Labor to sell the farm to foreigners
Labor’s foreign ownership policy means every farm in the north coast could be sold off without any scrutiny, Minister for Regional Development and Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash said today.
Speaking in Lismore, Minister Nash said the Saffin-Shorten Labor Party would axe the checks currently in place to see whether the sell-off of local farmland was in Australia’s national interest.
Only foreign sell-offs of farms worth more than a whopping $50 million would be checked.
“Saffin-Shorten Labor wants to stop scrutiny of foreign buy-ups of farmland in Page,” Minister Nash said.
“We want to sell the produce, not the farm.
“Under Saffin-Shorten Labor, the government wouldn’t even look at any foreign farm sell-off of less than $50 million. As we know, there probably isn’t a farm in the region worth $50 million. This just shows how out of touch the Saffin-Shorten Labor is. Does Saffin-Shorten Labor really think farms in the north coast are worth $50 million?
“Under Saffin-Shorten Labor, a foreign company could buy every farm between Coffs and Kyogle without anyone even asking if those sales were in the national interest. They could buy a new farm every day until they owned every last farm in the region. They could start buying farms at Coffs, the Clarence Valley, the Richmond Valley, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle and Bonalbo, yet not one of those farm sales would have been checked to see if it were in Australia’s interests.
“Interestingly, a recent survey showed even Chinese Australians did not favour unchecked foreign sales of our farmland. A Lowy Institute survey showed 87 per cent of Australians are opposed to selling our farms to foreign companies.
“Saffin-Shorten Labor needs to explain why they think they can allow this foreign farm sell off when the Australian people hate the idea.
“The people of Page clearly don’t want our local farms sold off to foreigners without any checks and balances, and the Saffin-Shorten Labor needs to explain why they think they know better.”