The recently announced anti-dumping investigations don't go far enough in supporting Australia's fruit and vegetable producers, KAP leader Bob Katter says.
SPC Ardmona confirmed yesterday that investigations have been initiated into both its peaches and tomatoes anti-dumping claims – the first cases to be approved by the new Anti-Dumping Commission.
But according to Katter, Aussie producers, struggling to compete with cheap foreign imports, need more action from the government.
"Everybody knows what’s happening – it’s staring at them in the face when they open the paper each morning – free market policies have decimated our food producers and manufacturers and it’s beyond high time our governments started protecting Aussie industries and jobs," he said.
Katter said the anti-dumping probe was too little too late for our producers, many of whom are being forced to let their fruit rot as they're unable to compete with cheaper imported goods.
Around 750,000 fruit trees are expected to be destroyed by spring after SPC Ardmona announced it no longer required the produce of 170 Goulburn Valley growers.
"SPC Ardmona, one of Australia’s biggest food processors and critical to the Goulbourn Valley food producing region, pleaded with the government several months ago for emergency safeguards – but in the final week of Parliament, the government announced a six-month inquiry just to consider whether temporary tariffs are even justified," Katter said.
The minister for home affairs and minister for justice, Jason Clare, officially launched the new Australian Anti-Dumping Commission in Melbourne yesterday, naming Dale Seymour as the new Anti-Dumping Commissioner.
"Today we have a new Commission, a new Commissioner and $24.4 million in new resources to conduct anti-dumping investigations. This is good news for Australian manufacturers and workers," Clare said.
The Commission will be looking at the effect of imported produce on Australian suppliers, starting with peaches imported from South Africa and tomatoes from Italy.