Floods decimate food production—farm debt moratorium NOW
Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
The Glass-Steagall principle:
Floods decimate food production—farm debt moratorium NOW!
The government must enact an immediate farm debt moratorium, both to save the family farmers wiped out by the floods, and to mobilise the rest of the nation’s farmers to step up food production to meet the chronic food shortages facing Australia—and the world, demanded Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood today.
“It is imperative that the government apply the Glass-Steagall principle to this crisis, by enacting a debt moratorium,” he said.
“Glass-Steagall is the principle, enacted by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 to begin to bring the U.S. and the world out of the Great Depression, that the government is responsible for protecting the functionality of the productive, physical economy from predatory bankers and speculative parasites.
“If we are to rescue our food production capability, to preserve our national food security, and to secure our essential contribution to the food supplies of a chronically food-short world, then our family farmers must be freed through a debt moratorium, from the crushing debt burden that is driving them off the land,” he said.
The Queensland floods have wreaked havoc in major food production areas all up the coast, washing away crops and precious topsoil, and destroying the farm machinery and transport infrastructure—roads and rail—that is necessary to transport goods.
The dramatic flash flood in Toowoomba and surrounding districts on Monday decimated the state’s last functioning food bowl, the Lockyer Valley, the major supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to Brisbane.
When combined with the demoralised state of the family farmers targeted for political annihilation in the national food bowl, the Murray-Darling Basin (including the deliberately-shackled irrigators in South Australia’s Riverland limited to 67 per cent of their water entitlement while the swollen Murray River rushes by their farms), as well as the drought-ravaged wheat growers in Western Australia’s wheat belt, it is clear that Australia itself is in a dire food crisis, let alone our crucial contribution to a food-short world.
Central Queensland cattle and wheat producer and former CEC National Chairman Maurice Hetherington today backed Craig Isherwood’s call for a debt moratorium, and said the crisis demands “a new system”.
“[Farmers] have lost everything,” he said on 13th January. “We’re going to have a chronic food shortage here in Queensland—chronic. The first thing I think has to be done is we have to keep the farmer on the land and the small businessman in their small business. That’s an absolute priority.
“We need a debt moratorium and low-interest credit pumped in at two per cent to kickstart them and get them going … That’s the first light that will give the farmers the incentive to get in the mud … .”
He concluded, “This is reality. People have to eat, and if they haven’t got people producing food there’ll be nothing to eat.”
The CEC has written draft legislation for a debt moratorium called, “The Productive Industries and Farms Domestic Debt Moratorium, Amelioration, and Restructuring Bill”. Click here to have a free copy mailed to you.