Saturday, January 3, 2009
When EG Whitlam came to power in 1972, Australia's standard of living was in the world's top 5.
We were self-sufficient. We produced all our clothing, footwear, all our food staples, trains, cars, munitions. Luxury items came from OS with a suitable import duty.
The great man declared that, if we bought these previously locally produced items from OS, they would be cheaper.
Cheaper to whom? To the importer, not to the Australian shopper.
Talk of level playing fields and trading blocs have come from both sides of politics since then.
We became an importer, destroying local industry and agriculture.
We became an exporter. We exported manufacturing jobs; we exported agricultural jobs. We closed factories; we ploughed farm produce into the land.
Now we have a first! Woolworths buy their toilet paper from importers Paper Force and Asia Pulp and Paper. The CFMEU says Asia Pulp and Paper is a leading contributor to deforestation in Indonesia.
The Home affairs minister, Bob Debus, has now accepted the results of a year-long Customs investigation which found that imported toilet papers are coming in at prices almost 40% below "normal."
Importers have until late this month to appeal the decision before dumping penalties are applied to the toilet paper they bring in.
Now, all we have to do is complain about dumped Brazilian fruit juice, dumped fish and vegetables.