Foreign ownership - feelings

Cubbie station seems a good test of what the limits are in what people will accept in foreign ownership. It is something most people know something about and it brings into play the rural sector, our iconic Murray River,  environmental issues, industrial and national development, and the impact on local economies. 

If foreign investment were made up of Cubbies, then there wouldn't be any.

The Leximancer map shows the elements at play in this particular incidence very well.

How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the proposed sale of Cubbie Station to a Chinese-owned company?

At the top of the graph you have those who support the sale and they are essentially saying that other investors have had enough time to make an offer, and if they haven't then take what is on the table.

But as you move down the graph you first strike commercial arguments against the sale, particularly concern that Australians (apparently) can't buy similar assets in China, and probably even a concern that it is Chinese who are doing the buying.

As we move down to the strongest opposition issues such as food security, water security and the environment come into play, as well as the idea that we should be processing the cotton here, rather than selling the land to Chinese who will produce cotton to be processed overseas and then reimported.

Verbatims

First_Pref: greens
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
HOW DARE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDER LET ALONE APPROVE THIS DEAL. The Chinese company would control the cotton crop and market, HUGE water resources that are vital to large areas of Australia's agricultural community, and could see little or no benefit come back to Australia via taxes, employment, water, etc. If the Chinese government does not already own the Chinese company now it almost certainly will do so in the future.

First_Pref: labor
Cubbie: approve
Cubbie station has been in receivership for years, no Australian based consortium wanted to buy it - if you deny foreign ownership its just shifts to investment through the back door - its best to be upfront and transparent about who owns what

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
From the little I heard on radio (too busy at the moment to follow much), there is a danger that the cotton could be sent out of Australia within the purchasing entity and thus avoid paying the usual taxes, fees, etc if exported. Cubbie Station is too large to be sold overseas.

First_Pref: greens
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
Cubbie is located on extremely fertile soils and has the largest irrigation entitlement in Qld (if not Australia. I don't think it is good for our own food security to allow vast, productive areas of our country to be devoted to exporting food to China as a first priority.

First_Pref: i_haven't_decided
Cubbie: disapprove
I am opposed to handing over ownership, management and control of our landscape, water and natural resources to other sovereign states or corporations whose principal interest lay outside of Australia. Not opposed at all to international trade and investment in manufactured goods and services.

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
For the reasons stated above, but also because Cubbie Station, and its obscene usage of water (which is not naturally abundant anyhow and which is totally wasted on this enterprise - one which ought not to be allowed in a dry and arid country like Australia. Australia is not a suitable region in which to grow either cotton or rice (see talk given by Professor David Suzuki) both crops which use vast amounts of water, which cause environmental damage and which will now funnel the bulk of profits to another country for their usage. Not good enough.

First_Pref: labor
Cubbie: approve
The company was bankrupt to nearly 280 million Hopefully the sale would have paid the local suppliers and staff. Also I doubt we would be having this survey if Cubbie had been sold to a white anglo saxon country.

First_Pref: labor
Cubbie: neutral
While I was disappointed that Cubbie Station is soley owned by the Chinese, the fact remains that it has been sitting idle for years and the sale will boost prospects of it re-opening and employing people. At long as Australian workers get considered for employment first, I have no real objection.

First_Pref: greens
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
I don't approve of selling agricultural land to foreign companies - food security is of the utmost importance. Cubby (cotton) is too big & is robbing the Murray Darling system of far too much water.

First_Pref: labor
Cubbie: disapprove
Firstly Cubbie Station consumes too much of Australia's water and this will now be used for growing rice for China and we will not have control over this. Secondly, the Chinese government will want to expand their asset for more rice growing, therefore consuming more of the scarce water supply.

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
Cubbie: strongly_disapprove
Cubby station is an especially bad case, asa it combines the loss of a large tract of agricultural land with water rights. These rights, made even more rapacious than usual by a queensland statute, can be exercised in a way that is critically damaging to the Murray-Darling system and all other downstream water consumers.

First_Pref: greens
Cubbie: neutral
Cubbie station seemed to run at a loss so if someone wants to buy it then good luck to them. If certain water rights/allocations go with the sale then that should be carefully assessed as water is in effect a fixed asset.

A better outcome would have been for the land and water resources to have been retained in Australian ownership and a partnership with foreign capital arranged to operate a viable international business. There needs to be a shared community of common interest in the long-term sustainable management of our natural landscape and resources which is very difficult to achieve with ownership of these resources by a party whose principal community of interest lies elsewhere.

Most of the water storage of Cubbie should be dynamited and the water returned to the river system. However, in view of the fact that it is already irrigated land, and with global population expanding rapidly, we may be selling a facility that may be necessary for our own food security.

However we are selling our minerals to China and there may have to be trade-offs.On the otherhand I am pleased that the Chinese government is concerned about the future food production to feed its people and pleased that they have a one child policy to control their future population.

I am exceedingly angry over this particular matter because there was an Australian consortium that could have taken over the Cubbie property but the ALP government in Canberra put Chinese investment ahead of Australian interests.

We need to distinguish between development capital and foreign take over capital which simply eats up successful Australian enterprises and sends the profits overseas. For instance how can it be to our advantage for almost all of our food processing industry to be owned by foreigners?

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Comments   

 
+8 #1 MrPeter Taylor 2012-10-15 10:07
Cubby will not improve our food security, but restoring the D :cry: arling river to health, will. The entire place should be resumed and become a national park, the dams and irrigation returned to their natural state. The Chinese will never relinquish one drop of water, because they are concerned about their own food security, which is why they're buying up vast tracts of land all over Africa, starving many of the locals in the process. Selling Cubby is as corrupt as the Ethiopian government selling the best land to Chinese for high-density, unsustainable crop farming for export, while Ethiopians starve.
 
 
-3 #2 Food Security?doctorpat 2012-10-16 09:56
Food Security?
Take a look around any town in Australia and point out ANYONE that needs more "food security" in this country.

In some far distant future, if and when Australia ever actually has a lack of food, the land is still here. Just like the Snowy River sell-off, people seem to think that the land and water will be dug out and shipped off out of our reach.
 
 
-3 #3 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsFaustino 2012-10-16 10:31
Anyone who does not "strongly support" foreign investment as being necessary for Australia had no grasp of economics. Australia would be a poor, backward and inconsequential country without foreign investment. Since European settlement, there have been massive opportunities for development which could only be taken with foreign capital, and there will always be a cost to policies which restrict its entry. This applies to purchase of existing assets as well as new ventures.
 
 
+6 #4 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsConcerned 2012-10-16 11:37
As a child in world war 2, with food rationing, food substitutes, shortages, we found out what happens when import supplies are cut ! Australia is not self sufficient in food. Farmers are leaving farms due to cheap imports & we are losing their skills to farm. With out imports, there would be food shortages. So if supply is cut off by a foreign governments, we would be in trouble. How amusing to think that "the land will always be there". Farm land has to be nurtured & cared for. If it is contaminated by mining, or turned to desert by poor management or overrun by weeds it will take years to get it back to food production.We need to keep Aussie land in Aussie hands, we need food security & should maintain our precious farm lands as a matter of policy.
 
 
+1 #5 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsalecto 2012-10-16 20:10
Cotton is a crop that shouldn't be grown in Australia because of the amount of water it requires. The water licences the station holds should be resumed somehow and a more sustainable farming system developed. I'd rather the property weren't foreign owned.
 
 
0 #6 foriegn ownershipJil Chapman 2012-10-18 15:47
Rather than land ownership I think that some kind of lease arrangement would be better, However, Most of the people that complain about foreign ownership are Australians and it is Australian farmers and property owners who sell to the foreign investment companies in order to make money.
 
 
0 #7 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsMr Opinion 2012-10-20 09:54
Everyone needs to come to grips with the reality that Australia is now an economic colony of Communist China. Communist China is going through the same phase of industrialisati on that Britain experienced in the early 1900s. It is establishing world markets in just the same way the British did.

The Communist Party of China is determined to capture world resources and control the world economy. This will eventually allow it to control politicians and governments on a global level with a view to establishing political systems to its own liking. Who said the Cold War was over! It's not over - it's just shifted slightly.
 
 
0 #8 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsClovis 2012-10-21 06:45
You are probably correct, Mr Opinion. I guess we will continue to have a schizophrenic future. The major military base of our USA masters, and an agricultural colony for our Chinese masters. But then that's how Australia has always been, We've simply swapped China for the UK. It makes a mockery of giving us a seat on the Security Council, surely other nations can see that is simply one more vote for the USA? We sold off our sovereignty long ago, just as we're now selling off our land and businesses.
 
 
0 #9 RE: Foreign ownership - feelingsMr Opinion 2012-10-21 07:22
Yes, but we should not get complacent. I don't want to be a slave to a Communist Chinese master. This is now happening in Africa or what I like to call New China. I am against those who will sell us out to Communist China for a short-term profit: the Judases of Australia.