Transport Minister Anthony Albanese referred scornfully to the ordinary Australians who crossed the continent to protest outside their parliament as the “Convoy of No Consequence”. This is the speech (written afterwards) given that day by one of the protesters, Matt Thompson. If Albanese and his government were prepared to listen they might learn something about the country they are leading.
We are all here because we sense there is something very wrong in our government, and our democracy. The most glaring issue illustrating this problem is the government’s insistence on pushing through the so called carbon tax against its campaign promises not to do so, and against the clear will of the people. This action is undemocratic. The ban on live export of cattle to Indonesia is further evidence of a government run by an extreme minority, rather than the majority of reasonable people.
Some in the media have questioned me about the convoy, saying that there seems to be a whole litany of complaints. There is a whole litany of complaints, because tyrannical governments are attempting to control every single aspect of our lives. In Western Australia, it even reached the point recently that there are regulations about how one must walk down a footpath. In all segments of our society, both the public and private sector, people are drowning in a sea of red tape. Teachers, shop keepers, and transport operators spend more time filling out forms than they do with their students, clients, or trucks. They report suffering from that humanity killing feeling that their own government does not trust them to think for themselves, but rather expects them to act like a cog in a machine unthinkingly ticking boxes and punching out the next rivet.
Legislation is now always drafted by bureaucrats. It is lengthy, seldom read by Parliamentarians, and serves to increase the power of the bureaucrats. Agencies and departments are acting in accord with an agenda being implemented by the United Nations. There is a Korean man, living in New York City, that seems to have more power over what really happens in Australia than our own government. The people of Australia have never been granted the opportunity to vote for this man, Ban Ki Moon, and almost certainly wouldn’t do so if they were given the opportunity.
For those that don’t know me or my wife Janet, you might be wondering how I came to be addressing this crowd with an American accent. My wife and I came to Australia ten years ago, and are now Australian citizens. We came in search of opportunities, in search of “golden soil and wealth for toil”. We found it in spades. We found a wonderful and resilient people in the Australian bush with work ethic, dignity, and an ability to play on and beat anything nature threw at them.
We started a beef cattle feedlot in Western Australia after spending two years preparing and getting all environmental approvals. We started small with about five hundred head. The project was very successful and expanded quickly with the help of an excellent work force led by my right hand man Lindley Boseley. Lindley was a brilliant, self taught Australian who could tackle anything and solve any engineering problem.
In 2007 we were operating our feedlot at capacity of 10,000 head. I attended an open forum meeting put on by the Department of Environment to discuss the implementation of “greenhouse gas” reporting regimes, which were to form the basis for the “carbon tax” now pending in the Parliament. I strongly opposed the regime and distributed scientific materials refuting the entire theory of AGW. Shortly following this, our project came under attack from environmental groups and government departments which slowly regulated us out of business by restricting our licenses. Like the Native Vegetation Act’s effect on farmers, the license restrictions on our business left us owning a very expensive asset which we were no longer allowed to use. When our business collapsed, Lindley Boseley took his own life.
I see now that governments are implementing various programs for mental health in rural areas. They spend lots of money, and have lots of meetings. I have a message for the people in the building behind me (Parliament House). If you want to do something REAL to help mental health in rural areas, then stop destroying people’s lives and taking their land!
Our business catered to Australian abattoirs rather than live export. However, I have great sympathy with my friends in the live export business, and the devastation the government has brought on them. The live export ban affects all Australians. I spoke with many in oil and gas, mining, and other export industries that were appalled and frightened that an entire billion dollar industry could be shut down on a moments notice, on the back of one documentary with no independent investigation. This action has had a chilling effect on investment in all Australian industries.
I saw Minister Ludwig on television state that the live export industry must guarantee that no Australian animals will ever be abused in foreign countries, before any of the businesses can continue exporting to those countries. This condition is absurd, and intentionally unachievable. It blames the good for the existence of the bad. It might sound good at first, but if you think about it, what export industry could possibly guarantee that no one would ever misuse their product in a foreign country? Are we to ban exports of iron ore until the industry guarantees us that no one any where will ever use the iron to make weapons which kill people?
I would remind the people in government behind me that this is a democracy. In a democracy, you are supposed to answer to US, we are not supposed to answer to you. Before you implement another billion dollar program using our hard earned tax dollars, we want you to guarantee us that no PEOPLE will be killed in the next one!
I recently took the time to read and study the 349 pages of the so called carbon tax legislation. It is called an “An Act For the Promotion of Clean Energy, and For Other Purposes.” I can assure those that have not read it, that this act has a lot more to do with “other purposes” than it does with clean energy. This bill essentially puts all decision making power over what gets produced in Australia, who produces it, and how much they will get paid for it, into the hands of a small group of bureaucrats and investment bankers. This horrific mistake is despite all evidence of human history that centralized control over economies is a very bad idea. This act changes the basic structure of our economic system, and this is a democracy. The people deserve a fair vote on this issue, and were denied one at the last election. Therefore, we need an election now.
Some media outlets have accused the convoy of being a small minority of rabblerousers. I just drove across 3800 kilometres of this beautiful country, and I can assure you that we are definitely not a minority. We met people all along the way encouraging and supporting our effort. Every person here represents thousands of supporters across the country. The electorate recognizes that we are headed in a very dangerous direction. This, after all, is still a democracy. In a democracy, a government of the minority, by the minority, and for the minority MUST NOT stand!
Other speeches from the “Convoy of No Confidence” protest:
Art Raiche The fall of CSIRO