Joint Media Release - Chris Bowen MP & Joel Fitzgibbon MP
The Abbott Government must immediately respond to the declaration by Foreign Investment Review Board Chairman Brian Wilson that its decision to block the ADM takeover of GrainCorp was a political one.
The Treasurer’s rejection of the ADM bid for GrainCorp was the first test of the Abbott Government’s ‘open for business’ promise.
In direct conflict from its pre-election pledge, last November’s decision to block the $3.4 billion bid continues to have reverberations throughout the grains industry and the agriculture sector more generally.
Treasurer Joe Hockey never properly explained the decision but we now appear to have confirmation it was one based on political expediency alone.
The frank admission by the FIRB Chairman underscores the fact this decision was not one made in the national interest, but in the National’s interest.
The decision sent all the wrong signals to the international investment community at a time when Australian agriculture desperately needs investment to take advantage of the Asia-led mining boom.
Furthermore, the Abbott Government’s lack of delivery on establishing a national register of foreign ownership of agricultural land adds to the lack of transparency and long list of broken promises which are impacting on investor confidence.
When in Government Labor committed to establishing a national register of foreign ownership of agricultural land because we understood that foreign investment in the agriculture sector brings significant benefits to Australia and opportunities for Australian farmers.
TUESDAY, 10 JUNE 2014