Greens want foreign ownership register for farming

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Greens Leader Bob Brown | Photographer: (Insiders)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation | 28/07/2010

The Greens have called for a national register of foreign purchases of land and water in Australia.

"In the coming century, food and fibre production will be a huge issue as the world population soars to 10 billion people or more,” Greens Leader Bob Brown says.

“It is important Australians know who owns the productive farmlands and water rights of our country.

"Currently there is no register except in Queensland, nor any vetting of foreign ownership by the Foreign Investment Review Board, except for purchases in excess of $231 million.

"Ownership can lead to control of markets for food, and therefore food prices, so it’s important we know who owns what."

Deputy Leader Christine Milne has also called for the ACCC to assess the impacts of food processor mergers and takeovers and called for an inquiry into National Competition Policy.

In other election news, the National Rural Health Alliance has issued a challenge to the leaders of the two major parties, calling for a debate on rural issues.

Executive director Gordon Gregory says there's been a noticeable lack of campaign focus on rural issues, including education, jobs, infrastructure and the environment.
Original source: ABC
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