Australian farmers are among the best in the world. However, over the last thirty years or so government policies have restricted and undermined their ability to survive. We propose a referendum on reforming our Primary Industry laws to encourage new growth, adoption of improved farming techniques, and ensuring sufficient funding is available whenever needed without the fear of having their farms taken over by private banks.
The new trade legislation we will propose will tear up UN-sponsored international trade agreements and treaties that unfairly impact on Australias ability to be self-sufficient. We see no reason to support overseas farmers, or even nations, at the expense of the Australian people.
Native Land Management
Any current native title claims that impact on primary industries will be reviewed and after consultation with all concerned they may be amended or rescinded. Unless the native owners can prove they have managed the land effectively to make it productive we see no reason to allow ownership without responsible stewardship. However, a grace period may be granted to enable native title owners to show they can make land productive.
The only other exception should be where it can be proven that a site has spiritual value and the native people frequently use the site for religious reasons.
These policies are designed to bring about self-sufficiency in essential food production. Import of foodstuff are produced in Australia shall be disallowed, except in special cases under strict conditions. We propose imposing tariffs on imported foodstuffs to ensure Australian products are competitive.
- Agriculture shall be conducted with the minimum use of synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers should be encouraged in the development and use of natural alternatives, including educating farmers in ways to improve natural farming techniques using natural techniques.
- Corporate proprietary owned Genetic Modification shall be disallowed. All GMO farms will be shut down, the land cleared of all GMO crops and seeds.
- Corporations may not register, copyright, or trade mark seeds or plant genomes to control production and/or profit from them.
- Protection of the environment shall be a paramount consideration in all primary production for local consumption and shall take precedence over any desire for exports.
- Whenever practical, foodstuffs produced locally shall be consumed locally. Transport of foodstuffs around the country shall be kept to a minimum.
- Farmers will be protected with tariffs on imported foodstuffs that can be grown or produced in Australia.
- Education is key to developing improved farming practises. The government should support educational opportunities for Australian youths.
- We will fund research facilities such as the CSIRO to employ more researchers and establish research projects to improve farming methods.
- Water shall be reserved for farming and better storage and distribution networks will be established.
- Water belongs to the nation. It may not be privatised or taxed. Homeowners will be encouraged to install rainwater tanks, and where possible to build dams on their land for personal usage.
- Home owners will be encouraged to set up food gardens.
- Citizens will be encouraged to form food growing cooperatives on specially designated areas of public land.
- Government laws should encourage farm cooperatives to supply local markets.
- Stringent inspections will be carried out on all food imports to ensure they do not contain harmful ingredients or additives. Importers will be required to supply samples for testing before being issued with an import license.
- Farmers are the best judges of how to make the most efficient use of their land. Farmers must be free to decide on the best way to use their land. We will repeal or amend any restrictive laws that dictate how primary producers may manage their land, including the husbandry of the trees and native animals on their land.
- National policy shall control the operation of fisheries and fish farms.
- Fishing licenses shall be issued so as to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks of all varieties including those of no commercial value.
- Commercial fishing shall incur fees equivalent to a percentage of the value (to be discussed before the referendum vote) received by the lessee for the fish stocks harvested.
- Fishing licenses shall revert to the Commonwealth upon expiry and when no longer required by the original licensee. Fishing licenses shall not be transferable.
- National policy shall control the harvesting of Commonwealth forests.
- Licenses to harvest trees from Commonwealth forests shall be issued only where the viability of forests can be maintained.
- The timber industry shall be encouraged to grow trees for harvesting.
- The harvesting of trees from forests of the Commonwealth shall incur fees equivalent to 25% of the value received by the lessee for the timber harvested.
- Licenses to harvest trees shall not be transferable.