26.1 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

NZ decides who buys their assets – what can we learn?

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Ballina sludge a mixture of blue-green algae species

A reader has sent Echonetdaily some photos of what he described as 'something nasty and green coming down the Richmond River'.

Cut it down – Tweed Councillors at odds over future of forest red gum

‘We should be active and take the tree down,’ Cr Polglase told the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday, referring to a significant forest red gum and koala food tree in Tweed Heads West.

Editorial – A personal take on politics and media

Since its inception in 1986 by a bunch of ratbag hippy locals, The Echo has championed the voice of the afflicted, not the comfortable. That should be the aim of every media organisation.

A safe space for sexual assault survivors

In a perfect world, the trauma Margot and Joana experienced would not have happened, and there would be no need for the very important support group they have created.

Mullum’s green spine

M Green, Myocum Regarding Council’s concept ideas for the Stuart Street ‘Green Spine Project’, I am strongly opposed to any...

A name by any other

Rod Murray, Ocean Shores An extract from Turning the Tide, the latest Australian Marine Conservation supporter newsletter: ‘Last year the Adani...

Lynne Wilkinson

We can learn a lot from New Zealand as they give priority to their own wealth creators and long-term national interests. New Zealand dairy farmers recently won a case in their Supreme Court to stop the sale of eight dairy farms to China.

The case was won on the basis that the long-term economic value of these farms would be lost to the New Zealand economy if foreign interests bought them. New Zealand has several issues in their favour. Their government must be notified of, and approve, any sale of land more than five hectares. The Maori Treaty signed with the British allowed the sale of land to the Crown but protected the people from the acquisition by other foreign powers.

In Australia foreign sales are not noted unless they exceed $244m or, in the case of the USA, $1001m.

Recently Cargill, a privately owned US family company, has bought the prized Billabong station near Wagga Wagga through its hedge fund, the Black River Asset Management Group (an unlisted Cargill family company). They paid around $9m for the property. Given that Cargill already dominates beyond the farm gate in our beef and wheat exports, the wealth created from these assets do not stay in Australia. If this were an Australian company the ACCC would be limiting its dominance in the local marketplace.

Under the rules of withholding tax in Australia, foreign buyers who borrow offshore, or use offshore consultants as expenses, to purchase and run business here, pay only 10 per cent withholding tax on expenses offshore. This means profits from these assets are not circulated within the Australian economy as they go offshore before profits are declared and tax paid on profits. Unlike public companies, private companies are not easily scrutinised and millions of dollars of profits are siphoned off Australian shores before tax.

In the meantime our governments give subsidies to foreign companies to set up business in competition with local manufacturers (OLAM Singapore almond processing) or sell our assets and intellectual property to foreign interests (Victorian Dairy Research Centre to China) leaving local bidders out.

Our interest rates are among the highest in the world and we have a ‘for sale’ sign on. We need to learn how to manage our wealth-creating assets for our long-term benefit, not just for the benefit of foreign interests. We have much to learn.

Lynne Wilkinson is CEO of Ausbuy, a not-for-profit organisation representing Australian-owned companies supplying goods and services to consumers and businesses since 1991.

Previous articleWeather
Next articleErosion forces surfboat move

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.