Weak-kneed Coalition, Labor too scared to block foreign takeovers of farmland
BY Editor, CAIRNS NEWS
WHILE Keswick Island locals prepare a major Australia Day protest against the Chinese owners of a 117-hectare development on their southern Whitsundays island, the Coalition and the ALP have fobbed off Kennedy MP, Bob Katter’s attempt to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of Australian agricultural lands.
Given the bullying trade sanctions the communist China regime has recently imposed on Australia, the major parties could have drawn a line in the sand, but instead buckled at the knees under the weight of “global investment” forces and their Chinese Communist Party allies.
Katter’s amendment to the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 was voted down by Labor, Liberal and Nationals MPs in the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon (December 7).
The amendment read: “… not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House calls on the Government to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of agricultural lands and place a ban on the acquisition of assets of strategic economic importance or strategic defensive importance to Australia”.
At Keswick Island, the new development leaseholders China Bloom, are blocking locals’ access to beaches, destroyed a large jetty, blocked access to the airstrip that brings tourists to the island. and to add insult to injury, blocked national park access. Others who are leasing properties within the 117-ha lease were given just a few days to move out. Locals and supporters are planning a major protest on Australia Day with a flotilla of boats.
Australians, and mainstream party politicians in particular, have been bedazzled by Chinese money and business for the past decade or longer, forgetting that Chinese businesses are controlled by the CCP if not outright run by them. The level of Chinese ownership of Australian land and businesses such as Cubbie Station is not only embarrassing but a national security issue.
The Katter’s Australian MP said he wasn’t shocked or surprised as the major parties had become addicted to foreign investment over the past two decades. “Australia has a fight on its hands and the fact is the ALP and LNP sold our electricity network, the maintenance of our sewage and water supply, our farmland, strategic ports and water to the Chinese,” Mr Katter said.
“The history books will state that the major parties sold their country out. Today my amendments that the Government move to immediately stop all foreign takeovers of agricultural lands and place a ban on the acquisition of assets of strategic economic importance or strategic defensive importance to Australia, was voted down by Labor and the LNP.
“North Queenslanders should note that the Members for Leichhardt and Herbert voted to keep selling their country off. I thank my crossbench colleagues who had the guts to vote for Australia and our sovereignty.”
In March 2015 China Capital Investment Group bought Daydream Island Resort and Spa for about $30 million. Former owner Vaughan Bullivant had originally asked $65m. A year later CCIG bought South Molle Island in the Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef for $25 million – chickenfeed for the global financier. South Molle had been held on a perpetual lease by Koala Adventures owner Craig Ross.
And then came the arrogance of Chinese money in the purchase of the 117ha of Keswick in 2019. Unlike normal development applications that go on for months and years, the Queensland Department of Resources swung the door wide open to China Bloom to develop an elite resort to host 3000 visitors – and to hell with the locals. So can we expect planeloads of CCP officials, bureaucrats and their families flying into Queensland and taking over an island? And who benefits? Not the local people blocked from the airstrip and the former large jetty.
Maybe the locals can build their own resort, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a response from the Palaszczuk government and their Department of Resources, with its record of obstructing, oppressing and destroying farmers and other Australian businesses across the state.
This is the same government that trusts the Chinese communists to write their election software codes. And it looks very suspiciously like a guaranteed election result pays dividends for the ideological cousins on both sides of the deal.