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What can I do as an Independent in relation for destructive free trade negotiations?
Free trade agreements have never been good to Australia or its sovereignty, but if elected there is no chance I can change this overnight, in the same way I consider all primary producers, farms and essential infrastructure as strategic assists that should remain Australian ownership, I will not be able to stop the sales immediately or somehow by back the farm overnight, so to speak.
But I will promise to fight for the change you want and the country needs, and I will be a strong voice for reform.
The Coalition government has negotiated poorly in the South Korea, Japan and China free trade agreements, conceding far more than our trading partners. They have struck deals at any cost, going for quantity, not quality, so as much as I am against the present structural basis of free trade agreements, until we can overcome them, we must at least ensure they work in our favour.
The result of the government’s present policy is evident in Australia's huge current account deficits. In 2015, Australia exported just under $100 billion in total value of manufactured products, but imported $246 billion, and the deficient level is rising.
This deficit in manufacturing and export is the biggest single contributor to Australia's ongoing current account deficits which has driven our rising international debt, now exceeding $1 trillion, debt we will take years of sacrifice to pay off, unless we can restructure how we do business on an international level.
I want Australia to adopt a much more strategic approach to trade and industry policy.
We need much greater parliamentary scrutiny of our trade negotiations, urging assessments of the costs and benefits by independent bodies such as the Productivity Commission, in a transparent and accountable manner.
It is also pertinent to argue for an overhaul of government procurement laws to ensure the Australian, state and local governments take into account the social and economic benefits of local procurement, to ensure they invest our dwindling tax payer funds back into our economy as a primary concern.
I will also promote local investment at every level including the small business sector right down to consumer spending practices.
We need the Australian government to look at the wider national interest in supporting a diverse economy in our trade negotiations and while ensuring local procurement for all infrastructure projects.
Free trade has not been close to free for Australia, the cost has been massive, to jobs, export opportunities and national security.
A vote for me as an independent may not result in immediate results on issues like free trade, but I can be a ripple that results in a wave of change, but I can assure you, I will bring results for my electorate on a variety of fronts, which will enviably include local protections for our primary producers, improved employment opportunities and an increase in a raft of local services.
I will admit from the onset, I am loud, I do not back down and I will find a way to bring change from the moment I take office, and if I am not successful in being elected, any funding raised as a result of your votes, will be invested back into the community, and my history supports that statement 100%.
So a vote for me cannot be a wasted vote, because I never waste an opportunity to help my community, and I always stand behind my promises. I have achieved a lot in recent times, for the community, for our farmers and producers and for those in need, even during disasters without needing a cent of your hard earned money.
So if you are to trust someone with your valuable vote, and all its worth, judge me on who I am and what I do, rather than promises from parties that rarely deliver.
There is no need to fear change, or putting your trust in a person who thinks outside the square, because you all know the current direction of this once leading nation is way too far of the path, to allow it to continue that way for any longer.
Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin………a difference.