With the decision imminent on whether Australia will allow its largest grain transporter, Graincorp, to be sold for $3.4b to an international company, it seems timely to ask everyone here what they think about foreign ownership of Australian agriculture businesses.
Less than 1% of Australian agribusiness assets are today owned by foreign interests but our fear of selling the farm or the farm logistics to someone outside Australia seems great for some. We want to know how you feel.
And is there a difference between selling an existing, powerful Australian owned and built company to an international company or a plot of land on which a Foreign company can come in and invest heavily to create a foreign owned Agribusiness? That is, a company might be blocked from buying a large, powerful Australian dairy business, but they may be allowed to buy a large plot of land from which they can invest a large amount of money to grow a dairy business that could be foreign owned?
I wear another hat, as the State Manager for Queensland of the Export Council of Australia, and in my role I hear the thoughts of many important Agribusiness industry players. Some companies reference the fact that they cannot break down the doors to China and other countries without some strategic foreign ownership, and know it would help them significantly to attract the right investor.
Have your say today. How do you feel about the foreign ownership of our Agribusiness companies in Australia?