Australia's food security comes from having strong, independent family farms, not corporate agribusinesses. Despite being the driest inhabited continent on Earth, our farmers produce enough food and fibre to sustain not only our own citizens, but tens of millions more. Yet over the past four decades, deregulation, free trade and extreme green policies have ruined tens of thousands of family farmers. The Citizens Electoral Council's policies will provide credit from a national bank, water and transportation infrastructure, and trade certainty needed to ensure family farms can thrive.
To keep Australian farmers on the land, the CEC will:
- Place an immediate moratorium on farm foreclosures;
- Regulate domestically-manufactured fertiliser prices, subsidise imported fertilisers, and do the same for agricultural chemicals, especially pesticides and herbicides;
- establish our own national fertiliser industry, for which the CEC has drawn up initial specifications (see below);
- slash the cost of all petroleum products for the agricultural sector by eliminating the fuel excise, and by suspending the hyperinflated international pricing for domestically-produced oil which, Mike Yeager, Chief Executive of BHP Billiton’s Petroleum admitted in May 2008, only costs $5 per barrel to produce in Australia;
- guarantee a minimum floor price for the resulting expanded harvests, both to keep Australian family farmers on the land and to help solve the international food crisis;
- rescind the Water Act 2007 and cease buying up water for “environmental flows” in the Murray-Darling Basin, which is destroying one of the most productive farming regions in the world; and
- re-institute the “single desks” for wheat, wool and other products, and take immediate steps to keep our pig, sheep, beef, dairy and other endangered rural industries alive and producing, by tariffs and related measures.
Beyond these emergency measures, the CEC’s infrastructure development program includes desert-greening and drought-proofing projects such as the Bradfield and Reid schemes in North Queensland, the Clarence River scheme in NSW, and Ord River 2 in Western Australia, which will multiply Australia’s agricultural production capacity.