Federal Member Bob Katter has taken his fight to protect Australia from foreign corporations to the floor of the Federal Parliament.
The Katter’s Australian Party Member introduced a Bill today to protect Australia from the foreign corporate colonisation of rural and regional areas (The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment (Strategic Assets) Bill 2020) – the second time Mr Katter has introduced the Bill in five years.
Mr Katter said he didn’t know how other MPs would be able to look at their grandchildren and great grandchildren in the eye and tell them that they sold off their nation.
“On behalf of the Australian people we say no more foreign ownership,” Mr Katter said.
“Around 30 per cent of the people I meet tell me they are shocked and horrified that the Government is selling Australia off and out.”
The Bill states a foreign person cannot acquire a 10 per cent or greater interest in Australian land, water, or other assets that are of strategic economic or defence significance.
“A two thirds majority in both houses of parliament must approve foreign acquisitions, and the acquisition will be for no more than 45 percent of the asset,” Mr Katter said.
13.4 per cent of Australia’s agricultural land is foreign owned according to the ATO’s latest statistics from July 2018.
And foreign agricultural ownership is as high as 25 per cent in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Similarly with Australia’s water assets, the ATO data shows 10.4 per cent is owned by foreign interests.
“The Ord stage two and stage three were given completely to China, despite more than 30 Australians applying for the water,” Mr Katter said.
“Our most strategic northern deep water Port in Darwin was effectively sold off as well.
“It was also the most strategic Port for the Americans in the South Pacific. Is there anything this Government won’t sell?”
The Bill also calls for the establishment of a Foreign Ownership Assessment Board (FOAB) to determine whether an asset is of strategic economic or defence importance.
Mr Katter said the board would be chosen by a majority of the Senate of Australia and any determination of the FOAB would be reviewable by an appeals tribunal.