Not only has the Turnbull Government broken another promise by failing to produce a publicly available detailed foreign ownership register for agricultural land, Barnaby Joyce is telling porkies about their promise.
On 29 June 2015, the then Treasurer and Barnaby Joyce put out a media release stating that:
“The ATO will collect information such as the location and size of property and size of interest acquired on new foreign investment in agricultural land to develop a national register. This data will be made available to the public from 2016.
Foreign investment is integral to Australia’s economy. It contributes to growth, productivity and creates jobs, but the community must have confidence that this investment is for our nation’s benefit.
The new register will strengthen reporting requirements and provide a clear and accessible picture of foreign ownership of agricultural land.”
Yet, Joyce in today's Australian newspaper said that:-
“The intention with the agricultural land register was always to only publish aggregated data to protect the privacy of investors,’’ he said. “It was never the intention to provide detailed commercial-in-confidence data as public information; (what we are) delivering is absolutely consistent with the commitments the -Coalition made prior to the 2013 election.”
Joyce in the Parliament on 16 September 16, 2015 said that:
"We have already started the passage of this: as of 1 July, the Australian Taxation Office will start delivering the information so that Australian people can basically see who owns what. That will either dispel people's concerns, or maybe, in some instances, it could confirm people's concerns. One of the most sacred duties we have is the proper oversight.
"In conclusion, we are proud of the changes to our Foreign Investment Review Board guidelines, because we believe in the right of the Australian people to understand who owns what. We reacted to what they have asked of us and we have delivered by bringing about these changes. Soon it will be discernible for all—like a Terrence Alick map, which you get in Queensland, that notes all properties—to see who owns what".
Another day, another broken promise.
SATURDAY, 2 APRIL 2016