There’s no doubt about the Abbott Opposition: they are all over the shop when it comes to policy-making. Policies are written either on the run or on the back of an envelope.
Take their latest thought bubble.
In a discussion paper released today the Coalition proposes the sale of farmland and agribusinesses be examined particularly closely, suggesting the Foreign Investment Review Board scrutinise all foreign acquisitions of agricultural land valued at over $15 million. The current threshold is $244 million.
As an aside, the wording in the ‘supportive’ Murdoch media is a bit misleading. See if you can spot the difference.
. . . the release of a Coalition discussion paper that suggests slashing the foreign investment threshold to $53 million from $244 million for offshore buyers wanting to acquire agricultural assets.
Maybe the Murdoch media needed to leave out a ‘minor’ detail in order to sell the proposal, which, incidentally, will save the country from the great ruin the Gillard Government has deviously planned for us. Please try not to laugh at this from the above link:
South Australia’s food supplies will be increasingly at risk unless Julia Gillard adopts the Opposition’s new measures on the sale of farms to foreign investors, farmers warn.
Yes, the sky is still going to fall in.
Yet most people think the sky is going to fall in on this proposal. Take, for example, the views of David Farley, the chief executive of Australian Agricultural Company:
“The Coalition partners, the Nationals, should actually study agriculture a bit more closely and understand what is needed to develop the industry in Australia.
“I am concerned that it is shouting out a xenophobic view rather than an informed view about what is best for the local industry,” Mr Farley said.
Mr Farley said there were was “plenty” of capital available to invest in Australian Agriculture, both through the trillion dollar domestic superannuation system and foreign investors.
“There are already enough hurdles to agricultural development in Australia, why put further barriers in place?
“If the pathways for Australian capital into agriculture are not attractive enough we definitely need to make sure that it is for international investors.”
Mr Farley said that as a major agricultural producer Australia had “big job to do’ over the next 20 years to meet the food needs of a global population tipped to reach nine billion people.
It does appear to be policy on the run. Populist policy it so appears. Just another thought bubble policy. A policy so bad that not even Joe Hockey could defend it, let alone explain it.
As at 2010 foreign ownership of agricultural land in Australia was a mere 6 per cent. If the Gillard Government don’t do anything about this then the good folk of South Australia will suffer from the affects of malnutrition and possibly scurvy. Last month only Whyalla was at risk. Now it’s the whole state. The people should leave now. Get out while you can!
Now here is something to consider: The Coalition have been predicting that the Mining Resources Tax (MRT) would deter foreign investment in Australia? And isn’t it a surprise to learn that the mining industry in Australia is 83 per cent foreign owned.
What isn’t surprising is the Opposition’s hypocrisy.
On the run they are producing policies that are promoted with the prediction that the country will be ruined if foreign ownership isn’t controlled, yet they oppose Government policies that they predict – unfounded – that will deter foreign ownership.
This latest policy, as the above links show (with the exception of the Murdoch sources), is a dud. Hypocrites and policies don’t marry up too well.
What more can I say?