I am frequently appalled at the simplistic approach of those who label criticism of foreign purchase of farm lands as “xenophobic”. They don’t seem to grasp that we’re talking about something much bigger than the Marxist generated idea of “racism”.
In Australia today, the CEO of the biggest grain co-operative CBH Group has called for greater scrutiny over foreign investment in the country’s agricultural industry.
At the annual conference of Australia’s agricultural forecaster ABARES, Mr. Andrew Crane called for a test to be applied to all foreign farm purchases, to establish whether the sale was beneficial to Australia or not. He suggested the principle of the test should be “is this sale contributing to the long time sustainability of efficient farms in Australia?”
Earlier this year, the Federal Government increased scrutiny of foreign investment in Australian farmland by lowering the limit at which Foreign Investment Board approval is needed from $252 million to $15 million.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told the ABARES conference that the long-awaited white paper on agriculture was imminent.
Time for those NZers who label critics of the NZ govt policy as xenophobic to get real. If the Australian Liberal Party is concerned enough to be taking action, what’s wrong with National? I can’t see that selling NZ’s farms out to the Communist Chinese government and or its corrupt cronyists could ever pass the test Australia is thinking of applying.
There is a difference between free trade and maintaining the security of the realm.