Sunday, October 21, 2012

Agriculture smelling sweet

Interest this week in a report from ANZ reported at the Financial Review: Greener soft investment Pastures: the global soft commodity opportunity for Australia and New Zealand.

This report follows the positive outlook for agriculture presented by Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson earlier this month, as posted at  Queenslnd Economy Watch: Treasury forecasts agricultural boom.

The most controversial aspect will surely be the call for foreign capital to reap the opportunities:
Australia's farming sector could generate an additional $1.7 trillion for the economy by 2050 if the capital is invested, the report added, but the lack of capital in Australia makes it difficult for Australia's farmers to compete with those in New Zealand and South America.
On the same day Australia's largest listed agribusiness Graincorp went into a trading halt following a large transaction with a takeover offer imminent. Also noted was that Australian Agricultural announced it would proceed with an abattoir near Darwin while still in negotiations with potential investors in the project.

Anyone who happens to be in Sydney on November 14 (eclipse day) can catch what could be an interesting debate on foreign investment is out of control. Bob Katter, Alan Jones and Frank Stilwell will line up for the affirmative against Peter Costello, Tim Wilson and Steve Kates.

Wilson is from the IPA which has been actively pushing economic zones in the north to foster development, which I have always thought a somewhat curious policy coming from the IPA. The combination of Stilwell (Sydney University) with Jones and Katter is also somewhat eclectic.

The inclusion of Catallaxy ranter Steve Kates (RMIT) for the opposition balances things with a moon-bat academic economist from both the left and right on opposing sides. 



  1. I find the hysteria over foreign investment very odd. They can't take the land out of Australia can they? In the worst case scenario the Govt could seize the land from any foreigners who turn out to be from an enemy nation.

  2. I still scratch my head over the comments from Barnaby Joyce that Cubbie Station was about to become some kind of Chinese sovereign colony in the middle of Queensland. Perhaps his mate Alan Jones will expand on this at the debate with the help of his new 2GB fact-checker!

    It is also clear, which shows to an extent in the debate teams, that this is also an issue which still splits the coalition constituency.