Today the Prime Minister re-announced the Coalition’s planned register of foreign ownership of agricultural land and greater restrictions on foreign investment in agricultural land.
Missing from today’s announcement were details of the Prime Minister’s promised restrictions on foreign investment in residential land, while the Liberals’ and Nationals’ commitment to increase red-tape on investment in agri-business got no mention at all.
Labor supports moves to increase transparency in Australia’s foreign investment regime. That’s why the former Labor Government moved to establish a register of foreign-owned agricultural land.
Lower thresholds on agricultural land will be a red-tape nightmare for potential investors and risk driving investors elsewhere at a time Australian agriculture is hungry for capital.
It is inconceivable that Australia will be able to scale up production to expand our food exports and fully tap into the growing consumer markets of Asia without additional foreign investment.
One of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first decisions was to knock American firm ADM’s bid for GrainCorp on the head.
Prime Minister Abbott and Trade Minister Andrew Robb then travelled the world under the banner “Australia – Open for Business”.
Now, due to pressure on the Prime Minister’s faltering leadership, the Government has re-announced its plan to increase red tape for potential foreign buyers of agricultural land.
When the Government issues more than another cut-and-paste press release Labor will examine the detail of proposed changes to foreign investment rules.
WEDNESDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2015
Joint media release
CHRIS BOWEN MP
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
SPOKESPERSON FOR COUNTRY CAUCUS
MEMBER FOR HUNTER