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Senators question rules on farm sales to foreigners

 

Senator Bill Heffernan. ABC file photo.

 

ABC | Tuesday, 08/06/2010

Questions have been raised at a Senate inquiry in Canberra about whether foreign investment rules go far enough to keep Australian agriculture sustainable.

The Foreign Investment Review Board will only be notified of a sale of agricultural land when the property is owned by a company worth more than $231 million, or when it's being bought by a foreign government.

The board's Patrick Colmer has told the inquiry that all other agricultural land sales to international buyers don't have to be reported.

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan and chair of the Select Committee on Agriculture and Related Industries says the rules don't protect Australian food production.

Heffernan: "You could acquire an entire district, just farm by farm by farm, with a foreign entity and it would never come on your radar?"

Colmer: "That is quite possible, yes."
  • Icon-world  ABC
  • 08 Jun 2010

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