Did anybody see this in The Australian a few days ago? Here are some key points:
Indonesia’s biggest importer of live cattle from Australia, the Santori company, has just announced the purchase of two massive cattle properties in the Northern Territory.
The sale comes just a day after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott concluded his first talks in Jakarta with his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Mr Abbott made it clear Australia would welcome any investment by Indonesian companies, including government-owned businesses, in Australian cattle stations . . .
Tony Abbott has certainly kept his word. It was recently announced that:
Tony Abbott has put investment and free trade at the centre of the Coalition’s agenda to reignite economic growth by warning that other countries would “build walls against us” if the nation cracked down on foreign capital.
In a news conference to announce his government frontbench, Mr Abbott said: “I want people here and abroad to understand that Australia welcomes foreign investment. It’s got to be the right foreign investment, which is in our national interest, but one thing we can’t do is build walls against the world.”
But wait! Prior to the election Tony Abbott and the Coalition were against foreign ownership of agricultural property. Last August in their own discussion paper they stated:
. . . 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.
And the Murdoch media even jumped in with it’s undying support:
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.
And of course, Tony Abbott was at pains to tell us how much he was against foreign ownership.
Now we hear that he wants to attract foreign investment.
What ever made him change his mind?