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Rudd fumbles for an answer on foreign ownership



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29th August, 2013

RUDD FUMBLES FOR AN ANSWER ON FOREIGN OWNERSHIP

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has shown his fake side again when answering questions on foreign ownership at the Leaders Debate in Sydney.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has accused of Mr. Rudd of “making it up on the run” when he was challenged on foreign ownership by a western Sydney resident.

Senator Williams said Mr. Rudd’s answer of ''I am a bit nervous, a bit anxious, frankly, about simply an open slather on this” should have had a follow-up question - Labor’s had six years to fix it, why haven’t you?

Senator Williams pointed out that Labor has not followed through on a commitment to establish a national register of foreign ownership of land.

“On the 23rd of October last year, Prime Minister Gillard announced plans to introduce a foreign ownership record of agricultural land.

Ten months later it remains in the Labor basket of broken promises.

The Nationals have led the fight to tighten regulations, and a Coalition Foreign Investment Taskforce chaired by Nationals Leader Warren Truss made a number of recommendations including the establishment of a national register so we know who owns what.

The trigger for scrutiny by the Foreign Investment Review Board of farm purchases would be reduced from the current $248 million to $15 million, and those buying multiple farms even over a number of years but that add up to $15 million would be subject to the national interest test.

All proposed purchases by a sovereign wealth fund or state-owned enterprise would still automatically be reviewed by FIRB, and that body would be increased to seven members including one with agricultural expertise.

While Prime Minister Rudd came up with another clanger, the Coalition has plans in place”, Senator Williams said.

ENDS

Contact Greg Kachel on 0428 253 560