Selling the farm

By Leith van Onselen

Chanel 7’s Sunday Night program aired an interesting investigative report on the widespread sale of Australian agricultural land to foreign interests, particularly the Chinese (Parts 1&2 are above).

According to the report, there is no comprehensive national list of foreign investment in rural land. However, in Queensland, which does maintain a register of foreign interests, 69 countries bought Queensland agricultural land last year, spending $1.7 billion in total – and the biggest spender was China.

The segment raises particular concern that the Chinese are vertically integrating the whole food production process in Australia: purchasing our farms as well as the whole distribution and logistics production line. When combined with the recently signed FTA, which will allow China to import temporary labour to work on its farms, there is the real prospect that Australians will be cut-out completely from the whole food export business, and in turn cut-out from the economic benefits.

Maverick Queensland MP, Bob Katter, is particularly wary:

“It’s not ‘investing’, they’re not opening mines or building dams or anything of that nature, they’re just buying the asset that is there. So it’s not investment, it’s selling your country off.”

“They control the retail market in China.  We sell for $2.50 a kilogram, our cattle, it sells in China for $30 or $40 a kilogram. So if you are the person in China getting the $30 or $40 dollar per kilogram then, Australia looks very attractive”.

“But if you’re the poor old farmer in Australia only getting $2.50 you’re going to go broke.”

“The future must belong to a total Chinese ownership of all rural Australia. That’s the economics of what I am talking about”…

“The only reason why you are going to bring Chinese workers into Australia is because you are going to pay them a hell of a lot less and get a hell of a lot more. Work that out for yourself”…

“Bloody Australians have a bit of pride and a bit of back-bone. We are not going to stand aside and have our workers work for nothing. We are not going to stand aside and have our country owned by foreigners. And us becoming modern day serfs working for the foreign landlord… working increasingly for nothing”…

I agree wholeheartedly with Katter’s view.

The worst thing about Australia’s foreign investment regime is that it wrongly confuses the transfer of ownership of assets to foreigners, whereby no real investment (capital deepening) takes place, with genuine foreign investment.

The former (which is the dominant source) is akin to “selling the family jewels”, and should be discouraged, whereas the latter actually adds to the nation’s productive capacity, and should be encouraged.

We are selling-off the farm and our children’s future, pure and simple.

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Comments

    • Tell me how a Chinese owner of Australian raised cattle can sell theirs for more than the Aussie farmer next door

  1. notsofastMEMBER

    “We are selling-off the farm and our children’s future, pure and simple.”

    correction…

    We have sold the farm and our children’s future, pure and simple. Past tense…

    • “We have sold the farm and our children’s future, pure and simple. Past tense…”

      Absobloodyloodle!!!!!!!!!
      AND we’ve sold it for imported booze, coffee bloody machines, ipads, iphones. TV’s, SUV’s, drugs etc etc etc.
      We’ve sold the farm so we can always have everything we want – especially if we live in Sydney and Melbourne.
      UE – so why not get on board with the higher interest rate, save more and invest in our own country, capital restriction argument.

      IMO Katter is full of BS! He rabbits on about selling the farm but does not want to do a single damned thing to right the whole economic imbalance.
      Further now let’s suppose we quarantine farms from foreign ‘capital’ while still selling off the rest of the country to satisfy our over-consumption. We would just drive down the price of farms relative to everything else and make the lives of those who live in rural areas a whole lot worse.

      The ONLY solution is to get control of both the short and long term capital accounts so we can drive down the value of the currency to a level where we balance our Current Account while at the same time raising IR’s to be substantially positive RAT so that we save and invest in our own country mines farms and businesses…. maybe we can even buy some of it back???????????????

  2. dumb country

    why is there no register of foreign ownership???

    who allowed this???

    why no vote??

    • Dan, here are your answers:

      “who allowed this???” Successive governments, plus the vendors who are really up against the wall due to the banks.

      “why is there no register of foreign ownership???” Why would they bother? The aim is clearly to get this country out of Australian hands.

      “why no vote??” Again, why bother. This would interfere with the plan to sell off the country for once and for all.

      • Yep! Note it is not just farms! We’ve sold nearly every mine, potential resource and mining company!
        We’ve long ago sold just about every strategic business including the whole of the food chain beyond the farm gate! We’re now selling houses etc etc.
        As long as we demand this level of consumption we MUST sell our assets to fund it.
        Unfortunately now the economy is so distorted; our society is so distorted; our population balance is so distorted; our democracy so distorted – there is no way back!

      • “Yep! Note it is not just farms! We’ve sold nearly every mine, potential resource and mining company!”

        Absolutely agree. The focus just on farms pisses me off.

      • notsofastMEMBER

        flawse,

        But, but, but how could it go wrong. These were debt decisions taken on by consenting adults. Just ask Howard and Costello. They were highly competent financial managers and would know, so much better than the rabble we have had since. Just ask the average Australian in the street how good they were…

  3. Leith, I think you mean “Bob Katter is particularly wary” rather than “weary”, although he might be weary of fighting a losing battle.

    I watched the show and posted a comment straight away on Weekend Links. I was rather surprised when nobody else said anything, but thanks for writing about this very important subject. Once everything’s sold off it will be too late.

    • The Greens want to block subsidiaries of foreign governments buying land – this is naïve because monetary policy undermines any distinction between a subsidiary of a foreign nat and a company – but otherwise have a reasonable policy. http://greens.org.au/land-ownership

      They list the other policies:

      The ALP has said it will introduce a register of foreign ownership of land and water, but failed to support Greens legislation to lower the threshold for consideration by the FIRB to $5 million and the introduction of a legislated national interest test for foreign purchase of agricultural land.

      The Coalition also failed to support the Greens bill and instead released a discussion paper. They have yet to release their policy.

      The Katter Party has an extreme position of prohibiting any foreign entity from owning more than four hectares of agricultural land

    • There is some research around aj but you’ve got to hunt for it. As a person living in a rural region I follow the ABC rural report and this link gives some background on who owns Australia’s food production http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/specials/foreign-ownership/
      The Chinese foreign ownership element around the Ord is of particular concern as was the water rights for cotton production in Eastern Australia. Rural Australia has always relied on foreign investment/ownership, but successive governments have taken their eye off the ball with respect to associated water rights.

  4. This website seems to be getting more and more populist by the day – so I don’t expect much support for what I’m about to say.

    But if you look at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/5302.0 (ABS net investment statistic). Australia has a net suplus equity of 76.3bn. So sure, some foreigners own some of our stuff, but we own even more of their stuff. At some level, people have thought its better to own some sort of stuff overseas more than Australian farmland. What’s the alternative? Do you want to mandate that all superannuation funds should hold X% of their assets in Australian farmland?

    • That’s misleading in a way. Many countries prohibit land ownership from foreign entities so those assets are investment assets. And in any event it doesn’t address the point – selling the land is not encouraging investment its just selling the asset.

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        Thats true.

        …and Aussies are not allowed to buy land in China. Hardly seems fair does it?

      • Jumping jack flash

        Indeed. There aren’t many countries that will allow any old schmoe to walk in with a fistful of dollars and buy the place up.

    • faramund – Yep mjv (I think) posted a reference last week on that that I haven’t got to – but I’ll tell you this much about that stat – there is either something fundamentally wrong with it OR it paints less than half a story. We can’t run CAD’s for 60years continuously and yet own more of foreigner’s equity than they do of ours. The numbers just don’t add up!

      • Its debt, we own more of their stuff, then they own of ours. But we owe about 60% of our GDP as debt to foreigners. On one level, its been stable since 2008, but before that it was fairly rapidly climbing.

        Before 2008 – people seemed to worry about this a lot, but now it seems to have become a lesser concern – but I think this is the reason for concern about ‘selling off the country’ – its the confusion between these two things.

      • faramund – I relate this a lot – I think it was in malcolm Fraser’s time – the national accounts used to be an important news item every month and quarter. Foreign borrowings used be called just that – then one day it was changed. I was driving across the paddock in an old 4WD when suddenly the “Overseas Borrowings’ had become Capital Inflow! It was that moment I knew we were irretrievably f*%#ed!!!
        The Pitchford thesis came along and because that made all economic decision making so much easier, and we could go on over-consuming our world, everyone embraced it. What a bloody croc!

      • Flawse – I did think about saying that our real problem is our saving rate. Considering net liabilities are reasonably constant, if the savings rate was a bit larger, than naturally our liabilities would decrease – but there’s not much discussion about ways to encourage savings at the moment. But on the other hand, I don’t think borrowing money to buy assets is always bad. Most businesses and households do it to some extent, the question is always about how large the leverage is.

    • Own some of our stuff ? Ha ! Like controlling majority interests in our key export commodities ? Don’t kid yourself – this country has yielded its significant strategic natural resources to foreign interests. And as flawse points out, you don’t run CADs for that long and retain control of your own country.

      • That’s a very good point. How does the ‘strategic interest’ value stack up. We might own 2% of Apple/Microsoft but that is much less useful to the citizens of Australia than owning your own critical assets and infrastructure.

    • “Do you want to mandate that all superannuation funds should hold X% of their assets in Australian farmland?”

      And what’s wrong with that! If Australian savings, whatever they are, HAD to be invested in Austrian enterprise, it would do two things. (1) Cut down the debt that is owed to the rest of the world and (2) encourage the development of the country with your own money. That leads to productivity that reinforces your savings. WHEN there is a surplus of saving over debt, THEN allow investment of that surplus overseas. Not until then. “But that will concentrate the exposure of the Australian financial markets to Australia! ” will come the outrage . “So! ” is my answer. Back yourself, Australia, as the rest of the World appears to want to do at your expense.

      • Janet – rather than mandating anything – best to get the macro settings right. It’s my experience over a a long time, as i think it is yours, that Govt interference and mandating just creates distortions.

      • Yes, but that is an ideologically inconvenient approach. We would rather cede control of our national infrastructure to a centrally planned economy, in the name of preserving our own notions of freedom of capital movement and non-compulsion. Now, if there was a ‘market’ driven approach, say, taxation incentives to drive domestic funds into those sectors, that would be another matter ! But that would be too much like trying to pick winners. Just keep your hands off my super, and I’ll be fine. As long as there’s a free market that favours more forward thinking foreign capital, it will all be fine. Just don’t lament the fact we’ll never own it, and we’ll have to continue to borrow the funds to buy the products from those foreign companies that Australians own a 5% share of !

      • No argument from me there, F! But by definition, “getting the macro setting right” inferes Govt interference? Leaving it to The Market, it’s possible that nothing would be left locally owned in Australia. When there is an ’emerging’ Global Power that plays by a completely different set of rules to yours, you cannot win. The answer may be to ‘play by their rules’ which IS Govt interference on a massive scale. They have a strategic imperative to own (y)our stuff, and we appear to only have a blind ideological belief as our defence, because economic independence, as the primary defence, went out the back gate decades ago

    • Populist!? 🙂

      No way, more like a palatable version of Storm Front, with many of the commenting community seeming at one with Andrew Bolt, as is MB sometimes.

      While MB claims centre left credentials such as tolerance and diversity, up the workers etc. too often MB, using well known techniques and academic ‘research’, seems more about provoking the clique of commenters into paroxysms of rage over all things ‘foreign’ to express what the writers dare not, Chinese, immigrants, population growth, dodgy property sales (Chinese again), dodgy students (mostly Chinese), dodgy visa schemes (for Chinese) etc. etc., all the issue white nativists worship……

      Personally it’s difficult to really know what does MB represent?

  5. I read that as ‘weary’. Katter has been banging on about this for ages but no one seems to be listening.

  6. This is not an accident. This is the intended outcome of neoliberal values and policy. The work of policy makers globally for the past four decades has been to shore up the mechanisms to sort citizens into winners and losers, and then keep those ‘losers’ from threatening the winners. Selling out an entire country is of nothing to preserve these values.

    This shouldn’t be about hating the Chinese. They are just doing what they do. This is about rejecting the values that enabled this outcome. But we should all be very angry, because the game has been rigged from the outset. Outcome – the majority of Australians will be tenants in their own country.

    • Green – Well said!
      Wwe’ve always sold it to whoever had money to buy our assets so we could consume more. It’s been the Brits, then the US, then Japan, then China and whoever else had some cash to ‘give’ us.

    • Chinese strategy No. 30

      Make the host and the guest exchange roles

      Usurp leadership in a situation where you are normally subordinate. Infiltrate your target. Initially, pretend to be a guest to be accepted, but develop from inside and become the owner later.

      • Powermonger – if we want to point blame here to anything other than our own stupidity then we ought point it at the US Fed together with the ECB and BoE. Of course the insanity followed by these institutions comes out of the stupid trash that has been taught as economics for the past 60 or 70 years!

    • Yep, don’t hate the players, hate the game.
      The Chinese, and others, are only doing it because they can and it is in their interest to do it.

    • Neoliberalism argues that it is the market that should decide everything and that government has no role to play. Of course, the rich, corporations, etc have advantage over the poor in regards to markets. For example, the poor usually have no money to invest in markets and are certainly not able to affect markets like large multinational corporations are able to do. Subsequently, the poor become poorer and the rich get richer. Governments argue that they have no option because neoliberalism is a global force and therefore if they maintain a social infrastructure, their countries will become uncompetitive. In my opinion, at least in respect to Australia, that is a ridiculous argument. Australia is a continent with only about 24 million people. Proper government would allow Australia to be self sufficient. This does not mean Australia could not also become world competitive in numinous areas. Unfortunately, we have two major parties which are not far from centre where centre is all about neoliberalism and a population consisting primarily of people who believe they are rich or are ignorant of the true political climate that truly exists in Australia. In my opinion, some time in the future, there will be great civil unrest. Though, as pointed out in the comment this comment is responding to, the winners of neoliberalism will have law, policing, defence force at their disposal to quickly disposed of most if not all of the aforementioned loser.

      • Well said.
        The conservative side of politics has let go of the bottom 50 %. They seem desperate to create an underclass. Lowly paid servants to scrub their flores, clean their clothes and wipe their backsides. I can’t believe how many once decent honest hardworking middle class people have joined them, while they see their children burdened with astronomical HEX debts and housing loans that look like telephone numbers. Shame on Australia

  7. Australia, in name only. It makes me depressed how far we have sold ourselves out and rampantly forgetting our roots.

    Queensland is currently having the highest land clearing rates of all time, I wonder how much this is related to foreigner purchases?

    • I don’t think you’ll find the Chinese any more contrite about their own historical conquests that they are now prepared to cede their contemporary power.

  8. Guys, big hole in the story, the farms arent profitable.
    Generations of overstocking and overcropping has ruined the land.
    And, as soon as it rains the banks will foreclose on the loans and the farmers will be out in the long paddock. The answers lie back in time, It will take many many years to rehabilitate the countryside, irrespective of who owns it.WW

    • Yeah WW most don’t understand that, industry’s are already conducting studies wrt relocation due to environmental factors.

      Skippy…. The currant buying and selling is just burnishing stock metrics and money velocity for skimming the cream off the top for the club, after that who gives two shites, let nature take its course.

    • Are the Chinese more likely to do this work than the current owners? Isn’t the overhanging debt the issue?

    • ChinajimMEMBER

      Ruined land? You haven’t seen ruined land until you see what’s been done to vast tracts of China.

      It’s not agriculture. It’s a mining operation – mining the soil and mining the future and in the process wrecking the place. Forever.

      • I hear that all of the ground water over there is unfit for anything.
        Water for them is a major issue. This is mostly what is behind their interest in our land.
        And here we are considering sponge drilling for CSG and mucking up the water table for Adani.
        The big problem we have is that those making our decisions have no idea, about anything. WW

  9. China has polluted its own country with its enormous population. They are now buying up all the choicest Australian farmland, will bring out their own workers, and Australians will have to import food from China grown in Australia by Chinese-owned farms. Maybe we should just get it all over with and hand the country (including the cities) to them on a silver platter.

    • md about 45 years ago a mate of mine proposed that (as we were selling everything to them at the time) we sell the whole damned place to the Yanks for a Million dollars each (when a million was still a fair amount of money) It seemed a good idea at the time and. looking back, looks an even better idea!!!!

  10. sell everything just to make property bubble last few more years

    our failure will be of biblical proportions, we will for sure ensure place in all history and economic books of the future.

    Consequence of our bubble no recession for 25 year policy will make The Hungry Mile look like the old good days. I don’t think Australia as we know it will survive the crash. Civil war mixed with all kinds of social revolutions looks like the most likely scenario …

    • Jumping jack flash

      we are definitely the southern Greece.
      I wonder what Greek foreign ownership laws are. Can any old schmoe walk in with a fistful of dollars and buy the place up?

  11. Torchwood1979

    What a shame we don’t have the capital to invest in this ourselves. Oh hang on, we actually do but it’s busy fueling our raging housing bubble. FFS

  12. interested party

    First up, it is a tragedy that it has come down to this. Farming has been a key part of our heritage since we arrived in the 1700’s.
    But that is just part of the story…..you see, here you all are stating dissatisfaction about the name on the land title yet fail to see the consequences of this short period of time that we have ‘farmed’ this land.
    Do you all realize that collectively we have created the biggest amount of damage to the largest area by acreage, by the smallest number of people in the shortest amount of time???? and yet we call it ‘farming’???
    Loss of topsoil, erosion, salinity, chemical annihilation, massive swathes of tree clearing ( you do know that trees create rainfall, right? yet we pay farmers drought relief?).
    Modern farming, by its very nature, is an extractive process and if the intent is to maximize profits then for all intents and purposes it becomes a maximum extraction process. Our farm lands are tired, they cannot continue to give the required profits…..therefore the farm gets sold. There should be no surprise at the scale of foreign ownership……..every profit driven ( non-sustainable) farm is destined to have its Greek moment.

  13. This was in The Conversation back in Feb:
    Land ownership just the start in foreign investment debate
    https://theconversation.com/land-ownership-just-the-start-in-foreign-investment-debate-37517

    Whether it’s ownership of land, water or agricultural businesses, non-Australian sources of capital are only part of the picture. The foreign ownership debate needs to evolve to – or be merged with – a broader debate about the future of the agricultural sector.
    Too often the future of agriculture is reduced to a binary logic of family farmers and corporate farms. However, the reality is there are many different ways to organise agricultural business and production.
    Foreign investment is only one of the drivers of change. Australian institutional investment or private equity partnerships and their relationships with land and water ownership are also shaping the agricultural sector and rural communities. How these alternative business models may be changing will slip through the gaps of any land register focused exclusively on foreign ownership.
    More data will not resolve the issue of foreign ownership. It also won’t magically set the future direction of agriculture. But, good data sets that capture the full spectrum of agricultural business and asset ownership models can better inform these debates.

  14. Wife went to school with his daughter. Also met the person who wrote his biography. He is an agrarian socialist, similar vein to Allan Jones. They never talk about rural debt. I come from many generations of farmers and so many of them are the same. They have a couple of good year, leverage up and buy the neighbour out, then they have some tough seasons and cry to government. Farming has two enormous risk. Market risk and the weather. The huge debt load on these farms did not just happen. Meanwhile they campaign for a lower dollar and lower interest rates so they can continue there folly, all at the expense of those who generate income and save.
    I agree with his call though that this is not investment. Dams etc are but just buying the farm is not. Also no mention was made of the disaster that has been corporate farming in Australia. Time after time it fails and the Chinese are no different. They are like the Japanese in the 80’s or the Americans in the 60’s – They will lose their arse and it will revert back to an over leveraged family farmer.

    • To be fair, if they’re having a go at expanding their businesses, it’s pretty hard to find equity partners in this country for agricultural ventures. So debt it has to be, with all of its accordant risk. Our strategy as a nation should not be to say “we don’t want to wear this risk” and imagine it can be offloaded to foreign investors without any consequence.

      • Agree with both of you. Australians don’t ‘get’ ag. Janet above points the finger. Growing ag is multi-generational commitment and, especially more recently, intelligence. Go long.

  15. http://www.votesustainable.org.au/main_policies#
    One party has a policy on this!
    Policy
    Australia should retain and/or obtain ownership and control of its land and other natural resources, including food, water, minerals and energy resources.

    Policy Methods
    In part, this can be achieved as follows:

    Australia should restrict the purchase of Australian land and natural resources to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and Australian entities.(1)
    Footnotes:

    Ownership of land is not necessary for a foreign entity to conduct business in Australia. Land can be leased, and plant and improvements can be negotiated in secure lease arrangements similar to those which government uses to lease infrastructure built under Public-Private Partnerships. Permitting foreign ownership of land causes land values to be inflated, increasing costs of production and costs of living for Australians.

    • SupernovaMEMBER

      Agree in part with Peter “Australia should restrict the purchase of Australian land and natural resources to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and Australian entities”….
      I’m off the land and have a suggestion which may provide relief to many struggling farmers:
      In restricting ownership of Australian farmland to Australians why not instead of selling/transferring the ownership to Chinese, why not form Australian majority-ownerships (partnerships) with the Chinese because the Chinese have the money to invest and rescue some of our more desperate farmers without them relying on Australia’s foreign controlled (FC) banks to push our farmers closer to bankrupsy and lower the price of agricultural land even more. PLUS the Chinese also have the CHEAP LABOUR (courtesy of our ISDS within our Free Trade Agreement with the Chinese Govt) to work on the properties they invest in? So how about it, eradicate our F.O. banks (who are only interested as we all know from this site in residential RE) from our agricultural sector by transferring ownership to part Chinese and use their cheap labour? What is the problem here? We need to prohibit foreign ownership of agricultural land to less than 50%. The Aussie indebted farmer takes the Chinese money, repays the FC banks to eradicate all/most of the debt…..suddenly I wonder how many farms would suddenly become going concern. This partnership also takes care of any (Chinese style) environmental degradation because the “Aussie majority-owners” will have the foresight to monitor their land for safe keeping intergenerational purposes.

      • Supernova, unless buyers are willing to invest they should be banned. Simply buying out local farms is not investing, it is colonisation by stealth. It is unlikely that marginal farming land is a prime target. Buyers from the Middl East and China want Australia’s best and most productive land, not the crap. If local farmers cannot make the land work with all the technology and support on offer, perhaps he land would be better left for other life forms to use,, instead of being wrecked by over-farming.
        Importing cheap labour is not a solution. Australia already has 2 million people who are either unemployed or who are under-employed. What is needed is training and better wages to attract those people to the land.
        Super, what may work however is a 49 year lease. That way the land stays locally owned and the operator of the land has an opportunity to improve productivity.
        In a poor year, like the millennium drought, Australia can produce enough food for 28 million people. Australia’s population will hit 24 million this year and it is up 5 million since 2000! After about 2028, when the next big drought hits, will we see Chinese and Omani owned food moving across Australian ports, back to the mother-ship? Will Australians need to go and try to buy food at a time when global supplies will be under threat from a global population that has risen from 7.4 billion to 9 billion?
        Best not to sell our heritage to foreign governments who have no interest in supplying food domestically. Remember, most of the overseas buyers are not individuals or public companies, they are government backed organisations. Imagine how the Kiwis or the Brazilians would react if the Australian government started buying up prime agricultural land on behalf of the Australian people? We couldn’t buy land in China or the Middle East, because they are smarter than us and they don’t allow it!

      • interested party

        “This partnership also takes care of any (Chinese style) environmental degradation because the “Aussie majority-owners” will have the foresight to monitor their land for safe keeping intergenerational purposes.”

        Seriously??????and just when do these farmers acquire this ‘foresight’ you speak of?
        We have generations of evidence that the blighters have little knowledge of how to get it right and they continue to Ef it up, so I do hope they start soon because the clock is ticking on chem-ag food production failure.

      • You’re wrong about that IP. Some maybe but5 many are good sheperds although they operate within impossible rules – like a 30% to 40% over-valuation of the A$ for 60 years thereby confiscating about 30% of their gross income! GROSS income – not net. This tends to make people push a bit harder!

      • interested party

        Flawse, I should have stated that not all are bad custodians, and I do have runs on the board on this subject as do you. The best operators quietly go about their job un-heralded and good on em….wish there were more.
        The problematic bastards are the ones I am targeting here. The irrigators….the feedlotters, the chemical applicators, the over-stockers, ……you know the types.
        No offense meant to an old country boy.

        on the currency overvaluation….we all fight that beast.

  16. Baby boom/busts cause a 100 year cycle. (~80 year human age + a ~20 year length of the boom) this has predictable outcomes which we can see by looking back 100 years. The cycle exists also because no one alive has personal experience with the last time this point was reached and so can make the same perfectly logical reactive mistakes.

    In this part of the cycle we have the boomers aging then dying. This causes economic decline. The financial stresses cause governments to default, wars to occur and racism to rise.

    The later is what we are seeing start to rise here. It is justified at the time because the problems faced are very real but from a shallower perspective (which some will adopt) it is a turn against foreigners, the most recent and visually obvious foreigners. In the Great Depression the American gov fired its Mexican workers to make room for “American” workers. In WW2 Germany turned against Jewish bankers. Whilst we most likely wont act anywhere near as badly it’s important to realise China is not ruining Australia, demographics is. China is just the most recent straw on the back of the Camel called demographics. Lets keep some perspective.

    Historically we will turn on each other at this point of the cycle. Lets try to resist that.

    We have about 30 years of this to go.

    (The EU/Greece struggle is WW1 but fortunately fought in economics/political space … for now?)

  17. Congratulations Australia. Your kids will be all the more worse-off due to your blatant inaction to address many critical issues that you had a major stake in creating in the first place. Your lazy “she’ll be right” attitude will now see subsequent generations suffer.

    Some of your greatest tragedies include, but not limited to:
    1.Allowing illegal foreign property ownership – hats off to all the mums and dad property investors that would gladly sell to the highest bidder irrespective of whether they are overseas illegals or not.
    2.Selling off our land to overseas interest because you stand to make a quid, ignoring the warning signals that come with the sale such as increased vulnerability in sovereign risk.
    3.The pathetic political crop from all sides, that would sell off our children’s futures by showing how weak our country is, by signing an FTA with a country that is building artificial islands for the sole purpose of defense/offense against our very selves. In addition to having an appaling human rights track record eg.think of mass executions in the heart of our Christmas period.

    Australia is so pathetically short-sighted, I hope that all our kids get the hell out of this country since our baby boomer pollies just want to flood the nation with people to lower wages, and thus lower living standards.

    Congratulations for not doing anything about overpopulation in Australia because you are so scared of not being politically correct. What an absolute joke the who political arena is. There is absolutely NOONE in politics that has any credibility or backbone whatsoever. Is it any wonder that many of the young are that disillusioned with life?

    Our children, thanks predominantly to the consumerist, self-absorbed egos of baby boomers, will leave our kids impoverished.

    Kids, don’t look to your parents for a good example of how to care for future generations. Respect is not a word you should use on them. No, indeed, reevaluate your own dreams and aspirations, and don’t base it on what your parents and grandparents had in terms of opportunities at your age.

    Good luck children, without any thanks to your forefathers.

    Guess what Australia? The YOUNG are Australia’s future, but youd think otherwise given the blatant disregard of their futures by politicians.

    We have failed our youth, and have favoured our own self-interests by denying them of the same dreams and aspirations that we took as a given. Think property ownership, jobs, food, living standards etc etc.

    The legacy older generations have/will leave our youth is one of selfishness.

    We need a MASSIVE recession. This will be a great thing for Australia. Why? Because we are on a trajectory that is failing our youth…..OUR FUTURE.
    The only solution as I see it is a reset of the system. Nothing else is working to address the growing inequities between the haves and have nots, and those categories can be broadly defined as the elderly (being the haves), and the youth (the have nots). Those people who have jumped on the property bandwagon need a rude awakening…a lot of them have been, albeit many unknowlingly, accomplice to aiding and abetting in the property Ponzi scheme that has pushed first home buyers out of the market.

    Congratulations.

  18. Congratulations Australia. Your kids will be all the more worse-off due to your blatant inaction to address many critical issues that you had a major stake in creating in the first place. Your lazy “she’ll be right” attitude will now see subsequent generations suffer.

    Some of your greatest tragedies include, but not limited to:
    1.Allowing illegal foreign property ownership – hats off to all the mums and dad property investors that would gladly sell to the highest bidder irrespective of whether they are overseas illegals or not.
    2.Selling off our land to overseas interest because you stand to make a quid, ignoring the warning signals that come with the sale such as increased vulnerability in sovereign risk.
    3.The pathetic political crop from all sides, that would sell off our children’s futures by showing how weak our country is, by signing an FTA with a country that is building artificial islands for the sole purpose of defense/offense against countries including our very selves. In addition to having an appalling human rights track record eg.think of mass executions in the heart of our Christmas period.

    Australia is so pathetically short-sighted, I hope that all our kids get the hell out of this country since our baby boomer pollies just want to flood the nation with people to lower wages, and thus lower living standards.

    Why do we not have a referendum on POPULATION? All we ever here is that our population is growing, but we never have major debate on whether this is a good thing for our nation or not. IT IS NOT!!!!!!
    You cannot grow forever!!. We are NOT a US where the inland is green for goodness sake.
    Most of our land is arid.
    We have a growing unemployment queue, with corrupted ABS statistics so we have no idea currently of the true state of unemployment, or underemployment, with growing losses in full time work, to be replaced with part time work.

    Infinite growth with FINITE RESOURCES spells MADNESS!!!

    Congratulations for not doing anything about overpopulation in Australia because you are so scared of not being politically correct. What an absolute joke the who political arena is. There is absolutely NOONE in politics that has any credibility or backbone whatsoever. Is it any wonder that many of the young are that disillusioned with life?

    Our children, thanks predominantly to the consumerist, self-absorbed egos of baby boomers, will leave our kids impoverished.

    Kids, don’t look to your parents for a good example of how to care for future generations. Respect is not a word you should use on them. No, indeed, reevaluate your own dreams and aspirations, and don’t base it on what your parents and grandparents had in terms of opportunities at your age.

    Good luck children, without any thanks to your forefathers.

    Guess what Australia? The YOUNG are Australia’s future, but youd think otherwise given the blatant disregard of their futures by politicians.

    We have failed our youth, and have favoured our own self-interests by denying them of the same dreams and aspirations that we took as a given. Think property ownership, jobs, food, living standards etc etc.

    The legacy older generations have/will leave our youth is one of selfishness.

    We need a MASSIVE recession. This will be a great thing for Australia. Why? Because we are on a trajectory that is failing our youth…..AND OUR KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE!!!! You wouldn’t think so though the way we blame them for our failings.

    The only solution as I see it is a reset of the system. Nothing else is working to address the growing inequities between the haves and have nots, and those categories can be broadly defined as the elderly (being the haves), and the youth (the have nots). Those people who have jumped on the property bandwagon need a rude awakening…a lot of them have been, albeit many unknowlingly, accomplice to aiding and abetting in the property Ponzi scheme that has pushed first home buyers out of the market.

    Congratulations.

  19. I agree with your comments (further above) WW:

    “I hear that all of the ground water over there is unfit for anything.
    Water for them is a major issue. This is mostly what is behind their interest in our land.
    And here we are considering sponge drilling for CSG and mucking up the water table for Adani.
    The big problem we have is that those making our decisions have no idea, about anything. WW”

    along the line that this is really about the protection and guardianship of Australia’s ‘natural’ resources. That the Chinese don’t give 2 friggs about deep water aquifers (which is what Australia manily consists of, contrary to most believing that this country is mainly desert).
    Whatever damage is done on the land will, without question ‘trickle down’ to what lies beneath.
    The true custodians of this great Land are watching.

  20. SupernovaMEMBER

    Peter, I spoke to the person in this report last night at length about your comments. He told me that most of the farmers in financial trouble are because of 4 years of draught followed by an LIVE CATTLE EXPORT BAN. Most of the farms in question are viable operations in good areas but are laden with excessive debt. The issue I suggested about encouraging Chinese partnership instead of Chinese 100% ownership is is already in the pipeline, we only need the political will to push it through. Barnaby Joyce does have the understanding but he is held back because Australia’s main political decision makers prefer 100% foreign ownership on farms instead of partnership.