Mr. KATTER (Kennedy): 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 percent 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.
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, whilst 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 billion a year. Just in coal seam gas, wool, ethanol and motor vehicles, we have lost $40, $50, $60, $70 billion in just five items. In the last free trade deal that we did, what did we get for dairy? We got the equivalent of an ice cream a week. That was the benefit for the Australian dairymen. That’s what we got. For beef it was, ‘In 10 years time, we might open it up and have a free industry.’ That’s four administrations you’ll go through before you get a freeing-up of the industry. For sugar, we were wiped like a dirty rag. So that was our success story on this wonderful free trade agreement. America’s success story was marvellous.
We see crawling, drivelling, sycophants. They belong to the colonial era. All they want to do is race out there and say, ‘Oh, teacher, I’m the good boy in the class. I’m the one doing the right thing. I free up trade!’ We all signed an agreement to reduce our protection and support levels by 30 per cent when we signed the agricultural free trade agreements. Every country on earth kept them just about where they were, except for two countries: Australia and New Zealand. They abolished all of their protection completely. It’s very simple: you’re sending your gladiator into the arena without a helmet and without a shield. He’s still got his sword but he’s got no helmet or shield. He says, ‘Hold on a minute, mate. My adversary’s got a helmet and a shield.’ ‘Oh, yeah, but if you fight without a helmet and shield, it’ll make you tough’. No, it won’t. It’ll make you dead. That’s where we lie at the present moment: with no manufacturing base, without any petrol and without any possibility of competing on a level playing field now or in the future. What drivel we have heard. (Time expired)
ChamberFederation Chamber on 12/02/2018ItemFederation Chamber – PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Speaker: Katter, Bob, MP/ Attributed to Parliament of Australia website/ website is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia license.