Govt’s plan to end Indian sugar subsidies bittersweet: KAP
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) welcomes efforts to end subsidies for Indian sugar growers, but says it’s disappointing it’s taken so long.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter previously lobbied the Minister’s office on the issue and said negotiations were taking place to join with Brazil and Thailand in a trade dispute to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to challenge India’s subsidies.
Mr Katter said when the KAP asked for the challenge, which was before a federal election, it couldn’t be done, but now on the cusp of an election, it’s “suddenly” being actioned.
“On the eve of an election, you’re telling us what you’re gunna do; don’t insult our intelligence by telling us what you’re gunna do – tell us you’ve done it,” he said.
However, he separated out the Prime Minister and Deputy Liberal Leader Josh Frydenberg.
“I’ve got to separate them out. Fundamentalist extremism of obsessed free-market ideologs – I just don’t think that is the spirit of a Morrison or a Frydenberg,” he said.
“But we will see.”
KAP State Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto said the Federal Government’s WTO challenge on Indian sugar subsidies was a win for the North’s cane farmers.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that the cane farmers of our region are finally going to get the representation they deserve,” he said.
But he echoed Mr Katter’s frustration with the timing of the move.
“The only disappointing part of this is it’s taken a relentless lobbying effort from Katter’s Australian Party’s Federal and State members over the last few months to convince the Government to take action,” he said.
“This is the strong message that Australia has to send to not only India but other trade partners to ensure that our growers are getting the best opportunity to export their sugar on a level playing field which is the world market.”