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16 August, 2021

Katter attacks proposed UN meat tax

Member for Kennedy Bob Katter says a carbon tax on meat, which has been proposed at a United Nations food summit, would shut down Australia’s cattle industry and starve 80 million people alone globally.

Bob Katter (right) with the ambassador of Indonesia to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema (left), a nation that is one of Australia’s largest business partners when it comes to beef.

The True Animal Price Protein Coalition proposed a meat tax of a €1 ($1.61) per kilo, at the summit in Rome last week of which Australia is a major sponsor, having contributed $63.9 million.

Mr Katter said almost every single calf that is born in Australia is produced on land that cannot be used for any other purpose.

“I’m not talking about fattening country; I’m talking about breeding country where the cattle are bred,” Mr Katter said.

“If you introduce that tax and wipe out the cattle industry, then there is 2.4 billion kilos of protein that will no longer be available.”

In an average year, Australia turns off eight million cattle for consumption, each with 300kg of consumable meat.

Research from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences shows the average family of five eats 150kg of beef a year.

Mr Katter said the proposed tax will starve 80 million people to satisfy an ideology.

“There is no alternative feedstock that can provide such an enormously high protein regime,” he said.

“The staple diets in Indonesia, Europe, Japan, South Korea and South America is meat. 

“You’ve got to eat a lot of rice to get the same protein content that beef provides.”

Mr Katter said the other problem with the meat tax is that much of the Australian landscape will become a wasteland again and will not be used to produce anything.

“The cattlemen are custodians of the land,” he said.

“They love the land, that’s why they live there. 

“It was wasteland, now it’s not - it’s producing food for the rest of the world.

“Take the cattlemen away and you’ll have what you have with national parks.

“National parks are feral pig farms, fire-starters and weed nurseries.”

The proposal was made at the Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit at the end of July.

The UN Food Systems Summit itself will be held in New York in September, with the Australian Government set to participate in the event as they did in the Pre-Summit.

The  Department  of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) states,  “Australia supports the UN’s goal of delivering more sustainable, productive and resilient agricultural and food systems for producers and consumers alike.”

Key concerns for DAWE include ensuring more sustainable food production, feeding more people and enabling farmers and producers to make a decent living from agriculture.

The group that proposed the meat tax, The True Animal Price Protein Coalition, have pledged to focus on “fair prices and taxes to make the production and consumption of meat and dairy more sustainable.”

Mr Katter is calling on the Federal Government to assert sovereignty, and to fight the UN proposal.

“We are an independent country and we won’t be ruled by the rest of the world.

“The ‘do-gooders’ have never been ‘good-doers’,” he said.

Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows that beef is the Australian economy’s eighth biggest export item, bringing in $10 billion a year.

Mr Katter said the ‘bludgerigar’ class twitter, make a lot of noise, but at the end of the day they have got bird brains. 

“The only jungle they’ve seen is concrete jungle,” he said.

“They’re pavement warriors.

“The closure of the beef industry would be a disaster for our economy and the Australian landscape.”

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