Category Archives: Queensland Asset Sales
Queensland State election to be held on November 25
by Gil Hanrahan in Brisbane
Rumblings from One Nation members have confirmed there is an unhatched master plan in place to elevate Pauline Hanson’s Chief of Staff James Ashby to the senate.
In its usual response the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns has ordered a recount for the next candidate on the party ticket to replace the ousted Malcolm Roberts, a most competent senator.
Roberts now will stand in the state seat of Ipswich as a part of the plan, to take over the state leadership should sitting One Nation member Steve Dickson(another competent Member) lose his seat of Buderim at the November 25 poll.
In the current episode of sloppy administration by One Nation, the next in line is Fraser Anning, a Gladstone business man.
Sources have revealed that Anning, believed to be close to bankruptcy, suddenly had his creditors paid off allowing him to sit in the senate.
It seems the deal is for Anning to step aside and create a casual vacancy which would allow Pauline Hanson to insert Ashby into the senate.
There is a similar precedent to this scenario going back to the famous case when a hostile Labor Party member,Albert Patrick Field(Pat) was appointed to the senate after union organiser, Senator Bertie Milliner died suddenly. This extract from Wikipedia explains how One Nation could appoint Ashby:
“On 30 June 1975, Bertie Milliner, a Queensland ALP Senator, died suddenly. It had long been a tradition that when a casual vacancy occurred in the Senate, the relevant political party would nominate the replacement to the state premier, and the state parliament would formally appoint the new senator. As was usual practice, the Labor Party nominated only one name, Mal Colston, to replace Milliner. Country Party Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen asked for a list of three names from which he would choose the replacement; he was possibly relying on a 1962 precedent, when his predecessor, Frank Nicklin, had also required such a list of names. The Labor Party refused to provide a list and insisted on Colston being appointed.
Although Field had long Labor Party and union connections, he was certainly not an active politician and had never before sought to become one. Nevertheless, he made himself known to the Premier’s office and offered his services.
Although he would be technically a Labor Senator, he vowed never to vote for the Whitlam government. Field was conservative and religious and was openly critical of what he saw as a range of “immoral” policies being advanced by Whitlam and his government. That was exactly the sort of person wanted by Bjelke-Petersen, who responded by nominating Field in the Parliament of Queensland as the new senator.”
To the public, One Nation it appears, can do no wrong. Their savage internal politics have seen numerous candidates kicked out because they would not pay Ashby’s Sunshine Coast printing business for election material believing they could buy it cheaper elsewhere. Others have been kicked out for not adhering to Hanson’s ‘it’s my way or the highway’ policy.
This writer does not believe the platitudes coming from the mouth of Liberal leader Tim Nicholls stating he will not do a deal with Hanson to form government. He would do a deal with the devil to grab a hold of the Treasury spoils.
So would Hanson and Ashby, both traditional Liberals with close ties to both the state and federal Liberal parties.
At a Canberra function soon after last year’s federal election, according to a bystander, Hanson’s first comments to Malcolm Turnbull were,” how can I help you Malcolm?” (Cairns News has contacted a bystander and Hanson’s comments were confirmed).
FORMER SENATOR ROD CULLETON ASKS COMMUNITY TO STAND UP TO BANK RECEIVERS AT BALLABAY STATION
Former Senator Rod Culleton, has released a plea on social media for people to get to Ballabay Station located just outside Charters Towers, at Pentland, 9am on Thursday morning.
Nolene Bradshaw and her family own Ballabay Station and Mr Culleton said that he had been working closely with Mrs Bradshaw when he was a Senator, to help keep them on the farm.
Mr Culleton said Rabobank, the lender, was one of the most aggressive banks along with the ANZ, when it came to farm foreclosures.
“Once we lose the great generational farmers of this nation, they will never be replaced and we will have lost the knowledge and expertise forever. This happened in Europe and it can happen here! Our farmers are irreplaceable,” he said.
“Rabobank have engineered the demise of Nolene Bradshaw and her farm. Nolene, her husband and their son are great pastoralists and have survived drought for years and the government induced live export debacle. Even through these tough times, the Bradshaws were able to look after their cattle, which are in prime condition now to be sold. The market is at an optimum peak and Rabobank should be allowing the Bradshaws to sell their cattle, to help service their loan. The Bradshaws had room to financially manoeuvre to meet repayment deadlines but Rabobank kicked in their heels.”
“The cattle are calving at present and the heat is extremely high, yet, the receivers have sent in a helicopter to muster the cattle. There is no court order to do this and the cattle do not belong to the bank. This is theft, not to mention that these actions will cause stress to the cattle and it is highly likely that they will die as a result.”
Mr Culleton says that he does not have a hatred for banks, but how the major four Australian banks treat their customers. “Instead of sitting down at a table and working out a commercial and viable way for the borrower to service the loan, the banks send in receivers and lawyers,” he said.
“This is why I am fighting for a Royal Commission into the banks, the receivers and other financial associates. The Senate has already agreed to one with the terms of reference I presented to them and now the House of Representatives will be voting on it again, imminently. I urge people to contact their local member and tell them you want a Royal Commission.”
Mr Culleton said that all members of the public and media are invited to attend Ballabay Station, on Gregory Springs Rd in Pentland, at 9am on Thursday 9th February.
“Mrs Bradshaw has advised me that the receivers could come at an moment during the day, so we are asking the public to be prepared to attend and stay for the day and potentially into the night. Our aim is to stop the receivers moving in so that we can prepare other avenues for the Bradshaws to save their farm. Bring drinks, food and shelter. It could turn out to be one big bush barbeque.”
A group of Coen residents has called for an independent audit into the distribution of $260 million of federal and state funding allocated for a major upgrade of the Peninsula Development Road.
One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts was invited to the Coen meeting on Wednesday night to hear the concerns of locals who believe there had been a wide-spread waste of government funds by Roadtek.
Long-time local grazier Paddy Shephard explained to the meeting how an Indigenous Land Use Agreement(ILUA) was about to signed off by the State Government giving part control of the PDR to a “Coen Aboriginal family group” which had no connection to the highway.
Another resolution was passed at the meeting asking Senator Roberts to instigate a senate inquiry into the granting of an ILUA over the PDR, an important arterial tourist and defence road.
Senator Roberts is no stranger to the Cape having taken a number of holiday trips to the Top.
He said he was at the meeting to listen to the concerns of local people and would do what he could to have the matters investigated.
“It seems the place is being held back and the road is important for defence and the opening up of the region,” Senator Roberts said.
“There is no accountability and now it seems lots of waste in general and an abuse of power where ordinary people are missing out every day.
“We are losing our sovereignty in government under regulations coming from the United Nations.”
Businessman Barry Mulley launched an emotional attack on the Cape York Land Council for demanding the PDR be handed over to their elitist members allegedly in order to take a cut of funding for contractors engaged in the upgrade.
“Once they have control of the road they can do what they like with it even charge a toll for tourists to use it and decide which contractors will get jobs,” Mr Mulley said.
“We believe local indigenous people should get jobs on the road but the land council should not be in control of it. There are too many jobs for the boys on big pay that has pushed up the cost of building it.
“There is no accountability from the government or land council in how they spend large amounts taxpayers money.
“I am sick of paying large amounts of tax only to have it wasted by the government on mismanagement of the road works.”
Mr Mulley said Peninsula ratepayers and residents had no political representation which is why Senator Roberts was invited to take their concerns to Parliament.
“Nobody cares about the Peninsula. The government just throws lots of money into it without any accountability,” he added.
The notorious ‘Land Claim Number 1’ according to Cape York Alliance member Jack Wilkie-Jans gave the CYLC the ability to claim ownership of the PDR.
“How do just nine claimants speak for the hundreds of clan groups across the Cape?” he asked.
“Is it any wonder there is such widespread derision among the indigenous and white people of the Cape.”
Liberal Senator for Queensland Ian McDonald wants the defence force to buy 23 agricultural and grazing properties next to Townsville city to accommodate Singaporean troops
Katter Australia Party – 2 December 2016
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter is continuing the fight for nervous landholders who look set to lose their properties through the Australian Defence Force’s expansion plans.
Mr Katter met with Finance Minister Cormann and the Defence Minister Pyne during the last sitting week in Parliament.
Mr Katter told the Finance Minister there are more cost effective areas than Hervey Range for the ADF’s training expansion needs to meet the Singapore Defence Deal.
Mr Katter said, “I told him there won’t be much change from half a billion. One of these properties was recently sold for over $17m.
“Well there are 23 properties in this proposed resumption area.
“They can acquire a vastly more secure area for under 30 million verses half a billion!
“My experience of these issues is that Government end up paying two or three times the market price when these things are fought out in the courts.
“An extra two hours’ drive to the other side of Pentland (where I propose the ADF buy out) would be neither here nor there.
“The other side of Pentland is very poor country. There is no run off from that area to the Great Barrier Reef or domestic water.
“All the problems of the Range simply do not exist at Pentland
“You do not take prime agricultural area to use for a military training area.”
In fierce contrast to Mr Katter, Senator Ian McDonald — who is based in Townsville supports the deal.
Mr Katter said, “The Liberal spokesman (who I’m sure many Liberals would like to put a bung in his mouth, in his vast wisdom he lost the LNP the seat of Townsville and most of the QLD seats too…) well, he’s come up with a gem here.
“Probably the most serious issue here is the strangling of development .
“Townsville has only one serious growth corridor which is Hervey Range.
“This proposal will land lock Townsville. It is disastrous for the city.
“We are positive for the expansion, but not at the expense at our future meat works, the future growth of our city, the destruction of prime agricultural land and serious issues of ordinance running on to the Great Barrier Reef.”
Harry Palmer Comments:
Senator MacDonald has confirmed – “All the seats of fools are now taken in parliament” as that voice of the people diminishes further under this LNP government control generating a fast dawning back to democracy with Bob Katter remaining true voice of the people of Queensland in the house that makes the rules.
Selling Kidman pastoral empire to the Chinese is ‘complete madness’, say Dick Smith, Ian McNamara and Bob Katter
Dick Smith says Australia’s agricultural land is becoming more valuable and should not be sold to foreign investors.
by Matthew Cranston AFR
Australian entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith has called the imminent sale of Australia’s largest landholder S.Kidman & Co to a Chinese company an act of madness and says that with the value of agricultural land rising, Australian super funds should be competing to buy the cattle stations.
Speaking from his 1214 hectare property outside Canberra, Mr Smith, who funded the first major book on his “hero” Australia’s greatest pastoral king Sir Sidney Kidman back in 1987, said he was shocked that Australian investors could not compete with foreign investors.
“I am totally opposed to a sale to the Chinese. It’s complete madness,” Mr Smith told The Australian Financial Review.
“Farming land is going to be incredibly valuable – it is going to generate a lot of wealth into the future so you don’t want all that wealth creation to go overseas.”
Pengxin chief executive Andy McLeod and Gary Romano chief executive of Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co
S.Kidman & Co, which has cattle station holdings covering 11 million hectares, was placed on the market for sale in April last year with EY. The company was expected to sell for more than $325 million.
Chinese group Shanghai Pengxin, which has successfully purchased large farming properties in New Zealand where foreign investment rules are much stricter, was S.Kidman & Co’s preferred bidder for the business.
But the sale was prevented from going ahead late last year on the grounds that part of the landholding was within the Australian Defence Force’s so called “green zone” – the lowest security rated area of the Woomera rocket range.
The land that was within the security area, namely the world’s largest cattle station Anna Creek, has since been carved out of the overall S.Kidman & Co portfolio of land, allowing for the sale of the remaining business.
However Mr Smith said using the security concern as a reason to prevent the sale was a “furphy”. “I really don’t understand why the major parties are ok with still selling it off. Nine out of 10 people I speak to are opposed to it.”
Other Australian investors have been enthusiastic about buying part or all of the S. Kidman & Co landholdings including transport magnate Lindsay Fox.
Mr Smith became one of the top ten shareholders in Australia’s second largest landholder – the Australian Agricultural Company – back in 2012 because he didn’t want to sound like a hypocrite for suggesting that Australians compete with offshore buyers for our agricultural land. He still has that shareholding.
“The Australian super funds surely they could buy Kidman. Even the prime minister could put in $1 million, I could match it and put $1 million in.”
At the same time that Mr Smith opposes the sale of S.Kidman & Co to the Chinese company – he is also against the sale of Australia’s largest dairy farmer known as the Van Diemen’s Land Company. That company is currently owned by a New Zealand local government but is about to be sold to a Chinese businessman Lu Xianfeng.
“Don’t get me wrong if that Chinese businessman wants to be an Australian citizen and bring his money in and live here and have his wife become a member of the Country Women’s Association and he becomes a member of the Rural Fire Brigade then he should be allowed to. But selling to offshore is just wrong – you may as well not have borders.”
The Chinese based company looking to buy S. Kidman & Co – Shanghai Pengxin is controlled by Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming – a $3.4 billion listed company, majority owned by billionaire Jiang Zhaobai. It has been looking to add beef cattle to its agricultural operations.
On Tuesday, the Board of Hunan Dakang announced that its chief executive Gary Romano had resigned. It is understood that Mr Romano would continue as a strategic adviser for Dakang in Australia and on the company’s S.Kidman & Co transaction.
18 June 2015: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today called the signing of the Free Trade Agreement with China the “death warrant” of manufacturing in Australia, all the while delivering no benefit to Australia’s struggling agricultural industries.
“I’ve never had a complaint in the last 15 years about the fact that we can’t already get any of these items into China.
“The Chinese, like the Americans, are pretty easy to deal with, we asked them to change protocols with beef and they changed them.
“The American Free Trade Agreement was going to save us all, but for our dairy and sugar producers, the benefit was quantified the cost of an ice cream per week.
“There was no benefit to the cattlemen, we already had an open market all the time.
“This is just more hot air from the free market fundamentalists and their slithering suits in Sydney.
“Quite frankly, we’re being robbed, and there is no pun intended here.
“When it comes to dairy, we’re told that our producers will have tariffs lifted on infant formula in four years’ time and on all other dairy products within eleven years’ time.
“Well that might help our grandkids in the dairy industry, if we even have a dairy industry left then.
“My venom and spite on this knows no bound, the Government keeps touting this as assistance to farmers, but it delivers absolutely no benefit and instead delivers the death warrant on Australia’s manufacturing industry,” Mr Katter said.
The member for Mount Isa Rob Katter said he was not surprised by the ALP’s success in taking government, and he is hopeful of still achieving KAP’s main priorities, but KAP support would come at a cost.
“The announcement of ALP taking government comes as no surprise and our strategy has been based heavily on this assumption from the start.
“We have had strong discussions with the ALP over the past weeks to give them an understanding of the deficit in investment in rural and regional areas that is holding back growth in the state.
“We still intend to deliver on the extension of the life of the Copper Smelter, the Hann Highway, proper Royalties to Regions and an Ethanol Industry.
“The new premier was highly interested in the policies we have been pushing and has committed to getting around the state during her term to get a better feel for our issues,” Mr Katter said.
Both ALP and LNP had acknowledged that under any future scenario of government the KAP support would be critical in providing a stable government and Mr Katter said KAP intended to make this value count for delivering investment into the regions.
“The KAP is all for supporting a stable government but this support will only come at a cost and the ALP will be held heavily to account in the early part of this term to ensure they show more commitment to rural and regional Queensland than the last LNP government made.
“There is still a cloud of uncertainty over how long the current numbers will stay where they are, pending the appeals on the Ferny Grove decision.
“Three years is a long time for a government to manage without any scandal, loss or absence of any sitting members.
“This underpins a strong reliance on, and therefore strong leverage for the cross benches.
“With the Gang of Six gone from the leadership of the LNP it keeps open the option of having them on hand if this government does not deliver to rural and regional Queensland.”