Back to Bolted-Down Industries
by Viv Forbes, Science Writer
Once upon a time Australia was attractive to processing, refining and manufacturing industries using our abundant mineral and food resources, our reliable low-cost coal-fired electricity and a workforce trained in technical skills.
Our last oil refinery has closed, leaving just 3 weeks supply of refined motor fuel in the country and for the first time in at least 60 years Australia no longer produces motor vehicles. China and India have about 430 coal power plants under construction but Australia has not built a single coal-fired power station for seven years – some politicians even rejoice when they manage to close and demolish one. Brisbane’s new trains are being made in India, Victa mowers are made in China and most coastal shipping died decades ago. Steel works and refineries producing aluminium, copper and zinc are under stress. All these industries are being pushed overseas by costly unreliable electricity and other government barriers and burdens.
Red-green policies being pushed by all major parties are making Australia more dependent on bolted-down industries such as mining and farming that can’t be sent overseas because their basic resources are here. And green opposition to nuclear power increases Aussie reliance on coal.
A century ago Australians relied on wool, wheat, gold, silver, copper, lead-zinc, butter, beef and timber – all products of bolted-down industries.
Red-green policies are pushing us back to those days. Politicians need to remember Newton’s Law of Bureaucracy – whenever the government tries to use the force of law to achieve economic goals the long term results will be equal and opposite to those intended.
So in the long run, red-green energy and environmental policies will make us more dependent on the industries they now attack – mining, farming, forestry and fishing.
Construction of new coal-fired power plants is increasing in at least 35 countries:
Asia is returning to Coal:
Greens Disappointed by Economic Growth:
S. Kidman & Co Ltd has pastoral leases covering 101,000 square kilometres in three states and the Northern Territory. Kidman cattle stations produce grass-fed beef for export to Japan, the USA and South East Asia.
20 April 2016: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katterhas today expressed his disgust at the LNP Government delaying the decision to sell off Kidman and Co to the Chinese until after the likely Federal election on July 2. He has warned Australians that the LNP will sell off our country – the question is ‘will it be before or after an election?’
“The Government can ‘kid’ some of the people some of the time. They can ‘kid’ some of the people all of the time. They can ’kid’ all of the people some of the time but they can’t ’kid’ all of the people, all of the time!” Mr Katter said.
It was reported today that Treasurer Scott Morrison has avoided making an election issue of the Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to the Chinese by delaying the decision until after the election. The $371 million sale of Kidman & Co cattle empire in the N.T equates to roughly 1.3 per cent of Australia’s total land mass.
Mr Katter said, “Anyone who would accept this cynical manoeuvre by Scott Morrison is not a patriotic Australian. You absolutely know that the Government is going to flog off a giant pastoral area in the Northern Territory to the Chinese.
Why did foreign powers in the forties try and invade us, when you can just simply buy us? And the LNP and ALP are selling us very cheaply.”
Mr Katter recalls a front page of the Australian Financial Review last November as a canary in the coal mine for Chinese buy of Australian agribusiness:
“On the front page of the Fin Review (9 Nov 2015) there’s Josh Frydenberg with the Chinese port owner handing out $5 billion, ‘Foreign investors tempted with $5b Top End development loans’ was the heading.
Please… fellow Australians wake up and stand up. The LNP and ALP are selling out your country from underneath you. You will have no resources that can earn you any money and you will be under the iron first of Chinese corporations, almost all of who are controlled by the Chinese Government.
Anyone who thinks the Kidman purchase is where it‘ll be stopping, believes in the tooth fairy.”
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.
A letter from a reader about the appalling behaviour of Minister for Northern Development Josh Frydenberg in Federal Parliament on October 21, 2015
Hi Josh, we just saw your comments about flogging off Darwin Port to the bloody Chinese, YET AGAIN.
Why are you and the free-trading, de-regulating Liberals so intent on selling our kids future??
Your disgraceful antics when answering Katters question are deplorable in the least, but not unexpected when Katter, the conscience of the Liberals and former Nationals, asks a question that you cannot truthfully answer.
Northern Development is just another cruel hoax and your comments have just proven it.
Yes there is not a high density of population north of the Tropic of Capricorn but that is no excuse to populate it with unwanted chinamen. I have a copy of Rudd’s Cabinet proposal to sell most of the north to China or Indonesia before they take it forcefully. It was published on www.cairnsnews.org last year I believe.
No doubt you are following the same UN dictate.
Is it any wonder people are fed up with neo-con Liberals and Labor recalcitrants in ‘Parliament’ just like you and naturally Malcolm, the Minister for his Jewish mates, Goldman Sachs?
Your machinations foment the white depopulation of Cape York and handing over much needed cattle breeder country to murris that will never again produce anything for the economy.
Did you know there are only 140,000 head of cattle remaining in the Far North?
Why did you allow Warren Entsch to ignore the handing over of the North’s only defence road, the Peninsula Development Road, to the unrepresentative and warring Cape York Land Council?
You have admitted in parliament (prima facie evidence) to the handing over of our country to a foreign power. This is not northern development, this is sedition and you and your ilk should be charged accordingly under the Criminal Code Act 1914.
From a Queensland voter