Fraser Anning’s race baiting maiden speech to the Senate last night decrying Muslim migration wasn’t just a retrograde slur against Australia’s values of tolerance.
It was also a boneheaded move against one Australia’s most important trade partners. Especially for agriculture.
Echoing the phrase of Nazi genocide the Queensland Senator, who represents the pro-farmer Katter’s Australian Party, called for a ban on Muslim immigration - advocating “the final solution to the immigration problem” with a plebiscite to decide the matter.
The world’s largest Muslim population resides just to our north in Indonesia, and they like to buy our primary produce. A lot of it. It’s our fifth-largest ag export market.
Indonesia’s population of 260 million is the fourth largest in the world. Our farmers send them more than $2.4 billion of wheat, livestock, meat, sugar, cotton and more each year.
Australia supplies about 80 per cent of Indonesia’s beef and more than 50pc of its wheat imports.
And Indonesia’s rising middle class of the developing nation is also a prime target for high-value Australian exports, particular horticulture, as their appetite for healthy, quality fruit and vegetables grows.
“The record of Muslims who have already come to this country in terms of rates of crime, welfare dependency, and terrorism are the worst of any migrant [group] and vastly exceed any other immigrant group,” Senator Anning said.
"While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims, so why would anyone want to bring more of them here?"
"We need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the third world, and particularly whether they want any Muslims.”
Mr Anning claimed that the majority of working age Muslims in Australia don’t work and “live on welfare”.
Mr Anning praised the White Australia policy and derided the Whitlam government and the “hard-left cronies” who “adopted Soviet-inspired United Nations treaties on discrimination and banned preferential selection of migrants based on their ethnicity”.
"We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society," Senator Anning said.
Australia’s overall trade with Indonesia is valued at more than $16b. Negotiations on a free trade agreement are underway, with significant potential to benefit the farm sector.
Commodity based ag exports are particularly impacted by import tariffs and Indonesia is pursuing a food self-sufficiency policy, which if not handled carefully by Australia, could create headaches for the farm sector.
Mr Anning said Muslims were responsible for Australia’s first terrorist attack.
He was referencing the Battle of Broken Hill where two men hailing from modern day Pakistan shot dead four people on a train to Silverton on New Years Day in 1915, who were acting on the outbreak of hostilities between the British and Ottoman Empires.
Fraser Anning’s comments on immigration do not reflect the views of the Government nor the views of fair minded Australians. We will always maintain a non-discriminatory immigration program.— Alan Tudge (@AlanTudgeMP) August 14, 2018
He failed to mention Muslim ‘Ghan cameleers, who had arrived in pre-Federation since the 1860s, were pioneers of outback Australia and helped build the overland telegraph line and railways.
- Mike Foley is the national rural affairs reporter for Fairfax Agricultural Media
The story Fraser Anning’s racial idiocy risks farmers’ export future first appeared on Farm Online.