impact on the two meat works in Rockhampton.  Rockhampton is the Beef Capital of Australia. This Defence threat to farmer’s land will hand this title to Casino in NSW.

The Defence Land Grab Lie

To put the omission of the compulsory acquisition of farming land into perspective of the infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” is that the Coalition rests on just 76 seats. Just enough to form Government. The Carbon Tax Lie was touted by the Coalition and by the media as the lie that denied Abbott the Prime Ministership.

In Queensland the Coalition won 21 seats. There are quite a number of seats in QLD that the coalition holds onto with very slim margins. Michelle Landry’s seat of Capricornia scraped through with only 1111 votes, with the majority of Liberal votes coming from the rural areas via postal votes. The nearby seat of Flynn, saw the local Labor candidate, Zac Beers, almost decimated O’Dowd’s comfortable seat, leaving O’Dowd with a swing against him of -8.96. Capricornia was one of the deciding seats in the election. Flynn now sits on a margin of 2.08, 1,814 votes.

These are just some examples of regional seats in Queensland, where the Liberal National Coalition and indeed the local LNP MPs fighting to keep their seats would know full well that attacks on our farming community and a farmers land grab would have banished at least Landry and O’Dowd into oblivion.

In Regional Queensland regardless of whether we live in town, or out on a property, or what our traditional political beliefs are, everyone is united in standing up for the farmers. No doubt, many Australians feel the way regional Queenslanders do and would have voted accordingly.

Announcements Before the Election

As detailed above in March, the Defence Minister met with Singapore to discuss mutual aims for Defence, including access and development of training facilities. From May, the Coalition were spruiking their deal with the Singaporean Army, which would bring 14,000 Singaporeans to the region for training.  The ADF website details that:

“Identifying a remote parcel of land for Singapore Armed Forces training was considered during development of the agreement, but was dismissed due to the limited benefit for the Australian Defence Force.”

Therefore, in May, the Coalition knew full well that an expansion was required. In no instance, did Michelle Landry or Marise Payne identify the expansion and what land was to be (initially) used. They simply implicitly stated that they were ‘upgrading existing facilities’ to house the increase of Singaporeans.

The revelation that the Liberal National Government had no contingency plan if this ‘parcel of land’ detailed above fell over and that would mean forced acquisition of farming land, speaks to the either a cover up and deceit to voters or blatant incompetence.

How the LNP Duped Voters – Psychological Projection

Psychological projection is a tried and true campaign style of the LNP, particularly in Queensland.  Psychological projection is when someone takes their undesirable feelings or beliefs and projects them onto others, with take the focus of them and project it onto others.

For example, if the Liberals stated the opposition would ‘harm families’ but knew it was their party and not the opposition, that had a plan to abolish funding that would harm families. This is psychological  projection. This technique is also used by Republicans in America.

Setting up for the Campaign

On the 4th May, the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry posed a question to the Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce. This question was put forward to demonstrate how much the LNP invest in helping farmers. This is such a contradiction in terms to the real truth that an expansion would heavily impact on Beef production and supply for the Capricornia region. Landry had already established a platform that LNP supports farmers and Labor does not prior to the election. That smells very much like a precursor for the campaign strategy below.

At the Norman Road booth in Capricornia, where I handed out HTV cards, Landry’s fly-in campaigners from down south (because her local volunteers do not appear to be in abundance) were screaming:

“Labor Hates Farmers!!!” 

They were also telling voters not to vote for the Katter Party or Glenn Lazurus as “they are funded by the dirty filthy unions.”  The absolute hatred for the worker by the LNP in Capricornia also runs deep.

If this was the campaign style at one booth, then it would stand to reason that this was the campaign strategy at many booths.

The truth in this, is that whilst Landry’s mob were screaming “Labor Hates Farmers!!” it was indeed Landry’s mob who were getting set to do the dirty on farmers in the Capricornia region.

Labor Supports Farmers

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, QLD Minister Bill Byrne, QLD MPs Jim Pearce and Brittany Lauga and Federal Senator Murray Watt, have organised forums and rallies to give these Farmers a voice.  Brittany Lauga also organised counselling services for local farmers as, readers would appreciate the impact on their emotional health with this decision is heartbreaking and as Lauga said, quite urgent.

Please see the video below from the Rally, including a brilliant speech from local Farmer, Pip Rea.

Shoalwater rally against defence land grabs.

Posted by Queensland Country Life on Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Never Underestimate the Vote in QLD

We have already seen what happens in QLD when the Government defies the wishes of the electorate.  In 2012, QLD Labor were banished to seven seats, for selling QLD Rail. In 2015, the LNP were thrown out of office after one term, with Labor taking 37 seats from the opposition for a total of 44 seats. Our assets are not for sale. Not now. Now ever.

Similar anger would have been felt from Queenslanders, on July 2, if they knew about the compulsory acquisition of farming land. This would have most certainly resulted in a very different parliament than we have today.

What You Can Do

Yesterday, the Federal Government said they would look at ‘alternatives’ due to the outcry from local farmers. However, local farmers are not satisfied, with some suggesting this is just to take the heat off of the first week in Parliament.

Bill Shorten has written to the Prime Minister personally and The QLD Premier has requested COAG be held in Rockhampton.

“IF he has any guts he will come here and face you.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk, QLD Premier, commenting on the Prime Minister “The Rally” Rockhampton 1st February, 2017.

However, that is not a victory.  A victory is no forced compulsory acquisition of farming land.  That is the outcome local farmers want.

To support Farmers you can like and encourage friends to like the Marlborough Defence Land Grab Facebook Page

Sign and share the Stop the Australian Farm Land being Blown Up Petition

Write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Defence Minister Marise Payne and your local member and insist upon no forced compulsory acquisition of farming land for Defence Training to accommodate the Singaporean Army

Listen and Share Ray Hadley’s scathing interview with Barnaby Joyce linked below:

Renting our Land to the Singaporeans

Barnaby: If we say we will never forcibly acquire anything, we will never build another road, we will never build another dam…..

Hadley: Yeh but they are not giving it to the Singaporeans…….

Hadley: Barnaby, Barnaby, the one thing we never get involved in is BS…..

One thing Hadley is right about – this entire thing is B.S. 

 

15 comments

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  1. Kronomex

    “Lies or Incompetence?” Simply put – both.

  2. Stuart

    Not sure about this. If the government has good enough reasons to acquire farmland or any land for the greater good and are prepared to pay market or fair price ,then what is so wrong? Pity they didn’t apply this concept before signing off on the TPP.
    On the topic of reserving the rights of a government to call the shots on its own development, I believe Singapore had the nous to include a clause in the TPP that allows the expropriation of land for government purposes in ISDS disputes.

  3. David1

    Great work Trish. I have posted to Twitter to give your investigation wider coverage…….
    The 2016 lie allowing #Turnbull to hang on by the skin of his teeth? An investigation by Trish Corry MSM will never have https://theaimn.com/67020-2/

  4. Anon E Mouse

    One thought that springs to mind when farmers are being shafted by government and miners etc. is – I wonder how much more powerful a position they would be in if farmers and supporters had actually stood up for native title rights, instead of supporting Howard’s “bucket-loads of extinguishment”.
    Surely Indigenous Australians, native title holders/applicants, would have been great allies in this fight against dispossession…

    Liberals, love being mean and tricky, but most of all they lie. Liberals are liars.

  5. Ella Miller

    We are constantly being mislead and lied to ,
    they sell ‘our’ land to all and sundry with no real benefit to those who pay their wages.
    AUSTRALIA is NOT the LNP’s to sell , give away or anything else…Can’t wait for the election. IT IS TIME

  6. kerri

    Good article Trish!
    When will the farmers realise the Nats are NOT their best friend?
    The Greens are protesting fracking while Bananby throws his hands in the air and declares “the world’s gone mad!” As though he is incapable of doing anything about it. (He is pretty incapable but he is also pretty corrupt)
    If the Nats had any sense of loyalty to their followers they would stand against the Libs on this and on many other anti-farm policies! I won’t hold my breath!

  7. jim

    Hey great post thank you,..LNP= Lying Naturally Party.

  8. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Listening to Barnaby discussing this on ABC this morning, it is clear that they are already lining up their excuses. The reason that this governments ministers never seem to have any time to do their actual day job is because they are spending all their time thinking up excuses for all the deceptions they are perpetrating on the Australian people. It must be exhausting!

    I suspect a quick visit to Room 101 is all that is required to keep them suitably indoctrinated however. Certainly Joe never had any problem with understanding that 2 plus 2 equals 5.

  9. Geoff Andrews

    As Stuart said this morning, it’s not unusual for a governmet or Council to compulsorily resume land for the pubiic or national good.
    At least anyone having their property so resumed has SOME rights: right to appeal, right to be fully compensated, right to receive even relocation costs.
    The most vulnerable are those landholders who aren’t compulsoralily resumed but who are adjacent to land that HAS been compulsorarily resumed. These will be offered a “window of oportunity” to sell their land to the acquiring authority under the normal transaction rules. These people will be told, “We’ve compulsorarilly acquiring your neighbour’s land. Do you REALLY want to have bullets flying around your ears 6 months a year? Here’s 70% of your asking price; take it or leave it, this is our first and final offer”

    RULES FOR DEALING WITH THE BASTARDS:

    Don’t trust the acquiring authority: they do it every day; you are subjected to it once a lifetime if you’re lucky.
    You want a fair price; they want the cheapest price.
    Ignore ANYTHING that ANY associated public servant says.
    Demand every thing in writing.
    Get competent legal advice right from the start.

    Been there, And still hurting!

  10. Trish Corry

    Thanks everyone. An update today that Barnaby Joyce has said that he doesn’t support compulsory land acquisition. But Matt Canavan defending compulsory land acquisitions. it will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few months. Please sign the petition.

  11. Trish Corry

    Hi Geoff. One of the biggest issues was no consultation, just a letter in the mail. Rights need to be tightened up around this. This is just plain wrong. I’m so sorry you have gone through a similar thing.

  12. 2015terryy2

    If I heard Barnaby Joyce correctly, after the meetings with landowners, he has committed to oppose compulsory land acquisition in Cabinet.

    So you have the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and leader of the National Party opposing
    ‘government’ policy.

    That should be the end of compulsory acquisition or the end of the coalition ; we shall see

  13. Trish Corry

    For the sake of these Farmers, I hope so

  14. trishcorry

    In an update today, the local LNP has come out of hiding saying some people want to sell. Must be why Labor had to organise emergency counselling for these Farmers. They must have been overwhelmed with happiness. *sarcasm*

  15. Pingback: Michelle Landry Must Resign and Force A By-Election in Capricornia | The Red Window

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