Citizens Electoral Council in Australia Mobilizes insitutions and citizens around Helga Zepp-LaRouche's Call To Double World Food Production
The LaRouche co-thinkers in Australia issued Helga Zepp-LaRouches Call as a
leaflet, attaching the following statement and petition, and
ending with contact information for all the Federal and state
agriculture, fisheries, water, etc. ministers. A graphic at the
end shows an infant grasping Australia, and saying "How Much Food
The world is in the midst of an horrific global
food crisis. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
lists 82 nations as in "food deficit", 37 of which it classifies
as "in crisis", while 850 million people are in dire need and
over two billion suffer daily hunger. U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon has issued an urgent appeal for aid, warning that,
"Without these funds, we risk the specter of famine,
malnutrition, and unprecedented social uprising." Food riots have
already broken out in over 40 countries.
Australia can and must play a big role in addressing this
crisis. We are amongst the world's largest exporters of dairy,
barley, wheat, beef and lamb, and, up until recently, rice. A few
years ago, we produced enough rice to feed almost 40 million
people a meal a day for 365 days, and Australian rice was
exported to 72 countries. We are the world's second largest wheat
exporter, with 14% of the global export market, and we export
about 20% of the global feed barley trade. We are also the
world's second largest exporter of both beef, and lamb and
mutton. Our dairy exports make up 12 % of world dairy trade.
Within the next four weeks, almost all broadacre farmers in
Australia will make decisions on how much acreage they will sow,
and thus how much food will be harvested not long after. Leaving
aside intermediate and longer-term measures, we must commit to
the following immediately:
1) The Government must move to purchase existing wheat and
other food reserves, to provide immediate food aid to the FAO and
the World Food Program.
2) The Government must cease all subsidies for biofuel
production, and instead send the equivalent quantity of
food/grain overseas to countries in distress.
3) The Government must immediately regulate
domestically-manufactured fertilizer prices, and subsidise
imported fertilizers (relative to world prices), so that farmers
pay no more than what they did in January 2006, when the current
hyperinflationary spiral really took off.
4) The Government must slash the cost of all petroleum
products for the agricultural sector, by suspending the
hyperinflated international pricing for domestically-produced
oil, and by eliminating the fuel excise.
5) The Government must immediately regulate domestically
manufactured agricultural chemicals, especially weedicides and
herbicides, and subsidise imported agricultural chemicals, to
January 2006 prices. These chemical costs have soared just like
the cost of fertilizer and petrol. The hyperinflated costs of
these three items, together with the slashing of water
allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin, form the immediate
chokehold stopping Australian farmers from making a dramatic
contribution to the world food crisis.
6) The Government must guarantee a minimum floor price for
the resulting harvests.
7) The Government and quasi-governmental agencies must
immediately cease all "environmental flows" of water in the
Murray-Darling Basin, and cease government purchases of water,
which is driving the cost of it to $1000 per megalitre or more,
this in one of the richest agricultural areas in the entire
world, which provides more than 40% of our agricultural
production, and over $20 billion per annum in agricultural
8) The Government must take immediate steps to keep our pig,
sheep and dairy industries alive and producing, by imposing a
significant tariff on pork imports, by subsidising hay and other
feed grain for our diminishing sheep flock, and by reinstating
water allocations to farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin.
There is no excuse for inaction on any of these points.
Given that the budget surplus estimate for 2008-09 is $21.7
billion, the Government has more than adequate funds to implement
all of the above. And, if it can create a $20 billion investment
fund largely for the benefit of British mineral cartel giants Rio
Tinto and BHP, as it has just done, it can certainly find the
resources to feed starving human beings.
We, the undersigned, endorse the above measures and call on
the Federal and State Governments to respond immediately.