Foreign ownership is an emotive issue, while it is all well and good for people to say we should not have any foreign ownership of our farming land, we would prefer that there was no actual ownership by foreign entities allowed, investment yes, ownership of a percentage of a property no, but the reality is, successive major party governments have put us in a situation where, at this stage, it is a necessary evil.
Because of the raft of bureaucratic hurdles in unnecessary red tape, regulation and costs imposed by successive governments, without the foreign ownership component of some properties, they would not be functioning, and the many jobs, both direct and indirect that rely on the presence of these farms, would not be there, this in turn would be the end of the small rural communities nearby.
So for now, if people have any regard or care for these Australian jobs and small rural communities, the current arrangements with regards to foreign ownership are necessary, all levels of government need to seriously look at how they are killing of the ability of Australians to compete in the local property market, and remain viable as farming ventures.
While it would be much better if there was less foreign ownership component of our farming land and water, what we need is for the government to stop inhibiting farmers and agriculture with their mountains of unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, regulation and associated costs, this would be a good start to seeing an increase in Australian ownership of farms.
The government needs to start looking at ways to reduce the foreign ownership component of farming land and water, however this has to be undertaken, so as not to cause further hurt to the many already struggling Australians and rural communities that rely on these partly foreign owned farms for their survival, any initiatives need to be practical, structured and planned to ensure agriculture and Australians are not further compromised.
- We believe that 50% Foreign ownership of Australian agricultural enterprises is excessive and should be lower.
- We believe that a system that would still attract the same level of financial contribution and at the same time reduce the ownership content, would be to allow foreign ownership to a maximum level of 30%, provided the foreign entity also contribute a set amount of funding for agricultural value adding enterprises in rural communities and or research and development.
- We believe that there needs to be investigation into ways to reduce the foreign ownership component of farming land and water, however this has to be undertaken, so as not to cause further hurt to the many already struggling Australians and rural communities that rely on these partly foreign owned farms for their survival, any initiatives need to be practical, structured and planned to ensure agriculture and Australians are not further compromised.
- We believe that all levels of government need to seriously look at the raft of unnecessary and onerous legislative and policy restrictions and bureaucratic costs, this red tape and associated costs is significantly preventing Australians from being competitive with foreign buyers in our own country, our governments should be looking at agriculture, business and industry as a number one priority, not treating these sectors as a door mat, as they currently are.