While the economic rationalist might deride these concerns as populist, the people spoke last weekend and they are concerned about our future.
There are three issues which will test the resolve of the new Government to represent the long term interests of Australians, to pay off our national debt and create productive jobs and skills here and reinvigorate our Australian owned manufacturing base. SIGN THE AUSBUY PETITION HERE!
• How can we take advantage of the Asian Century if we do not own the land and the assets and our people are locked out of control of these assets?
• How can our food manufacturers secure and source supply of key commodities if they are owned and controlled by foreign countries and companies?
• How can Australia benefit from Free Trade Agreements if we open our doors to countries that do not meet our standards or they own the assets here and our effectively selling to themselves?
• How can Australia benefit when our tax laws favour foreign interest with just 10% withholding tax on profits which are declared after they have been siphoned off shore in consulting fees and repayment on borrowings?
Three issues are on the table.
1. The sale of Graincorp to the USA owned ADM, which means that Australian grain growers will have little representation for exports. Every major food commodity except rice is controlled beyond the farm gate by foreign interests making our farmers price takers not price makers. The infrastructure assets that Australian farmers invested in will be foreign owned and controlled.
2. The sale of 25 dairy farms to Fonterra and the Chinese in Tasmania which means that the dairy processors there will not have access to the commodity for their own businesses and the export benefits go off shore. Last year New Zealand stopped the sale of 8 dairy farms to the Chinese because it was not in their national interest. Fonterra is the largest dairy company in the word. Australia has not major food companies and the foreign owned global companies either move off shore (Heinz) or threaten to do so and are paid to stay – SPC and Cadbury.
3. The Indonesians want to buy 1.5 million hectares so they can grow cattle on our land for their market. The economic rationalists might say this is competition in and open economy. The countries buying our land do not even let their own citizens buy land. Decisions our Minister made last year threatened the viability of our cattle producers.
We are not saying no to foreign investment, but first give Australians a chance to invest in our own assets, and change the rules of foreign ownership to 49% so there is transparency in the transactions – private companies, countries and companies not registered on our stock exchange are siphon profits off shore before tax and pay only 10% withholding tax on declared profits. Some say these foreign interest are creating jobs, but as is evidenced by closures of factories here which then set up off shore and sell back to us, there is not loyalty to our long term interests. If countries are buying our assets they do not play by the same rules as companies – they are here to stay.
We want our owned businesses to thrive. Only Australian ownership means the decisions, profits jobs skills and reinvestment stay here.
SIGN THE AUSBUY PETITION HERE! Interviews can be arranged with Lynne Wilkinson, CEO of AUSBUY on 0294375455 or 0418314923.