Regional Australia needs long-term solutions

[The following is a response made to the Stock Journal, a South Australian rural newspaper, following the creation of a petition with issues raised by its readers to Australian politicians regarding concerns about the effects of economic and political changes upon their livelihood. The newspaper has a readership of approximately 30,000 per week.]

Printed in the Stock Journal, 18 August 2011:

The Stock Journal should be commended for the pro-active stand taken by starting a petition which allows our fellow regional South Australians to make their concerns heard so succinctly.

Many of the concerns raised are a direct result of both major parties’ penchant for the ludicrous doctrine of “economic rationalism” which demands every action have an obvious and immediate dollar value or obvious profit-ignoring the benefits of some services or economic activity to the general well being of a community.

The Protectionist Party is not an insular organisation and we recognise the need for international economic activity, trade and the need for a degree of foreign investment, but not at the cost of our nation’s future sovereignty.

The ability of a nation to feed itself is one of national sovereignty. Foreign ownership must be curtailed and governments should consider instead the option of long-term leasing if foreign companies wish to become involved in Australian agriculture, with title reverting back to the Australian owner following an agreed period. Likewise, productive land must not be sold off for urban expansion and the profit of developers. This in itself raises further issues as to why farmers have been forced into the position of having to sell in the first place.

Parties of both political hues have been guilty of opening our markets to cheap produce, ignoring anti-dumping legislation designed to give local producers at least a fighting chance and now seem to give lip service concerns to quarantine regulations in regard to proposed apple imports from NZ and China.

Such developments are a direct result of politicians’ obsession with so called “Free Trade Agreements”. Protectionists do not oppose the pursuit of fair trade, but we call for the cessation of all FTA negotiations and removal of sensible tariff levels until the issues of quarantine, social, economic and environmental impact assessments are made. Globalisation has ravaged many parts of our national economy which is highly developed, imagine the effects on the Pacific region should Pacer + come into effect.

Local producers, like any business, need a local market upon which to build their operations. Our Party supports the right of local producers to discuss and consider re-forming the industry representative boards to protect their interests should they believe it would be of benefit to their long term security.

The exodus of young people from regional Australia and the apparent need to import foreign labour can be addressed by offering reduced cost tertiary education to people willing to serve a required period in their field of expertise in regional Australia, after all, who doesn’t prefer to see a medical professional who possesses empathy with those living in a regional or remote area?

Imported labour can be reduced or replaced by offering tax concession to those willing to work in regional areas for seasonal work. Surely this would encourage students in their gap years, travellers and back packers to work in local operations and support regional businesses and communities rather than see the money being transferred overseas?

The cutting of funding to regional hospitals and schools is a reprehensible act which indicates fiscal irresponsibility on the part of governments as opposed to a genuine shortage of funding. Likewise cutting funding to R&D in agriculture. Investment in the health and education of our people is of paramount importance for our national wellbeing, yet governments find endless funding for nonsensical distractions for the masses in the form of races, festivals and sporting events.

Australians are an innovative and resourceful people living in a land with an incredible amount of natural resources and opportunities, yet at every turn, politicians continue to make decisions against the national interest. Obsessed with the short term profits offered by the foreign controlled mining sector, they ignore the long term value and security offered to our national economy by our nation’s regional communities, primary producers and the industries connected to both.

We believe now is the time for the government to begin making decisions to protect our long term future, through investment in education, regional development and value adding industries as opposed to the intellectually lazy, quick fix option of selling off resources to foreign developers and hampering the growth of local businesses.

Australians can prosper in the 21st Century, but we cannot do it with the government pulling the rug from under our feet while expecting our producers to fight in the international market place with one hand tied behind their backs.

Andrew Phillips
Australian Protectionist Party


  1. Gareth Connors says

    Australians whatever you do get rid of the covert Marxists, Labor and Greens. The APP is your only hope.

    I am an Australian living in the UK and believe me this country is going to reap the whirlwind of left wing treachery. It is a social basket case and a soft police state with 24/7 surveillance of everyone via CCTV.

    Please! Please! Listen!

    Get rid of the left and the globalisation right if you want to recognize Australia in 20 years time.

    Gareth Connors

    • The Kuta Kid says

      Agreed. I keep on saying exactly the same thing – vote the Liberal and labour parties out. the greens too! The latter will be the death knell of Australia.

  2. Another big problem for our long suffering farmers-coal seam gas companies-some Chinese owned-can now invade privately owned farmland and just start drilling! Does the Gillard government want food security for this country or dosn't it? Its obscene.Australia is going to wind up looking like the arse-end of the Moon if common sense dosn't prevail.Last time I checked,you can't eat coal seam gas! Its time to get adults back in charge of the nation.

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