Food Security

KAP Committed To Food Security

We have all seen how the ALP/LNP are two heads of the same beast addicted to mining taxes. The fact they BOTH voted against a moratorium on CSG fracking shows they are as bad as each other. Our candidate for Nanango, Carl Rackemann, will address this forum below outlining the Katters Australian Party policy.

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Australia – a net importer of food

The attached document from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (series 5368.0) shows that ten years ago Australian food exports were 400% higher than imports. They are now only 100% higher. This means Australia’s food surplus is reducing by 30% per year, within 3 ½ years we will be a net importer of food.

Understand clearly: This means that within 4 years Australia will not be able to feed itself.

The Murray Darling buy-back scheme will reduce Australian food production by a further 20%. This impact has not been factored into the above figures.

Under the current regime, food production cannot be increased due to bans, restrictions and regulations covering our land. We have failed in our fight against the Greens who must be fed on a new victory every 6 months. Almost the entire finishing industry in Northern Australia has been closed down. Three years ago we were net exporters of seafood, this year 72% will be imported. The latest victory has been a temporary suspension of live exports to Indonesia.

We have failed in our fight against the free trade zealotry of successive governments. At a public meeting last year AQIS (a body that serves its real master ‘free trade’) could not name a single application to import fruit, vegetables or meats that they have rejected in the last 7 years.

This importation cripples our remaining farms with product that does not meet our stringent health, hygiene and environmental standards, enabling this overseas product to be infinitely cheaper than the clean green Australian product.

AusParty’s Roadmap for the Future The Australian Party will introduce a level playing field providing support levels the same as those of other OECD countries:

  • The introduction of a 10 per cent customs duty on all imports into Australia, including of course agricultural product;
  • All product imported into Australia will contain a warning label advising consumers that this product has not been produced under the stringent health, hygiene and environmental standards required in Australia and therefore may be dangerous to your health;
  • Woolworths and Coles (currently holding nearly 90 per cent of the Australian food market) will, along with any other food retailer, be reduced to a maximum of 22 per cent market share;
  • Farmers will be granted the same rights to collectively bargain as enjoyed by the rest of the Australian population – access to arbitration. This is particularly relevant in industries such as sugar and dairying.
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Fair Food

“We will bust up the Coles/Woolworths duopoly.” Hon Bob Katter MP

‘Free market’ policies and a failure by Government to act in the best interests of Australia, have directly led to a local market place bereft of competition, dominated by only two major supermarket chains.

This dominance has now swollen to over 85%. By comparison, the largest chain in the United States, Wal-Mart, is restricted to only 20%. This concentrated market power has drastic effects on all levels of the economic chain. Other retailers are crushed, farm gate prices are squeezed down and with no competition, consumer prices are inflated, meaning higher grocery bills.

Something must be done to halt the erosion of our consumer markets.

Recognising this, The Australian Party has vowed to restore competition to the market place. In order to break this two chain oligopoly, the following measures must be implemented

  • Any individual chain’s share must not exceed 22%. This will restore competition, particularly encouraging owner operators and independent retailers.
  • A Supermarket Fairness Tribunal must be established. The ACCC has consistently proven itself ineffective in preventing the gross misuse of market share that has been occurring. This tribunal would provide an effective avenue of recourse to prevent such misuse.

To provide fair grocery prices, fair farm gate prices and opportunity for owner operators, a competitive marketplace must exist. This cannot take place when only two players control

nearly all of the retail dollar. Unlike the other bigger parties, The Australian Party is committed to returning to a market place where competition delivers a fair and level playing field.

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