Senator The Hon Ron Boswell :
Played a key role in securing around $5 billion worth of telecommunications infrastructure, funding and services for regional communities, including untimed local call access, hundreds of additional mobile phone towers, internet into many remote homesteads for the cost of a local call, and now the roll out of high speed internet services and the $2 billion perpetual rural telecommunications fund..
- Has fought to protect local small businesses such as newsagencies, taxi operators, hoteliers and pharmacies from full deregulation and secured the Prime Minister’s and Deputy Prime Minister’s continuing opposition to allowing pharmacies to be incorporated into supermarkets.
- Is an ardent campaigner for a strong and viable ethanol industry to be established in Queensland. Senator Boswell was the first politician to suggest flexible volumetric targets for biofuel use in Australia, which has led to a commitment by the oil industry to the Government’s 350 million litre target by 2010. He was nstrumental in achieving excise free status for alternative fuels including ethanol, biodiesel and LPG until 2011 with a reduced rate of excise from 2015.
- Is a strong supporter of the sugar industry and has helped deliver various assistance packages to the industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Prevented the abolition of Tax Act Section 120 (1) (c) which would have put rural co-operatives such as Golden Circle, co-op sugar mills and dairy co-ops at financial and competitive disadvantage. Without this, the co-op structure would have ceased to exist by now.
- Helped the Queensland dairy industry get authorisation to negotiate with processors and was instrumental in delivering the $1.6 billion Federal Dairy Structural Adjustment Package to assist after the state-based deregulation in 2000.
- Has a long history of working with Queensland’s fishing industries, including securing $220 million in restructure assistance for fishermen affected by new conservation areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. He also helped negotiate a buyout policy for licences in the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery that had to be transferred back to Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands. He fought for a 20% premium on grants for business restructuring under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Restructure Package and delivered a $10.7 million buyout offer for Torres Strait line fishermen in cooperation with the Queensland Seafood Industry Association. Many issues for both commercial and recreational fishing industries are ongoing, and Senator Boswell’s participation in negotiations on their behalf continues.
- Lobbied to secure a Government commitment to a Mandatory Code of Conduct for the horticulture industry to offer greater certainty, transparency and clarity to the transactions that take place between wholesalers and growers in fruit and veg markets. The Mandatory code was introduced recently and Senator Boswell has assisted in working to iron out some of the teething problems being experienced by fruit and vegetable growers.
- Is a continuing campaigner supporting better, clearer product labelling for imported fresh and packaged food.- Was responsible for setting up an inquiry into the retail sector which led to a Retail Industry Code of Conductand an Ombudsman to take up cases for small business.
- Instigated changes to the Trade Practices Act to prohibit mergers or takeovers which substantially reduce competition in a substantial market. Without this, there would have been many mergers and increased domination in many markets. Senator Boswell was also a key player in negotiating changes to the Trade Practices Act to enable small businesses and farmers to access a cheaper, faster and easier process to enable them to collectively bargain. In cooperation with the Treasuer, Peter Costello, legislation has recently passed the Parliament to amend Sections 46 and 51 of the Trade Practices Act to better protect small busienss from the practices of Misuse of Market Power (including Predatory Pricing) and Unconscionable Conduct by their competitors.
- Led the charge defending the banana industry in their efforts to ensure the right scientific processes are in place to assess the level of disease risk on the proposed importation of Philippines bananas. This scientific analysis will determine whether Philippines bananas pose too great a risk for our disease-free industry.
- Was a key figure in the establishment of the Super Yacht industry which has created jobs along the Queensland coast. In Queensland alone, the industry directly injects an estimated $100 million each year from visitations and approximately $25 million each year from boats under construction. The construction, repair and servicing of these super yachts is a new and lucrative industry for Queensland and Australia.
- Provides a conservative voice on social issues. Senator Boswell has been working to provide real data on the 90,000 abortions performed in Australia each year (he opposed the legalistaion of abortion drug RU486), to maintain a ban on gay marriage and continue the definition of a marriage as being between a man and a woman, and to shift scientific research focus from embryonic stem cells to safer, more successful adult stem cells. He recently secured a $22 million Commonwealth grant to establish a world first dedicated Adult Stem Cell Centre at Griffith Univeristy in Brisbane.