Article – Foreign investment needed, not outright ownership

24 June 2014
Virginia Tapp
ABC Rural
The Chief Executive Officer of an independent research institute says foreign investment is essential for developing northern Australia, but that Australian entities need to get smarter about the process.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the amount of foreign owned farm land is increasing, from approximately 45 to 50 million hectares over the last 4 years.
Major General John Hartley from Future Directions Ltd. believes Australian businesses should partner with foreign investors rather than selling out.
“There are investment opportunities where jointly we can develop our properties, our farms, but sell the produce to an overseas market at an agreed rate over a given period of time.
“The investment can be in such issues as infrastructure, developing the ability to improve the soil, and research that relates to this.”
Hartley also believes citizens in southern areas of Australia still need to be convinced that the whole country would benefit from developing the north.
“Northern Australians see themselves as being dictated to by southern Australians, southern Australians look north and see a part of the world they know little about, so we need to produce a convincing argument.
“If we can convince most Australians that this is in everyone’s best interest, then that would cause those that have the responsibility and authority to do something about it to take notice and to recognise it’s a long term issue.”
Courtesy of ABC Rural