A strange way to promote “free trade”: follow Greenpeace?

Richard Goyer CEO Westfarmers and Chair of the B20 group pushes for free-trade.

This looks like George Orwellian “newspeak”, where white is black and black is white.

B20 Australia chairman and Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder warned a failure by any of the G20 countries to commit would come at a significant cost. According to a B20 analysis, implementing its recommendations to drive trade could support more than 50 million jobs, while closing an infrastructure gap of $15 trillion to $20 trillion could create up to 100 million jobs and generate $6 trillion in economic activity each year.

The recommendations are aimed at structural flexibility; free movement of goods, labour and money; consistent regulation; and anti-corruption. They range from five-year investment targets for infrastructure, to setting up an “infrastructure hub” to help develop pipelines of “bankable” infrastructure projects, winding back non-trade tariff barriers, and making labour markets more flexible.

Really. He wants to reduce non-tariff trade barriers and have consistent regulation?? How come the company of which is he the CEO supported and promoted the Greenpeace policy, giving rise to one of the most trade restrictive and inconsistent laws that Australia has ever had? (the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act) It looks as though he wants a strange kind of “free-trade”.

No doubt the onerous and expensive requirements of the illegal logging regulations will be relatively easy for Bunnings to comply with, but compliance will be very tough for their small business competitors. But perhaps that’s the whole point of it.

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22 Responses to A strange way to promote “free trade”: follow Greenpeace?

  1. MartinG

    winding back non-trade tariff barriers

    You agree this is a good thing and so do I, but….

    How come the company of which is he the CEO supported and promoted the Greenpeace policy, giving rise to one of the most trade restrictive and inconsistent laws that Australia has ever had?

    What pressures did Greenpeace put on the company?

  2. Rodney

    Quite simple really. These regulations are little problem to big business.
    They are a big problem to small business. Thefore big business likes them.

  3. Rohan

    How come the company of which is he the CEO supported and promoted the Greenpeace policy, giving rise to one of the most trade restrictive and inconsistent laws that Australia has ever had? (the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act) It looks as though he wants a strange kind of “free-trade”.

    But Rafe, at Bunnings you can still buy 90mm Merbau decking timber at $2.99 per lineal metre!

  4. JohnA

    Rohan,

    But Rafe, at Bunnings you can still buy 90mm Merbau decking timber at $2.99 per lineal metre!

    Isn’t that the problem? It could be 2.49 at your local small business timber supplier.

  5. Token
    But Rafe, at Bunnings you can still buy 90mm Merbau decking timber at $2.99 per lineal metre!

    Isn’t that the problem? It could be 2.49 at your local small business timber supplier.

    Or rather at Home Depot or Masters (if Woolworths ever gets its act together).

    This is as much to keep the big competitors as the little stores away from their cash cow.

  6. feelthebern

    Goyder is just another limp dick rent seeker.
    Silent on all things during the bullying Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.
    Now his balls drop since the Coalition is in office.
    He is a joke.

  7. H B Bear

    No doubt the onerous and expensive requirements of the illegal logging regulations will be relatively easy for Bunnings to comply with, but compliance will be very tough for their small business competitors. But perhaps that’s the whole point of it.

    See also: Toll Holdings and their TWU union mates.

  8. Boambee John

    “perhaps that’s the whole point of it.”

    Whadda do ya mean “perhaps”?

  9. oldsalt

    Rohan, where’s Bunning’s Merbau sourced from? If sourced from West Papua we have real concerns, not just environmental.

  10. Just A View

    Two further points – I’m told he made all Bunnings people watch the Al Gore movie about climate change and refuses to allow Bunnings to have plastic bags. What more needs to be said?

  11. Rob MW

    (the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act)

    The ‘Illegal Logging Prohibition Act’ eh ? Bit of over-kill given that any breaking of a ‘Prohibition’ would necessarily be ‘Illegal’. I also get amused at the modern term of “Illegal Clearing” quite apart from the fact that “clearing” anything from one’s own property something that the property owner owns should be ‘Illegal’ subject to any clearing being outside of, or more than, either nuance or fraud.

    Although I could go for something like the ‘Illegal Theft by Government & Other Sorted Pricks Prohibition Act’.

  12. Rohan

    oldsalt
    #1403759, posted on August 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Rohan, where’s Bunning’s Merbau sourced from? If sourced from West Papua we have real concerns, not just environmental.

    You are correct Oldsalt. I work in the timber industry and understand the implications. I probably should have used the /sarc tag. Merbau is not just sourced from West Papua, but also from other islands in the Indonesian archipelago and Malaysia. It’s actually 3 species, not one (a bit like Tasmanian Oak/Victoria Ash is 3 species, not one). Until very recently Merbau was almost entirely sourced from illegal forestry.

    A while back on a similar post I commented on the compliance costs now imposed on the local timber industry for product stewardship. It’s a rather difficult task to track a log from when you receive it, to a finished product that gets sent out, but none the less, it’s now a legal requirement. The difficulty lies in that when a log is sawn, it can result in a number of different profiles. Like profiles are sorted and bundled together, dried, then processed into an end use product like decking, cladding, posts etc. Tracking this is a nightmare as a finished pack may contain timber from as many as dozen logs. But track it we must.

  13. oldsalt

    Tnx Rohan.

    The industry only gets tracked when it presents security risks. One of the biggest loggers taking Merbau in WPap, close to Kaimana, selling direct to the PRC, became involved in trafficking weapons to Taylor’s thugs in Liberia, in exchange for access to forestry. Having logged out the Merbau, they converted their base into a giant Port for PRC boats in the Arafura. The boats fished on our side and loaded out to PRC motherships. We put a lot into stopping it in 2006.

  14. Sally Moore

    The Illegal Logging Prohibition law is anti-forestry over-kill. It applies not just to merbau from PNG or teak from south east Asia, but to all timber from New Zealand, Canada, the US, the EU, Australian State forests and also all our private forests and plantations. This is absurd. This government has adopted in entirety, the monstrous law that was the product of the Greens Labor alliance. This law is more likely to net a case of “illegal logging” in a Koala habitat cooked up by green activists, than it will stop some serious, but distant and unknowable crime in Thailand or PNG.

  15. Aristogeiton

    So, having crippled our own forestry industry, people are demanding that overseas logging be ‘tracked’? And the same people wonder why lumber yards have disappeared?

  16. oldsalt

    Aristo, the activities of certain operations, logging or otherwise, should be tracked if they converge with security interests. You’ll find that some operations involved with illegal logging are involved with a plethora of other illegally obtained products, not all benign. Crims are crims. Always best to identify threats early before they cost lives or a lot of money to clean up. The example I mentioned earlier was a consequence of the expansion of PRC markets, resulted in shots fired and PRC threats. The business in Sierra Leone was even worse, but distant.

    The legal clearfelling around Merauke is another example of how environmental abuse can have unforeseen consequences. Cleared, the red soil wasn’t fertile enough for the transmigrants to make a living. The Wet is similar to Weipa’s, with no rootstock and structure erosion carried the soil away down the rivers. Settler women moved into town to make some money and AIDS began to spread from there to PNG.

    The Gaharu trade to Saudi is another that should be tracked.

    I’m more relaxed with Palm Oil plantations. Overall they’ve contributed to reducing poverty although the trafficking of underage labour is an ongoing blight. The Greens would shut this industry down.

  17. Token

    The Greens would shut this industry down.

    Hi Alan

  18. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1404140, posted on August 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm
    The Greens would shut this industry down.

    Hi Alan

    I know you. I remember. You’ve voted Liberal all of your life, but that Tony Abbott…

  19. oldsalt

    Sorry guys, what’s this Alan thing?

  20. Oh come on

    It references a certain kind of talkback caller, oldsalt. The kind that starts with “Hi Alan. Long time listener, first time caller. I’m a rock-ribbed, dyed in the wool Liberal voter, but I have to say that what Tony Abbott is doing to these persecuted boatpeople is just outrageous”. If someone quotes something you’ve said and writes “Hi Alan” underneath, they’re inferring you’re running interference for the left or the ALP.

    I believe the term is a direct descendant of Fisky’s “Gday Lawsy”. But as Lawsy faded from the talkback scene and Alan Jones’s star rose, “Hi Alan” took the place of “Gday Lawsy”.

    Basically, Token is suggesting you’re pseud.

  21. Aristogeiton

    [T]he expenditure/GDP ratio masks the increase in real government spending and the underlying
    size of government, and Treasury advocated adjusting nominal spending for inflation using the CPI—a measure it said ‘more effectively represents the government’s call on real resources.’ Commonwealth budgets have emphasised CPI-adjusted growth rates of spending since 2008

    http://www.cis.org.au/images/stories/policy-magazine/2011-spring/27-3-11-robert-carling.pdf

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