APP policy: The Economy

Every nation is entitled to determine the course of its own destiny. Economic protectionism is based on this simple principle. A moderate level of protectionism is necessary both for the future of Australian workers and for the well-being of the Australian economy.

The utter destruction of our previous system of tariffs have put Australian-manufactured goods at a disadvantage, due to competition with markets with lower wages, lower working conditions, and lower overheads, making it difficult for Australian companies to compete. This has led to countless examples of Australian jobs being moved overseas.

Tariffs are necessary for the survival of Australian industry, especially manufacturing. We proposes a flat tariff rate of 10% across all imported manufactured goods.

Free Trade Agreements are detrimental to Australia; they should be repealed and replaced with a sensible system of tariffs.

We reject the coercion of our nation’s primary producers by successive governments to institute reforms to their sector, often to the detriment of their livelihood. We believe governments should enter into a period of consultation with producers to investigate the reintroduction of industry-based representative boards and cooperatives, should that be the will of the stakeholders. Furthermore, the abolition of single desk marketing should be a matter for debate amongst our producers and they should be given the right to return to this method of marketing their produce if that is their decision.

Australia should also investigate the possibility of international discussions with other “bread basket” countries, such as Argentina and Canada, with a view to establishing price maximization of agricultural products through co-operative agreements. OPEC countries have had overwhelming economic success through establishing price maximization of oil, transforming themselves from very poor nations to extremely wealthy ones; Australia should consider following their example and investigate the prospect of establishing an “agricultural OPEC” operating in a similar method with other developed countries with whom we have a close relationship.

We reject completely the ideological view held by the Liberal-Labor parties which reduces our nation to an insignificant backwater in the international marketplace and regards the Australian people as mere economic units to be disposed of as international economic trends dictate. Australian economic policies should be implemented with the wellbeing of the Australian people in mind.

Governments have an obligation to practice fiscal responsibility. Targeted funding to vital projects and infrastructure in the national interest must be a priority, rather than ridiculous grants to special interest groups which provide little, if any, benefit to the Australian people.

Foreign investment
In the future Australian companies should be prevented from being foreign-controlled (in a similar way to the legislation that mandated that Qantas had to be at least 51% Australian-owned)[1], especially primary industry; in order to protect the future of Australian assets and the jobs that flow from them. This principle would also extend to land ownership. Current law requires that foreign investments of $248 million or higher automatically require approval [2], whereas foreign investment and take-overs of Australian companies which cost up to $248 million can occur under the radar, without official investigation. Under a Protectionist government, we would limit foreign ownership and have the proper authorities investigate all major foreign investments, with a view to finding local alternatives. A register on large-scale foreign investment and land ownership in Australia would be established. We recognise that sometimes, due to risk factors and financing necessities, an investment alliance may need to be struck between an Australian company and a foreign company, but it should not be at the price of foreign control.

The APP supports restrictions on residential property titles being held by foreign nationals.

Privatisation of public utilities
The APP opposes the privatisation of electricity, gas, and public transport infrastructure, as such privatisation usually leads to higher prices for customers and often ends up with such industries being sold into foreign ownership.

Many public utilities that have been privatised, or that are subject to possible privatisation, have been the result of decades of infrastructure building by past governments, paid for by the hard work and tax dollars of the Australian people. Public assets belong to the people, and therefore our state governments should not be selling them. Selling off public utilities for short-term gain is not beneficial to the Australian people in the longer term.

Superannuation
We believe that superannuation, as a nationally-mandated private pension scheme, is a quasi-tax and therefore should be utilized as a national resource until such time as individual funds are released. Therefore, we believe that superannuation funds should be primarily invested locally, rather than overseas, on a majority basis, such as requiring a minimum of 75% of superannuation funds to be invested in Australia.

This will have the benefit of Australian money remaining in Australian hands, to be invested in Australian businesses, infrastructure, and projects, leading to better employment prospects for Australian workers.

Government procurement
The major parties have not given high priority status to Australian-made goods, with regards to federal, state, and local governments buying Australian-manufactured products. Australian governments should reconsider their procurement policies to ensure that local manufacturers supply governments as much as is practically possible, in order to maximize opportunity for Australian industry and ensure a better depth and breadth of job availability for Australian workers.

In general terms, Australian companies should be given preference by government buyers, insofar as is practically possible. Where there is a product or service that is accessible in Australia, it should be given preference over foreign-owned companies.

References:
[1] “History of Qantas”, The Qantas Source
[2] “Monetary Thresholds” [thresholds as at 1 January 2013], Foreign Investment Review Board
AgForce wants FIRB trigger lowered”, ABC Rural, 19 January 2012

[See the separate policy on taxation; to be made available soon.]

Comments

  1. So you support a tariffs rate of just 10%, that’s nothing to the 24% that China puts on our cars or 35% that Brazil or even 75% that Nigeria puts on our cars.

  2. Captain Obvious says:

    Chris, perhaps you’re not aware that our exporters are already struggling to remain price competitive against foreign tariff barriers. For example, China imposes up to a 40% tariff on cotton imports, sets the domestic price of Chinese grown cotton at $1.20 a pound compared to the import market price of $0.85c and won’t allow importers to buy from overseas unless they have used up their quota of locally grown cotton. Trade is never free, and Australia now has a lot of catching up to do.

  3. The only thing that will save our economy at this present time is Glass-steagall Bank separation act – a national bank to fund development as the Common wealth bank was only able to do for a short part of its history from when the legislation was pushed through by King O’Malley in the early 1900’s based on Alexander Hamilton’s National Banking System of Public Credit. It only had one manager that understood this and stood up to the liberals & British Bankers who done every thing possible to stop it operating as intended -now it is our most debit riddled major bank due to its large gamble in derivatives -so guilty about it =it leaves its true derivatives exposure out of its Annual Report and won’t tell any one how much -But we know they have still been gambling at a great rate.

    then the 3rd part is a large infrastructure program funded with public credit to kick start our economy and rebuild our manufacturing and allow us to get ride off all the Globlist policies introduced by Hawke. Keating & Howard – These policies were first given to Frazer to introduce but he refused as he could see they were bad for Australia .

  4. The problem though, is that if you put a tarrif on something. The country affected will, rightly put one on goods imported to it from Australia. Thereby making it even harder for Australian exporters and damaging the economy

  5. stephanie warren says:

    What are your policies on animal welfare eg: live export

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