Dec 2020

No more broken promises, Katter demands market gardens now

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KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter has responded to the Indigenous Affairs-Standing Committee-Report on Food Pricing and Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities and has demanded that the Morrison Government follow through on recommendation 12, that the Australian Government support local food production in remote communities.

In November 2018, Bob Katter received a written promise from Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, that the LNP Government would build market gardens in the community areas of north Queensland, to combat diseases like malnutrition and diabetes that have plagued First Australians.

“The only reason that a large proportion of our First Australians are alive in Queensland is because of the Christian missionaries,” Mr Katter said.

“Terrible things were happening, and our First Australians would have been annihilated as a group of people except for the Christian missionaries. They herded us up and put us in protected enclaves, which were called missions. The people couldn't forage for their food, as their lives would be at risk. So, the missions put in market gardens to supply them with fresh fruit and vegetables—and there was nothing like the horrific death rates that are in these communities now.

“Then in the late 1980s, early 1990s, the Australian Labor Party was elected in Queensland and removed all of the market gardens. Each year we have these Closing the Gap targets, but the assessment has now been abolished—because the assessment tells us that it's getting worse. It is so patently obvious that there is a problem with malnutrition. We know that malnutrition causes diseases like diabetes, kidney and heart diseases, and other diseases that I won't go into.”

Mr Katter said he looked forward to working with Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt, to once again establish market gardens in The Gulf, Yarrabah, Cape York and Torres Strait Islands.

“The other key breakthrough we need is title deeds,” Mr Katter said.

“You cannot own a piece of land. There is no machinery by which a First Australian can own a block of land. When I was Minister in the Qld Government, I asked the people what they wanted. Surprise, surprise—they wanted to own their own house, their own farm, their own pharmacy. if you can't get a piece of land and a title deed, you can't borrow money from the bank, and you have nothing.” —ENDS—

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
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Local Call within the electorate
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Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au