Overseas sell-out continues with northern food bowl
THE Federal and WA governments have betrayed their own people by subsidising an overseas sell-off of untapped valuable northern agriculture, said KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today.
“Wake up Australia, they’re selling your country out from under you,” said Mr Katter regarding the overseas deal for a sugar mill producing ethanol biofuel in the Ord irrigation area.
“And this time they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a golden handshake for foreigners.” Mr Katter blamed major party government policies that had made farming unprofitable for Australians for leaving the entire nation up for sale to overseas bidders. “In every agricultural area in Australia, they’re rolling up their swags and getting out because they can’t make money. The dollar has doubled in value, which has halved the income of every Australian farmer, and if they’re selling on the home market it’s a joke because Woolworths and Coles will pay them what they feel like paying. And of course our farmers are also up against an average global subsidy of 41 per cent when Australia’s average is 4 per cent.
“These are all factors which overseas companies pay little, if any, regard to. Their market is secured and protected, and Australian fools are willing to subsidise their Australian activities. “Ask any Australian if it’s good idea to spend $500m of taxpayers’ money to subsidise a foreign company to come in so the profits can go overseas, most of the wages I’ll bet will go overseas, the ethanol goes overseas. And what do we get out of it? We get nothing.
“But if the Federal or WA or Qld governments faced up to their responsibilities and – like every other government on Earth – introduced a 10-20 per cent ethanol mandate in petrol, our farmers could make money and you’d have been killed in the rush to take up that Ord land. “They’d be the only farmers in Australia who would be able to make money because ethanol is the key to turning around farming in Australia. It also enables you to have a prosperous cattle industry because distiller’s grain, a by-product, is extremely valuable to cattle and poultry industries.
“But reducing pollution, people dying from motor vehicle emissions, is the reason most other countries have introduced ethanol. And there can be only one reason why Australia does not have ethanol – and the only explanation there can be is because the ALP and LNP are owned by the oil companies. “Please wake up, they’re selling your country out from under you and it’s got to stop. And we as a party will be moving legislation in the Federal Parliament to stop the sale of Australian land to foreigners,” concluded Mr Katter, who has already lodged legislation to reverse the overseas sale of Australia’s biggest farm and water licence at Cubbie Station.
Major fruit and vegetable wholesaler negotiating business sale
One of Australia’s largest fruit and vegetable wholesalers, Moraitis, has confirmed that its business is for sale. A report in the Weekly Times newspaper has stated that Moraitis is negotiating a sale with a China-based company, Chevalier. Under the deal, the buyer wouldtake control of Moraitis’ growers, packers and 11 subsidiary companies around Australia. Moraitis is believed to supply around 90 per cent of Woolworths’ potato and onion trade, as well as supplying to Coles and other Australian supermarkets. Moraitis also supplies bananas, tomatoes, citrus, berries, melons, avocados, pumpkins, garlic, mangoes, cherries, capsicums, zucchini, apples and mushrooms, sourced from its growers on both the East and West coasts of Australia.
Company owner, Nick Moraitis, told the Weekly Times that he could confirm that they were negotiating with Chevalier, but he would remain a shareholder. Chevalier own construction, property, insurance, hotels, information technology and food businesses in China, South East Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. The announcement of the Moraitis’ deal with a China-based group comes at a time when other large Australian agricultural assets such as Cubbie Station (Australia’s largest producer of cotton,) and a number of major dairy acquisitions in Tasmania and Victoria, are being made by China-based investors.
It is extraordinary, our food policies have encouraged the control of all food commodities beyond the farm gate to majority foreign control, now the cashed up Chinese are preying on our supply chain. They are buying the land and the supply chain which means that the food and the profits that once benefited Australia and our jobs and skills will be lost and decisions will be made overseas intheir interests. This is not in the national interest. Our farmers and businesses are forced to sell because they have not been supported by governments that think we operate in a level playing field. Every other country looks after its own interests first and we appear intent on putting our food supplies and our sovereignty at risk. Who benefits? Who is supporting our people?
www.ausbuy.com.au/petition.html calling for a moratorium on the sale of our wealth creating assets and national interest test until such times as we can identify key strategic assets for Australia’s long term interests.
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