Tag Archives: barnaby joyce

Barnaby Mocks “Divine Word Of The Free Market Gospel”

6 Jun

Barnaby Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

Jaunt through colourful past brings future into focus

Politics at the federal level has lost much of its lustre. The Labor Party are screaming at us through the nightly news that they are for the high jump. You can almost tell that they are past caring.

They do care about preselections in their dwindling number of safe seats, though. So there is a high degree of interest in whether Senator David Feeney the “faceless man” can become “Batman” (i.e. member of) after the retirement of Martin Ferguson. I suppose he will then be the “faceless batman”.

When the present situation in Australian politics gets you down, there is respite in our past.If you are a politics junkie then Tenterfield, in the northern New England, is a must. Tenterfield is the place where our continent was united, where our states joined to become one “indissoluble Federal Commonwealth”, in the words of the preamble to our Constitution.

We are the only island continent not burdened with the divisions and demarcations of national borders.

Tenterfield gets its name from the home in Scotland of the Donaldsons, Stuart Donaldson being a pioneer in the area and also the first premier of NSW.

Tenterfield was prepared as a battle site to defend Australia from invasion by Japan in World War II and tank traps can still be seen in the country nearby. Not to be parochial it was also the home of Robert Mackenzie, the third premier of Queensland. It was the last major railway station going north before the ultimate tariff, narrow-gauge railway lines, brought things to a grinding halt in Queensland. It was the home of Major James Thomas, who defended Breaker Morant, a seminal action in our history, Australia taking one of its first steps away from English oversight.

Dr Earl Page and John Hynes started the NSW Country Party in Tenterfield in around 1918, today Australia’s second-longest established party, after the Australian Labor Party.

Most noted of course is the 1889 federation debates held at the School of Arts on Tenterfield’s main street, and the paternal role that Sir Henry Parkes played in those debates. Edward Whereat withdrew from election for the NSW seat of Tenterfield to allow Sir Henry Parkes to make one of his many re-entries to Parliament. It is said that Parkes showed his gratitude by visiting Tenterfield perhaps twice during his tenure as the local member.

If politics drives someone in your party around the twist and they are searching for something lighter, well Peter Allen came from Tenterfield also.

Hanging in the School of Arts is the New England flag from the failed 1967 referendum to create a new state apart from NSW. The local member, until only very recently, was Richard Torbay. Even though he has resigned and been referred to ICAC, he was still polling at more than 50 per cent weeks out from a by-election he was not standing for.

To the west of Tenterfield is the derelict tobacco drying sheds, the casualty of a policy that says it is all right to kill yourself with smoking but you must do it with tobacco grown overseas. In town is one of Australia’s most successful hearse manufacturers, who are being killed by overseas tariffs.

The remainder of the world that excludes Australia lives in a pragmatic place away from the divine word of the free market gospel and premises their policies on bilateral arrangements of mutually negotiated benefit.

Drake to the east of Tenterfield used to have a timber industry which the Greens closed down. It once had a mining industry which the Greens don’t support, and it has a cattle industry which the Greens are trying to shut. Not surprisingly, the unemployment rate is through the roof. This is yet another iteration of current Australian politics.

The election that will be held in 100 days’ time will fundamentally be an election about the future, not the past, nor the present. Does Australia want a future where sensible government is returned to Canberra? Or will we continue to wallow in the morass of excessive promises, high debt and internal fascinations that have dominated federal politics for the last five years?

I think the Australian people have basically made their mind up on this question. The interest will turn to localised battles, where the margins for defeat are high, such as in New England.

In those seats, the people will ask themselves do they feel that the Labor Party, Ms Gillard and Mr Swan deserve endorsement of their current form of government? Or should they change to the alternative side, and most likely have a representative who is part of the solution to fixing their problems?

Love the sarcasm.

“Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends”

1 Jun


Barnaby Joyce, Nationals’ 2013 Federal Council, Senate Leader’s Address, June 1, 2013:

In March 1913, under a tree at Kellerberrin in Western Australia, a group of farmers, frustrated with the influence of urbanised power of the capital city, and the political direction of Labor, formed the Farmers and Settlers’ Association known today as the National Party.

100 years later, the same party is about to engage on a great political battlefield.

Our opponent has one cause but many banners.

They are called independent.

They are called the Greens.

They are called Labor.

They are called the Palmer United Party.

They are called the Katter Australia Party and others.

For all of these groups the destruction of the Nationals takes much of their time, time that they should be using to concentrate on issues that help Australians.

They are sustained by vitriol and driven by anger.

They will bend the truth.

They will assert that promise equals delivery and ignore any reference to their responsibility as to where our nation now finds itself.

They must stand behind being responsible for $257.4 billion gross debt.

They must stand behind $370 billion in forward debt.

They must stand behind the defence spending of our nation now at the lowest ebb in GDP terms since 1938.

They must stand behind the financial, human and animal welfare disaster in the cattle industry.

They must accept that an NBN with no cost-benefit analysis has sucked up $5.3 billion already, and is on the way to a $90 billion debt that will take money away from other worthwhile future spending initiatives, such as perhaps a future drug to cure cancer.

They must accept that NBN’s largest income item is the interest on the money they have borrowed and that is a business fiasco.

Our adversary will stand at a distance to the detail of the debate because there the truth is grey and the audience is deprived of the clarity to call them to account.

Our opponent will deify their own assertion of long past insults and try to inspire a sectarian balkanisation, a tribal, sectarian fight based on their own divisive mythology.

As we borrow Kipling, we will keep our head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on us.

We will trust ourselves when all others are doubting, but we will make allowance for their doubts.

We will be lied about but we will not deal in lies.

We may be hated back but we will not give way to hate.

And we will walk humbly with the people we intend to serve.

Our message is one of a future.

We have a fought for and achieved a dam policy to build dams and develop the next stage of agriculture. I am Deputy Chair of the Coalition’s Dams task group.

We have fought to have a new zonal rebate in a trial of five local government areas to turn fly-in, fly-out into fly-in and live.

We have worked for and delivered the Infrastructure Partnerships Scheme to build the inland rail, or ports, dams or new abattoirs.

When you see the University of New England you see the work of the National party, and the work of the former member for New England, David Drummond.

When you drive on a federally funded New England Highway you see the work of the National party and the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair.

When you see a Royalties to Regions program you see the work of the National party and the Rt Hon John Anderson.

When you collect your Diesel Fuel Rebate you are a benefactor of the work of the National party.

When you see upgrades to regional hospitals and universities that money is being provided from the surpluses of the last Liberal and National government.

When small business needs the safety valve to allow their voice to be heard on issues it is the National Party door that it is open.

When the insane idea that a broad based consumption tax on power in Australia would affect the global climate it was the National party that stood up and lead the way.

When Australia has concerns of the excessive foreign ownership on our sacred asset, our land, it is the Nationals that are derided in many quarters for taking up the fight.

We take on these challenges not because they are easy, not because they are hard, but because they are right.

The National Party are people who through my past near 20 years with them make it their cause to quietly do what is right.

Good people who accept that their duty to their nation is to quietly be part of the solution, to make the decisions that put our nation in safe hands, to offer a minor sacrifice for the greater good, rather than a partisan delivery at the expense of the country.

What is our vision?

  • that we are not shy of our Christian heritage
  • that we believe that the defence and ownership of our soil is paramount
  • that our cities will have on its skyscrapers the signage of international champions that are Australian
  • that the prudent culture of the family farm become the prudent nature of our nation’s Treasury
  • our culture is Australian families owning Australian homes and Australian families making a decent living on their family farm
  • our caution is well alive to the threats to our nation no better displayed than by the theft of plans for the ASIO building.

This election allows us the philosophical battleground to give to the views of this conference, especially where we have Nationals candidates standing in:

New England

… and Senate seats in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia, yes especially James in South Australia.

One of the interesting moments in the country hall meetings in New England comes when I ask the question that if the independent wins, and the polling is correct in pointing to a Coalition government, who in cabinet will ventilate the concerns of the electorate?

Why vote yourself into opposition? Why give Ms Gillard a vote of confidence. Do we honestly believe this country could take three more years of this government?

My final point is to say thank you for the overwhelming solidarity, the understanding of Queensland and the welcome home by New Englanders.

This is not a valedictory it is a staging post, it is a platoon harbour, it is a tactics session, it is the embarkation point from which others who believe in our nation’s journey, our nation’s future, will join us on.

So once more, unto the breach dear friends, once more.


Into The Unknown And With So Much At Stake

1 Jun

Barnaby Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

It is 5.45am on Monday morning as I leave St George for what will be my final budget estimates as a senator for Queensland.

Below me is the Western Downs of Queensland and to the east is the sun rising over the Bunya Mountains between Kingaroy and Dalby.

I have an unsurprising sense of apprehension because if I fail at the next election, this won’t just be my last budget estimates as a senator for Queensland, it will be my last full stop. This puts my personal position in somewhat of a correlation to my nation. In the next few months the nation will make a decision that will influence our future financial health in an emphatic way.

Budget estimates, if properly pursued, should flesh out the capacity of ministers and departments to manage the finances of the nation in straitened times. The combined picture, across departments, should cast some light as to whether there is any hope of extracting the country from the financial deficit death spiral that could drive the government’s social contract with the Australian people into the ground. Because of the complexion of the political participants, budget estimates becomes more of an Alice in Wonderland wander in the political park, hoping to stumble across a wondrous mushroom that will illuminate the path to the political knockout punch.

If you are supported in anyway by a government payment then the position of the budget should be of crucial importance. If you receive medicine subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, if you drive on a federally funded road, if you go to a doctor that gets paid by Medicare, if you rely on States who rely on federal funding to pay your school teachers, if you drop off kids at child care, if you want a defence force to stop your nation falling into foreign hands and if you work for the public service then you should be a fiscal conservative, if for no other reason than self-preservation.

What will Australia look like if the cheques bounce? How on earth do we repay the debt if it arrives at the market value on the budget statements of $370 billion, remembering there is no legislation to increase the limit above the current $300 billion limit?

It is 9.35pm on Tuesday night and I have just been to a function for Tom Sefton, Liberal candidate for Canberra. Two tours of Afghanistan, former conference president of St Vincent de Paul, married with one kid but up against a 9 per cent margin. He is in for a real test of his mettle. In a Liberal-Labor stoush where the public service is under the pump, even though it is Labor debt that has to be repaid, Tom will need skills in this battle. He has to work hard if he is to have a chance of a close fight.

Last year the Gillard government reduced the public service by more than 3000 people. The pressure that is on the public service right now is because of the reckless and wasteful spending of the government right now. When the last Coalition government left office, there was not that pressure on the public service because the budget was managed responsibly and, whether you agreed or disagreed with them, you got a sense of stability from those controlling the reins of power.

The best thing for Canberra would be to restore that sense of stability and competence to the federal government.

Down the road from where the function is happening at Marcus Clarke Street, Civic, is the new ASIO headquarters where apparently the plans have been lifted and are now in the hot hands of someone in Beijing.

Everything is closing in. We owe so much money to the same country, and that same country is acquiring interests in our power supplies, rural land and more. I wonder if the Foreign Investment Review Board is taking any notes and taking into account what may be contrary to the national interest.

The interesting thing for me is soon, for whatever the outcome may be, I will be a free agent. Yes, I will have to and so I shall, resign. Tom Sefton shall stand in what would otherwise be an impossible task in the seat of Canberra but this current fiasco parlaying as a government makes all seats possibilities. Political correctness will state that “there is nothing to look at here” as far as Chinese infiltration into Australia’s national interest is concerned. What else could they say?

Underdog Barnaby Closing In On Windsor

21 May

From the Northern Leader:

HITTING THE ROAD: Nationals candidate for New England Barnaby Joyce has forums in 29 towns and villages over the next three weeks. SOURCE: The Northern Daily Leader

HITTING THE ROAD: Nationals candidate for New England Barnaby Joyce has forums in 29 towns and villages over the next three weeks. SOURCE: The Northern Daily Leader

NEW England Nationals candidate Barnaby Joyce accepts he’s the underdog but he doesn’t think he’s as far behind sitting MP Tony Windsor as the latest poll suggests.

It was no surprise he was the underdog, Senator Joyce said, but he disputes just what the voters might read into the latest poll.

“I went into this fight behind … but I’m closing in,” he forecast as he prepared to tackle a six-week whistle-stop talking tour of the electorate.

He questioned the results of a poll published in The Leader yesterday from its sister publication, The Australian Financial Review, that indicated the independent MP held a 10-point lead over The Nationals deputy leader.

Senator Joyce said he believed he was much closer than what the poll showed – ranking Mr Windsor with 49 per cent of the primary vote against Senator Joyce’s 38 per cent.

He didn’t doubt the numbers but he did question the transparency of the motives behind the poll – who did it, what questions were asked, what the sample size was, and the demographic split.

“I would question whether it’s a reflection of the electorate, the way the questions were asked to determine the outcome,” he said.

The story reported that the polling was done by the resources industry to gauge how real were the concerns about coal seam gas, water and coal mining – and according to the results the resources issues ranked way below priorities like jobs and employment, the economy, cost of living and health and education issues.

Senator Joyce predicts those issues will be among the questions raised in his electorate forums, which begin at Mullaley tomorrow with an afternoon appearance in the Mullaley hall.

From there he will take a swing through the far flung reaches of an electorate that is nearly 60,000 square kilometres in size and extends nearly 400km from south of Nundle to the Queensland border and is about 280km wide.

There are about 56 towns, villages and localities – and Senator Joyce has 29 of them in his sights for stopovers.

“I want to get to all the corners, the little towns that get forgotten, like Ebor,” he said.

Mr Windsor has held the seat of New England since 2001 with a margin of 21.52 per cent – the 10th safest seat in the parliament.

But this time around Senator Joyce believes that while he’s behind, he’s not too far behind and certainly not 10 percentage points.

He thinks there’s a huge 30 per cent of undecided voters out there going inside the four months before the election.

How they decide to vote will be crucial to his chances of toppling Mr Windsor and he muses that while Tony Windsor’s campaign might be based on his loyalty and his length of service to his electorate, his premise is for the future, and a place close to the centre of the action in a future government.

He also expects to get an inkling of the feelings of supporters and the great undecided when he hits the forum track tomorrow.

He expects some torrid, tough questions.

Clairvoyants Revelling In A Financial Kama Sutra

17 May

Barnaby Joyce writes for the Canberra Times (my emphasis added):

Budget bottom line? Theatricality trumps actuality

The Budget is defining for politicians. They preen and pose and the building fills up with tribal acolytes. But it is after all, theatre. It is not actual it is a budget.

Everyone has an opinion, and you can as well, as it is an amorphous interpretation that you can get as wildly wrong as you like without any ramifications to you personally.

Actuals, as opposed to budgets, they are real. CEOs, accountants, shareholders live and die on actuals. If you “fudge” as an accountant and the partner finds out, you are out. If you cannot get the account to reconcile, say so, stay back and get help, but do not fudge it as it is the cardinal sin of accounting.

Budgets are more wishful thinking, sometimes pure romance. So accountants – dour, colourless characters that we are – get joy out of actuals, but budgets are more the indolent afterthought.

Anyone can play budgets and many positions are possible with clairvoyants revelling in a financial Karma Sutra, but in actuals only one position is right.

Well by the time you read this, which I am writing on Tuesday night, the Budget will basically be an item of ridicule and all will be waiting for the election this time with a fear to match the frustration.

The forward face value of our debt is in excess of $370 billion and that is from a Government Treasury whose claim to fame in the past is that they are consistently and miserably wrong, underestimating the problem, leaving the Treasurer with the time to gloat over an undeliverable promise. The unethical issue of getting the forecast wrong is that the alleviating action is put off and massive debt hurts those who never caused the problem. How on earth do we pay this money back, what is for sale, whose job is safe?

On the big picture, the Baby Bonus is gone and we have no real idea what the National Disability Insurance Scheme is going to cost, nor what Gonski really means in detail as far as cost is concerned.

On things you probably may not hear, big business will be forced to go monthly on PAYG. This will move the cost down to suppliers who will be under the pump to pay sooner. If you want to get someone on a 457 visa, the application charge will now be more than double, at $900. Why? No real reason for this apart from the fact they are running out of money.

There is confusion as to what on earth the message is, saving while spending in unnecessary areas and getting further into debt. What is the big plan that can stand in the here and now without relying on heroic projections? The levy for NDIS is projected near $3 billion for a cost which some have estimated at near $20 billion a year. Our terms of trade will have to be on the optimistic side to say the least as commodity prices are currently weakening.

I have to admit New England got a few promises more than most electorates, making my job harder there, but the question is how does one deliver a promise in either opposition or more pertinently when we have no money. Promises should not be confused with delivery. This is a question that I do not believe sections of the media will delve into with much intent, preferring the colour of the announcement over the complexity of the delivery.

Complexity is hard to distil down to a line but a very good indicator always is the debt. For Canberra, as I have stated so many times, debt is the canary in the coal mine and Canberra should be more observant of this issue than any other city in Australia. Departments know the problems for them are directly correlated to the size of the debt for the incoming government. When the Greens, Labor and independents decided that prudence should be put aside, then with it goes stability and security for the city of Canberra.

The final analogy I would say about this budget is the overwhelming feeling in the building of irrelevance in the Government’s papers and following discussions. It was an anticlimax that happened in the corner without any of the gravitas or attention of previous budgets. Australia does finally get to the TV to switch off the politics; they have done that.

Hear hear!

Barnaby And Windsor Clash In Corridor

16 May

Go the biff!

From The Land (h/t Michael Anderson @irontracktor):


TENSIONS between Independent MP Tony Windsor and Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce flared up in a robust exchange in the parliamentary press gallery in Canberra on Wednesday.

As politicians walked the press gallery discussing the previous night’s budget, Mr Windsor and Senator Joyce unexpectedly crossed paths, sparking a brief but fiery exchange.

Senator Joyce had earlier used parliamentary privilege to try and link the $4.625 million sale of Mr Windsor’s family farming property to Werris Creek Coal, a subsidiary of Whitehaven Coal, and corruption allegations against former NSW Labor Resources Minister Ian Macdonald.

Relations between the pair are already strained with Senator Joyce challenging for Mr Windsor’s New England seat at the upcoming federal election, in a bid to enter the Lower House.

Senator Joyce said he was “accosted” by an angry Mr Windsor who told him to “say it outside”.

Mr Windsor was referring to the comments Senator Joyce made in a three-minute speech in Senate debate on Tuesday on Mr Windsor’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (EPBCA) Bill, which is linked to water protection measures for coal and coal seam gas (CSG) mining projects.

Senator Joyce said the Bill – which has already passed the Lower House – would be supported by the Coalition and Mr Windsor was one of its “grand architects”.

“Minister Macdonald was the minister in NSW when Mr Windsor sold his place for a very good price; for a very good price,” Senator Joyce said in the Senate debate.

Mr Macdonald is currently the subject of a high profile corruption investigation in NSW over allegedly corrupt mining deals.

“But it is a question we rightly want to ask: how do you manage to sell your place for such a good price?

“How do you manage to get three times what it is worth?

“I do not know. Do you know? How do you? It is such a great trick.”

Speaking to Fairfax Agricultural Media, Senator Joyce said his political foe was “highly sensitive about the sale of his land to a coal mining company which he made an extremely good price for, a bit less than $5000 an acre”.

“He’s so sensitive about it that he wants to accost me as I walk through the corridors of parliament house and he did it in front of people,” he said.

“Everyone can attest to it, I walked past Mr Windsor and in an agitated state, he asked if I would take something outside.

“At the start I thought he wanted to fight me, which I thought was a bit beyond his age.

“I think it’s fair enough Mr Windsor answers questions about this… it seems peculiar… he’s terribly sensitive about it.”

Read more here.

“In A Few Years Time We Will Be Like Ireland”

15 May

Barnaby Is Wrong

9 May


From the Australian:

SENATOR Barnaby Joyce says he will vote in a referendum to recognise local governments in the constitution and allow federal funds to flow directly to them.

But he has slammed the federal government’s timing of the announcement and its failure to say what the exact wording of the referendum will be.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched the “yes” campaign for the referendum on Thursday

At the federal election on September 14 voters will be asked to decide whether local councils and shires should be recognised in the Constitution.

Mr Joyce told reporters in Sydney on Thursday he would vote “yes” but questioned why the government had announced the referendum now.

“They’ve announced a dopey wedge that’s actually going to compromise our capacity to get up financial recognition of local government,” he said.

“They’re trying to create a distraction and this is why people don’t like politicians and get so cynical.”

No, people don’t like politicians because we have learned … and they daily continue to prove … that everything they say and do is just a smokescreen.

A smokescreen of words, camouflaging an unrelenting self-interest.

“Financial recognition of local government”, they say?

Bollocks, I say.

This referendum is about nothing more, and nothing less, than enabling the bureaucrats and politicians in Canberra to bypass the State governments.

In other words, to further increase the centralising power of the Federal government –

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore described the referendum as “necessary” but about a “non-contentious” change.

“This referendum is essential to ensure that the Commonwealth parliament has the power to provide direct financial assistance to local government,” Ms Moore said in a statement.

I say “No” to this referendum proposal.

Indeed, I would generally say “No” on principle to any referendum proposal suggested by politicians and/or bureaucrats.

The only referendum that is likely to be worth even thinking about voting “Yes” to, would be one suggested by the general public.

Which is why I am a supporter of Swiss-style Direct Democracy.

Where the people are recognised in the Constitution, and have the power to force a referendum on the topics that they think are important.

Such as revoking the laws passed by politicians.


From Quadrant (h/t Twitter follower @HiggsBoson4) –

While, at first reading, this proposal might have a benign appearance, a little thought reveals that the proposal restricts the state governments.

The idea of “democratic recognition” being included in the Constitution has the effect of limiting the power of the state government to fulfil its governmental responsibilities in such way as the state parliament chooses.

The “independent” panel’s discussion paper presents two possible proposals as follows:

Each state shall, and each Territory may, establish and maintain a system of local government bodies directly chosen by the people.

Each state shall, and each Territory may, provide for the establishment and continuance of a system of local government elected in accordance with the laws of the state or Territory.

Each of these proposals is an attack on state sovereignty. If either is appropriate at all, the place for it is the state constitutions, not the Commonwealth Constitution. Inclusion of either in the Commonwealth Constitution would limit the states’ power on how their governmental responsibilities should be administered….

Recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution has been rejected three times. The first was when the Constitution was drawn up, the second was at referendum under a Labor government in 1974 and the third was at a referendum under a Labor government in 1988. There is now an opportunity to appreciate the reasons for the three previous rejections, the reasons for now rejecting the proposal a fourth time and voting “No”.

As I was saying …

“Australian Dollar Is Not A Sacred Cow”

9 May

Barnaby Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce droving a mob of cattle west of Longreach, Queensland. Photo: Peter Rae

National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce droving a mob of cattle west of Longreach, Queensland. Photo: Peter Rae

Government has left cattle industry out in the cold

Fred Pascoe’s family goes back a fair way in the Gulf, possibly about 40,000 years.

His family didn’t meet a “whitefella” until 1904. That was his great-great grandfather, “Kangaroo”. In Fred’s words a “lusty” fellow who had seven wives. Fred jokes with a smirk that unfortunately that part of the family genes did not flow down.

Fred’s great-grandfather started working the cattle that have been a fixture of the Gulf ever since. His love of the country was too strong for the city. He died six days after moving to town in retirement.

Now Fred manages his own cattle property. Cattle have given Fred and his family a additional connection to his country. Cattle are now part of their culture.

Cattle are part of the nation’s culture too. The economy of the north depends on cattle. The truck drivers depend on them, the stock and station agents depend on them and even the local show and rodeo would not exist without them.

That’s what makes the government’s bungling of the live cattle saga a few years ago so galling. It was an attack on a culture. A culture that has been built up over more than 100 years, and now threatened by a combination of government incompetence, the roaring of money printing presses in other countries and the failure of monsoonal rains.

We can’t do much about that rain. I will leave that one to the local graziers and their God. We can, however, stop making bad policy decisions and start a debate about the high Australian dollar.

When we shut down the live cattle trade, we affect the food supply to a nation of more than 250 million people next door. Because of the undisputed barbaric acts of a small number of people in a very large industry we impugned an entire nation’s culture. The message was implicit but clear: we don’t trust you enough to provide you with food anymore.

Our government engaged in a prejudicial policy condemning the many based on the actions of a few. Since then the Government has made little attempt to support our own domestic cattle industry or make amends with our largest neighbour.

Because governments caused these problems, there is a moral obligation on them to help solve these problems. On Tuesday, I attended a beef crisis forum in Richmond. In a town of only 500 people in the Gulf, a crowd of 500 turned up, in a mood, not to vent frustrations, but to propose solutions and to look for leadership.

One of those solutions was for the government to purchase 100,000 head of cattle to put an immediate floor price in the market. Because the live cattle trade fiasco has dropped demand by about 300,000 head of cattle a year, beef prices are plummeting. In Longreach, cattle sold for $20 per head last week. That’s the equivalent of buying your scotch fillet for 10 ¢ a kilogram.

But the price of the dollar means our beef is still expensive to those overseas. More than 30 foreign central banks now hold Australian dollars, along with Google, Apple and Berkshire Hathaway.

The Botswana central bank is not diversifying into the Australian dollar because they share our love of a sunburnt country and wide, open plains, but because we are becoming a “safe haven” currency. Our exporters are paying their insurance policy.

Our terms of trade have fallen by 15 per cent, and economic growth is being downgraded. Still, our dollar remains relatively high.

The Reserve Bank recognised this on Tuesday by cutting interest rates, in part aimed at the high dollar. The Australian dollar is not a sacred cow.

The RBA has clearly announced that its monetary policy is now looking to target the dollar, and we have intervened directly in foreign exchange markets on 35 separate times in the past 24 years, including eight times since 1997.

Other nations are not as restrained as we are. The United States is now delivering quantitative easing at a rate of $85 billion a month. The Swiss have imposed a ceiling on their currency, and the new Shinzo Abe government in Japan is actively adopting policies to devalue its currency, by 20 per cent since last December.

Meanwhile, we are keeping our innocence and making life near impossible for those who we are relying on to figure ourselves out of our current financial mess. What’s the good of being pure, if you end up broke?

Regular readers know that I have written on this topic of the over-valued Australian dollar (due incoming “hot money” from other, currency-depreciating nations) since late 2011 –

Australia’s Debt Dreamtime

Bob’s No Mad Katter On RBA “Independence”

The Single Biggest Reason Why I Will Vote For Bob Katter’s Australian Party

Queenslander! This Is Why You Are A Complete Idiot If You Don’t Vote KAP Today

It’s wonderful – if all too belated – to finally see a politician from one of the so-called “major” parties speaking truthfully about the AUD exchange rate, and the close-mindedness on the part of our economic mandarins which has caused so much damage to Australian businesses (and thus, the economy) over the past couple of years.

Barnaby for PM.

“You CAN Influence The Price Of The Dollar, If You Actually Want To” – Barnaby

7 May


Bookmark this post, dear reader. This is historic.

Once again, Barnaby Joyce is the first major party politician (to my knowledge) to speak truth to power concerning a(nother) vital economic parameter.

In late 2009 and early 2010 – before new Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wilted like a week-old lettuce leaf and sacked him – then Opposition Finance spokesman Barnaby warned of the dangers of Australia’s rising Federal and State government debt trajectories.  Only in recent weeks, some three years later, leading economists have begun to acknowledge that Barnaby was right.

Today, 7 May 2013, appearing on radio 2GB, he is the first major party politician to state that the government can bring down the exchange rate value of the Australian dollar, and tell the plain truth about why they (the ALP, Treasury, and RBA) have not done so:

The dollar, if you actually want to, you can actually affect it. It’s not written on tablets of stone and presented from Mount Sinai. You can influence the price of the dollar down if there is real motivation and desire to do so. One of the reasons they don’t do it is because they want to be economically pure. The way we’re going at the moment we’re going to be pure in debt, economically dead, so let’s make sure we keep our industry going.

Just so.

Over the past few years, our great economic leaders – the World’s Greatest Treasurer Wayne Swan, and the Million Dollar Man, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens – have deliberately chosen a policy of not joining the global currency wars.  Of deliberately allowing the AUD to rise and rise versus other currencies, and to remain at unprecedented elevated levels. Why?  In order to “make room for the mining boom”.

In other words, because of the inflationary impact of the mining (investment) boom, they have chosen to let a far-too-high AUD deflate the rest of the economy … to “make room for the mining boom”.

(Yes, the same mining boom that is now ending; the one that they so confidently believed would give Australia a period of “unprecedented prosperity”, a China-funded “golden age” lasting “to 2050”, according to former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry).

They have pursued an economic policy of allowing the rest of the Australian economy to be hollowed out, white-ant style, so that their precious little (bogus) economic performance figures for “inflation” (ie, the CPI) would not get too far beyond their arbitrary boundaries of preference.

While the rest of the country (except mining and related industries) has watched countless businesses, and whole industry sectors such as manufacturing, slowly getting squeezed towards, and in a record number of cases, into bankruptcy, our ivory-towered boffins have sat back applauding themselves for their ideological purity, self-congratulating for their not acting to influence the AUD exchange rate.

Despite the fact that practically every other nation in the world who can, is.

As usual, it takes the little ol’ bush accountant to bell the cat.

Barnaby for PM.

He’s the only one with both brains, and b***s.

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