The Chinese Government is buying Australian farms to directly feed its population. Farm buy-ups were not referred to the FIRB unless they were worth more than $320 million! So, unless the farm property is under this amount, it just becomes "international" land! Unease about global food shortages in the next 20 years - and long term agricultural market opportunities - have made Australia and areas of South America prized targets for foreign government-aided enterprises and private investor groups.“Racism” is justified sometimes
Now is the time for some real and justified "racism"!
The Chinese Government is buying Australian farms to directly feed its population.
The purchases are not monitored by the Foreign Investment Review Board, according to Senator Bill Heffernan. Farm buy-ups were not referred to the FIRB unless they were worth more than $320 million! So, unless the farm property is under this amount, it just becomes "international" land!
The highest bidder should be scrutinised! Any agents for the Chinese government or nationals should be rejected.
Just how many farms are worth more than $320 million anyway? What about our food security in the face of climate change threats, which Kevin Rudd has dismissed?
In March, 2009, visitors on temporary visas, such as business owners and foreign students, were allowed to purchase any home to live in, land to build on or new dwellings for investment purposes.
The change saw Chinese money in particular being poured into blue-ribbon Melbourne real estate, as both a way of safeguarding wealth and advancing hopes of migration. Suburbs such as Elwood, Hawthorn and Caulfield North all returned to the $1 million median price club and experienced quarterly growth in excess of 20 per cent. Although the Government announced in April this year that it would adopt a more stringent approval process, experts claim the latest changes will have little effect on the market. Opposition finance spokesman Joe Hockey said it was clear that foreign investment was having an upward impact on housing prices. The same will happen with farming land prices, and food!
China land grabs
Unease about global food shortages in the next 20 years - and long term agricultural market opportunities - have made Australia and areas of South America prized targets for foreign government-aided enterprises and private investor groups.
Africa has also been the focus of a significant land grab, particularly by overseas government-owned investment corporations from China and the Middle East.
So far there were only anecdotal reports of Chinese agricultural investment but Senator Heffernan quoted research by Professor Zhangyue Zhou of the School of Business at Townsville's James Cook University. He believes the produce would be sent back to China from farms now being purchased.
There are reports of significant Chinese interest in Tasmanian dairy farms. The Chinese would never allow this in their own market!
The key focus of foreign investment has been China in the past two years, but direct investment from Japan to Australia hit $36 billion in 2008, up more than 50 per on 2006 levels, and is predicted to keep growing. A table of Australian acquisitions by Japanese companies compiled by law firm Blake Dawson lists 25 major plays since the start of 2007, totalling almost $18bn.
The two largest investments were Japanese brewing giant Kirin's takeovers of Lion Nathan ($3.3bn) and National Foods ($2.9bn). (The irony is not lost that our "National Foods" is not owned by our own nation!)
Others in this sector included Asahi's takeover of Schweppes and Suntory's takeover of Frucor.
Corporate heavyweight Mitsui paid $100 million for a 49 per cent stake in Australia's fourth uranium mine. Mitsui also owns the Bald Hills wind farm in Victoria. They are not likely to be concerned about losing Australian wildlife, like the Orange-bellied parrot!
In the 1970s, India dramatically increased food production, finally allowing this giant country to feed itself. But government efforts to continue that miracle by encouraging farmers to use fertilisers have backfired, forcing the country to expand its reliance on imported food. The overuse of one type - urea - is so degrading the soil that yields on some crops are falling and import levels are rising.
In Western Australia we've got an Indian-government backed company planning to build a fertiliser plant which will be committed, as part of its financial arrangements, to sending 90pc of its production back to India.
In 2006 India invested $2.2 billion in Australia, up from $1.1 billion in 2005.
Hindalco Minerals, a subsidiary of giant Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla, bought Western Australian copper miner Western Minerals. Aditya Birla Minerals Limited is now listed on the Australian stock market.
Another Indian group, Bhushan Steel, holds a 10 per cent stake and a board seat on Queensland coal miner Bowen Energy.
The difference is that the Indian companies are privately owned while the Chinese investors have a much more opaque relationship with China's government.
Lack of patriotism
This is a direct result of Australians not sticking up for Australians. It is high time we had a more nationalistic agenda. If farms are being sold 'cheap' it is all thanks to the ALP in various states, devaluing the farmers hard work and assets. Add to the fact the total lack of reliable services in rural areas, like water, electricity and health hardly attracts people to the bush. The Chinese take, take, take from the Australians thanks to our weak leaders like Kevin Rudd and now its just like that old adage....give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
The irony is that thousands of farmers are walking off the land, due to financial difficulty because they cannot compete with cheap imported food, so the Chinese buy up our land grow huge amounts of food, ship it off to China and most likely export it back to Australia and in turn more Australian farmers walk off their land and most likely sell it to the Chinese again.
For the first time in history we have a Chinese-Mandarin speaking Prime Minister more focused on helping China's growth and food security than actually helping Australia! Ironically, farmers are also being forced to sell their land due to sky-rocketing rates to make land available for property developers.
'Modern' Australia has the worst record in the world for species extinction. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, there are more endangered plants and animals in Australia than most of the rest of the world. Records of recently extinct species in Asia show 71 species that have disappeared in the wild. Examples include the Yunnan lake newt (Cynops wolterstorffi) from China, the Bonin thrush (Zoothera terrestris) from Japan, or the redtailed black shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) from Thailand. They are hardly going to have any concern about our so-called "pest" Australian native species!
Looming food crisis
We need to increase food output by 70 per cent by 2050 to meet the global food crisis. There needs to be money for helping farmers to adapt and manage climate change, and for meaningful water initiatives.
Professor Cribb, Science writer and former head of CSIRO media, told a recent Senate enquiry in Canberra that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation last year revealed investments in the order of $80 billion a year in agriculture were needed to help meet the needs of a global food challenge. By 2050 there will be about 10 billion people on the planet to feed!
We seriously lack patriotism and vision in Australia and we are too willing to the highest bidder - something we will regret! It is time the taboo on "racism" be lifted to protect Australian interests.
Population growth is being used as an industry to keep our economy strong through building up the property markets. What happens when all our mining resources finally run out? With almost no manufacturing sector, all our farms foreign-owned, will we turn into a third-world economy overnight.
China will have a perfect pretext to attack and invade Australia in order to allegedly protect its legally purchased acquisitions and the Chinese people who now own them.
Why spend so much on Defence when the potential enemy is already invading by stealth? Australia will become an economic subset of China and Chinese citizens will be given unlimited access to move to Australia to look after their interests and eventually, if Chinese buy even more Australian assets, and they have the money to do so, what is to stop Australia will becoming a Chinese province?
Georgina Canell... (not verified)
Mon, 2010-06-21 12:53
This is so so outrageous -
Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2013-12-08 22:39
... and China is now making our vaccines
... come on is this Australia or soon to be CHINA?
Anonymous (not verified)
Tue, 2010-06-22 22:35
Keep an eye out for who is
Thu, 2010-06-24 14:03
Senator Bill Heffernan's warnings to the Senate
According to the UN, the world must produce 70% more food to feed the population by 2050! This unlikely to happen, and thanks to the policies of our Rudd government, Australia's ability to provide food for ourselves and export markets could be damaged.
Senator Bill Heffernan, Food Security SPEECH
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
According to the science—all science has vagaries though—50 per cent of the world’s population could be poor for water; one billion people could be unable to feed themselves; 30 per cent of the productive land in Asia, where two thirds of the world’s population will live, could be out of production due to urbanisation and climate change.
China is through the denial phase. By 2050 they will have 400 million people living off the Great Northern Aquifer, which is being irretrievably mined..... China and India are going into some of the poorer countries and buying some of the better agricultural land—not to feed the poorer countries but to export the production from that land back to their countries to feed themselves.
Fair enough, but We need to know who owns our agricultural land. China will have the capacity to feed only one-third of its population by 2070, so obviously they will be on the march around the world.
It should not be at the expense of our own food security!
This is not about farmers getting the best price for their land, which is the opposite argument being put by people who doubt the wisdom of protecting our
sovereignty through controlling and having knowledge of who is acquiring our agricultural resources.
Our own Murray Darling food bowl is already compromised and damaged by drought and over allocation of water for unsustainable farming.
If the science on Australia’s weather is 40 per cent correct then we will absolutely have to reconfigure the way we have settled and the way we do our business in regional and rural Australia.
To put that into context, at the present time, as Senator Faulkner would know, there is about $1.8 trillion being spent annually on defence around the globe. So we are all worrying about defence but not about how we are going to feed ourselves.
Exactly, why buy 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at $60 million each when the potential enemy is already a large property owner of Australian production land?
This is a serious issue for Australia. I would like to put it firmly on the radar and get ordinary Australians to think about this.
Well said Mr Heffernan!
Fri, 2010-07-30 08:19
Our land belongs to us - Australians!
Fri, 2010-07-30 17:40
Rice is a selfish thirsty crop unsustainable in Australia
Fri, 2010-07-30 17:54
Australian sovereignty needs to be an ongoing election issue
Australian sovereignty needs to be an ongoing election issue. Immigration, foreign ownership of Australia's natural resources, arable land and public assets; environmental damage by foreign corporations, foreign whaling in Australian waters, illegal immigrants and foreigners taking Australian jobs and making housing unaffordable to ordinary Australians are all issues of Australian sovereignty.
The Nationals and Greens are right that all foreign purchases of land, water and natural resources must be registered. But don't just record it, restrict it. Put conditions on it, put limits on it. Try being a foreigner in China and purchasing land and see how far you get! The LibLabs are selling the national farm and are making Australia a mug in the eyes of the world.
If only the Nationals and the Greens could compromise, their coalition would be the best outcome for all Australians and the natural environment.
LibLab are 20th Century 'has-been' self-centric boomers. They are elitist city-centric growthists pandering to big business, to property developers, to foreigners and to the US - i.e all their wealthy mates!
The narrow-minded cult of globalisation seeks to undo all Australia's national independence and competitive advantage. It would have Australia abandon all import tariffs, abandon the visa system, adopt the US dollar as our currency, wind up border protection and quarantine, adopt the US constitution and become the 53rd state of the US! Then the Republicrats* would send all their illegals and unwanteds here! The British in the 18th Century euphenistically labelled it 'transportation'.
May be we need an Australian Sovereignty Party.
They'd get my vote every time!
* Republicrats is the term that recognises the US Republican Party and the Democratic Party as being two factions of the boomer growthist pro-globalisation ideology - equivalent to the Australian LibLabs.
Milly (not verified)
Fri, 2010-07-30 18:03
Livestock is much more prolific water guzzler than rice
Sun, 2010-08-01 10:41
Phase out high irrigation-dependent agriculture on marginal land
Re: Milly's comment above 'Livestock is much more prolific water guzzler than rice'[30th July 2010]:
Australia's three key agricultural issues are:
1. Not just the water usage by agriculture per se, but the relative water volume diverted from natural river flows and downstream dependent ecosystems by irrigation. (e.g. sugar cane in coastal Far North Queensland receives high rainfall and so although a high water user, would not impact ecology to the extent that cotton or rice does in marginal rainfall areas like the Murray Darling);
2. The selfish planting of crop types that are thirsty, fertiliser-dependent (polluting) and high energy demanding in locations that are environentally marginal and cause considerable adverse impact to ecology;
3. The sale of Australia's large unsustainable agricultural businesses to foreigners, making Australia beholden to foreign interests in the pursuit of ecologically unsustainable agriculture.
The message is to start phasing out high irrigation-dependent agriculture on marginal land. It is killing Australia's ecology. It is artificial and inappropriate and when triple bottom line costed, it is unprofitable.
Yes, it is indeed worth analysing which crops and pasture are extravagant irrigated water users (not just rainwater users), making such crops and pastures unsustainable in the fragile marginal areas of Australia.
Dairy and livestock may well use more water than rice, but is this water sourced as rainfall? If so it may not be as big an impact.
Whereas, rice such as that grown at Cubby Station is located in marginal land in the Murray-Darling basin and is wholly dependent on irrigation. Such irrigation saps the life giving natural water flows into the Murray-Darling.
Conversely, dairy in high rainfall areas of Victorian and NSW may not be causing the same degree of environmental impact. This is worth investigation, since it is not just the absolute water usage per se, but the percentage of water usage relative to the natural intermittent and seasonal needs of dependent natural systems.
Milly, it would be beneficial to quote your data sources, else how do we know the accuracy of your stated figures?.
One reliable source of agricultural statistics in respect to water use is the Australian Government's Natural Water Commission.
On its website under the heading of Agricultural Water Use, it provides rather old figures from 2005, yet these may not have changed significantly in the subsequent five years so probably prove useful indicators.
In summary it highlights:
A. Australian agriculture accounts for 65% all human water consumption
B. 91% of this water is used for irrigation of crops and pastures, while 9% is used for livestock, dairy, piggeries, etc.
C. Rice and cotton crops have significantly reduced 3/4 in Australia due to less water availability and drought
D. While high users of water such as livestock/pasture/grains took 36% of the irrigated water, they contributed only 4% of the gross value of Australia's total agricultural production. Whereas vegetables used 4% of irrigation yet contributed 21% toward Australia's gross agricultural production.
[Source: Water Account, Australia, 2004–05]
This begs the questions: Why allocate a high percentage of Australia's scarce valuable irrigated water to low yielding choices of agriculture?
Also, why allocate Australia's scarce valuable irrigated water to crop types that are no essential such as grapes?
Why allocate Australia's scarce valuable irrigated water to crops grown in marginal lands that cause high impact on Australia's fragile ecosystems, when such crops are more naturally and sustainably grown overseas? To do otherwise is not only unsustainable, it is selfish.
Agriculture should not be grown in fragile marginal lands where rainfall is inadequate to sustain them. Irrigation should only be an emergency support not the core life-giving source to crops.
Milly (not verified)
Sun, 2010-08-01 14:56
Dairy industry is the largest water user
ABARE: Water use in the dairy processing industry "it should be noted in that period (2004/5) the largest water use within the agriculture industry was for dairy farming which used 1,710 GL or 52% of total agricultural water use, and that agriculture overall accounted for 66% of total Victorian water consumption....
Some dairy plants are located in communities without abundant potable water sources and can have a major draw on the local fresh water resources."
"The largest uses of water within the agriculture industry (WA) were for livestock (156 GL), sugar (152 GL), dairy farming (54 GL) and vegetables (52 GL)". See other States too!
Mon, 2010-08-02 13:57
SPCA: Calf killing could harm dairy reputation
Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2010-09-12 22:37
Sun, 2010-09-12 23:25
Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2010-09-12 23:16
Our Land Australia