An open letter to McMillan MP Russell Broadbent (he didn’t respond to this letter sent in April).
We note that the redistribution of boundaries by the Australian Electoral Commission has resulted in McMillan/Monash becoming a more rural seat.
As farmers in your electorate, we have a number of concerns regarding current trade agreements. Some examples are:
• Since the free trade agreement with the US, US dairy imports have jumped over 2600 per cent whilst Australian dairy exports to the US have slumped to 20 per cent of their pre free trade levels.
• India has put a 60 per cent tariff on Australian chickpeas.
• Saline pumped pork from Canada has been dumped onto the Australian market.
We are concerned that there will be further agricultural product dumped onto the Australian market as a result of the current US–China trade war.
As our elected representative, we ask you to take an active interest in protecting the Australian market for agricultural produce.
It is not fair or just to expect Aussie farmers to compete with product which is subsidised by foreign governments.
We are also greatly concerned by the creation of the ‘Monash Forum’, which seems to strive to exploit all natural resources, including all fossil fuel.
Clearly, the MPs in this forum are ignoring climate science and seek a very short term financial gain for a very few people, whilst irreparably damaging the environment.
To give people the mantra “jobs and growth” as the raison d’etre for such exploitation is misleading and disingenuous. Under questioning, Adani management admit that only 1400 jobs will be potentially created by Adani in the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
For 1400 short term mining jobs, the barrier reef will be cut, taxpayers will fund a railway line and many jobs will be lost in tourism and agriculture, and the climate damaged further.
As the elected representative of a region which has agriculture and tourism as its economic base, we ask for you to support agriculture and tourism over mining.
Whilst we understand that the licences for mining are issued by state governments, we are disturbed by Matthew Guy’s policy to encourage onshore gas exploration and mining.
With a state election due this year, we will no doubt be subject to misinformation about the gas supplies in Victoria and Australia.
We ask that you work through the Federal Government to stop the pressure that is being applied to the Victorian Government to open up more gas resources, which in Victoria this will be at a cost to agriculture. (The VFF state that for every job created in mining, 1.7 jobs are lost in agriculture).
Will you please let us know how you intend to support the agricultural and tourism industries against dumping of agricultural product by other countries and the wealth and power of the miners and the politicians who represent this industry?
Deborah and Fergus O’Connor, members of Farmers for Climate Action, Berrys Creek.