Caroline Baker 0

Stop Selling Australia- reform our foreign ownership laws

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I am calling on you to help reform our sales of land to foreign investors:

  • by greatly reducing the quantity of land in a single purchase,
  • setting a ownership limit
  • constructing some strategic constraints on the place of purchase.

Australia’s largest rural land holding (the Kidman holdings) is up for sale (see map). As a citizen of Australia this and many other sales deeply concerns me. If we sell our land to foreigners we cannot dictate that they employ Australians, or who they sell their produce to. One large Chinese investor was quoted as saying "A key aim of Dashang Group's investments in Australian agriculture is to provide Chinese consumers with the highest-quality Australian beef” It is evident that the foreign companies have worked out that we don’t have a say, surely it is time that our governments did too! Once we have sold the land it is gone forever!

In doing an internet search on foreign holdings in Australia I also discovered that China has a large amount of land on our northern boarder. With the port of Darwin leased to China for 100 years and other land holdings it will make it very hard to defend ourselves if a war occurs – god forbid. Worse still what if the war is between China and America. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but a lot can happen in a hundred years, we are now on friendly terms with Japan and Germany who were our sworn enemies.

With the world population growing at such a rapid rate our land is essential for the production of food. If we have the land we can put ourselves in a very good position to feed the world and strengthen our economy, but the government is sending us backward. We will be a country crying out for the food even though we are surrounded by the foreigners “making hay” in our backyard!

Here are some foreign owned land holdings that I identified in a short search - this is by no means a comprehensive list.

  • Shandong Ruyi, China owns Australia’s biggest cotton farm Cubbie Station (Qld)- 96,000 hectares
  • “The US rejected Chinese investment and the US president ticked off our prime minister for not consulting America before leasing Darwin harbour to a Chinese company.” That’s right we leased our harbor for 100 years!
  • Hassad Foods” (from Quatar) has 6800 hectares of sheep grazing land in Canowindra in New South Wales plus other holdings in Qld and Vic .“
  • In the south-east of Australia, Brazilian beef giant JBS has been busy buying up abattoirs and meat works.
  • Singapore-based Olam International now control almost 45% of Australian almonds — thanks to its purchase of Timbercorp and its 8096-hectare plantation.
  • China owns 705,700 hectares (Wenworth &Woologrong stations) close to the gulf of Carpentaria coastline
  • China owns Elizabeth Downs 205,000 hectare property 300 k south of Darwin
  • Sultan of Bhutan owns 232,000 hectare Willeroo Station
  • Yiang Xiang Assets Pty Ltd China own 205,000ha hectare Riverena and Bunda station
  • Dashang group China owns 1100-hectare rural property Clear Hills near Captains Flat outside Canberra and .30,868-hectare Glenrock Station
  • Shenua Watermark, China purchase 19,500 hectare prime agricultural land of the Liverpool plains for a coal mine.
  • Global forest partners based in Lebanon investors own 300,000 hectares under pine forest at Bombala NSW.

Refrences

M Cranston. Aug 24 2015. “Dashang Group beef up Australian rural land expansion” AFR Weekend

2(No author stated), Oct 3rd 2015,”Foreign takeovers in Australia, Selling the farm -The prospect of foreign ownership of two giant agri-businesses causes alarm, The economist.

3 S Grenville, 24 November 2015 10:00AM “The interpreter, Chinese investment in Australia: Sometimes it makes sense to sell the farm”, The interpreter

4Mark M Aldridge, 2012, AUSTRALIA----NOT-FOR-SALE-.html http://www.markmaldridge.com/

5Tom Cowie, Jun 16, 2011,Foreign ownership of Aussie land: the peril of selling the farm, www. Crikey.com.au

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