National Farmers' Federation

The right formula for foreign investment

Simon Talbot, CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), said that Australia’s farmers welcome foreign investment on Australian terms and for the benefit of Australians.
“Foreign investment has brought definite benefits to Australian agriculture,” Mr Talbot said.
“We want to help ensure that it continues to do so. But to do that, we need to develop the architecture for successful and sustained agricultural investment.
“Farmers need accurate information and a national foreign ownership register of agricultural land, agribusiness and water entitlements.
“That register should be for the whole of Australia; it should be comprehensive in its scope; and it should be available to the Australian public.
“Closed systems of production, processing and export are in nobody’s interest.
“We want to see the power of the Foreign Investment Review Board increased, so that it extends beyond transactions and into assessment after transactions.
“Above all, the nature of the investment has to be at the forefront of consideration. Does it contribute to downstream investment? Does it help innovation in the Australian economy? Does it help to make the most of Australian abilities?
“Foreign investment also needs to have a social licence and a sense of mutual interest and co-operation, such as co-investment.
“That way we can develop a model of foreign investment for the future: one that serves Australian interests.”

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