Business

Gillard announces foreign ownership register

UPDATE 1:54PM A national register of foreign ownership of Australia's prime agricultural land will be introduced irrespective of whether Labor or the Coalition wins government at the next election.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday announced the Labor Government would introduce a register of overseas investments in farm land, with a discussion paper to be released later this year.

Her announcement at the National Farmers' Federation congress in Canberra comes after months of lobbying from the farm group, and also follows a similar announcement from the Coalition.

While her statement was cordially welcomed by the crowd, Ms Gillard did not make any commitments on when such a register would be created, leaving the building immediately after finishing her speech.

Ms Gillard told delegates the register would "provide a comprehensive picture" of the size and locations of foreign farm holdings.

While at pains to point out the level of foreign ownership in farm land had "not changed for 30 years", recent takeovers in the processing sector would not have to be registered, as they were agri-businesses, not primary producers.

Reaction came thick and fast, with Nationals leader Warren Truss labelling the plan "half-baked" and Greens Senator Rachel Siewert tagging it as "simple common sense".

Queensland independent MP Bob Katter said the register would not prevent farm land being sold off-shore, ensuring only that Australians now could "watch how (our country) is being sold out".

Just weeks after the controversial takeover of the nation's largest cotton farm, Cubbie Station, Ms Gillard said the government now aimed to "take the politics out of foreign investment".

The speech was seen as a public bid to placate concerns about the level of scrutiny foreign investments come under.

NFF president Jock Laurie welcomed the announcement, saying he hoped it would provide the information that could then add to a more balance debate on foreign investment and its regulation.

Topics:  foreign investment, foreign ownership, tony abbott



Former boyfriend's tribute to Home Hill stabbing victim

Jamison Stead met Mia Ayliffe-Chung on the Gold Coast in April. Photo: Facebook

"Mia was a beautiful soul who was always looking out for people."

‘Tireless’ principals paid tribute over new Ballina school

School principals thanked for their role in merger

Grave concerns for man missing a week

Jesse Southam-Marsh is missing.

GRAVE concerns are held by friends and family of Jesse Southam-Marsh

Latest deals and offers

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep