Feb 2018

TPP and 'free-trade' killing off Australia

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13 February 2018: As the ALP and LNP patted themselves on the back, KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter MP delivered a ferocious attack on the Trans Pacific Partnership in Parliament today.

Mr Katter slammed free-trade in Parliament saying it is the result of a colonial inferiority mentality that would sicken any decent Australian. It has wreaked havoc in our country economically and brought in diseases such as citrus canker, panama, black sigatoka and papaya fruit fly.

“The LNP bureaucrats of Canberra Government talk about Australia’s clean green image when it is hard now to point to a single disease that has not come into Australia as a result of this free trade regime. This underlines the hypocrisy and the gulf between Canberra and the people of Australia - It is not the Canberra cultural cringe, it is a colonial cultural cringe whose inferiority complex would sicken any decent Australian.

“What did the free-trade deal do for us? It gave away the entire coal seam gas reserves of this nation; $23 billion a year was given away. We gave it away for six cents a gigajoule and we bought it back for $16 a gigajoule. In fact, it is cheaper to buy Australian gas in Tokyo and bring it back to Australia than to actually buy it in Australia. That was a magnificent free-trade deal.

“We freed up the wool industry–oh, what a magical achievement; it is now costing the nation $16 billion a year. Ethanol: 'Oh, we must have a level playing field; we must have a free market.' So while Brazil produces ethanol and provides a $4 billion cross subsidy to its sugar industry, we're 'free trading', so we import $23 billion worth of petrol every year instead of producing one litre of petrol of our own, which, of course, we could do tomorrow with ethanol.

“Oh, and we wiped out the entire manufacturing industry of Australia. The car industry alone was $25 million a year. Just in coal seam gas, wool, ethanol and motor vehicles, we have lost $40, $50, $60, $70 billion in just five items.

“I have seldom, in this entire parliament, heard so much complete and utter drivel. You come in here and you present facts. What are the facts about our free-trade deals?

“The last one was with the United States. They wanted pharmaceuticals and they wanted phytosanitary quarantine removed. That was what they wanted. According to the Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers, we wanted dairy, beef and sugar. Did they get what they wanted? Yes. They got an open-door policy virtually for pharmaceuticals and for phytosanitary requirements quarantined. We have a board now which consists of half United States and half Australia.

“So they have 50 per cent control over our quarantine protection; not that there was any quarantine protection to start with, so I don't suppose we gave anything away.

“We pleaded with them not to allow the prawns in. If you allow prawns in, you will get white spot. Well, we got white spot. We got citrus canker. We got Panama disease. We got black sigatoka. We got papaya fruit fly. Our phytosanitary requirements are an absolute joke,” Mr Katter said.

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