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Stop food shelves becoming fully foreign owned



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Senator John Coulter Australian Democrats Leader

14 October 1992 ■

NEWS R E L E A S E 92/

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Stop food shelves becoming fully foreign owned

The Amott's takeover could be prevented by pro-Australian foreign investment controls, Australian Democrats' leader Senator John Coulter said.

He said takeovers which cost Australia jobs, profits and import , dollars should be prevented to stop our food supply from becoming totally foreign controlled.

The Democrats' economic blueprint Getting to Work (a comprehensive alternative to Fightback! and One Nation) says that while foreign investment in Australia should be encouraged a national interest test must apply.

"The Government should have the power to step in and prevent our food shelves from becoming fully foreign owned," Senator Coulter said.

As Amott's was free of financial problems and well placed to export to Asia the takeover would fail to reap a net economic benefit to Australia.

"Arnotts is one of the few Australian companies that has a real chance in Asia. Management expects to lift exports from 800 tonnes per year to 10,000 tonnes within three years," Senator Coulter said.

Senator Coulter said the Government should also boost export enhancement schemes along the lines suggested in Getting to Work to support companies with an exporting future. The investment would be more than repaid in terms of Australian jobs and profits.

Getting to Work says that for each million dollars of new manufacturing activity about 30 jobs a year would be created, raising $280,000 in taxes, with a saving of $231,000 in welfare spending.

Senator Coulter said funding to the Export Access Program, which assists exporting companies, should be stepped up.

Austrade should shift its focus from the US into Asian markets and the Export Finance Insurance Corporation should expand the number of export contracts it is able to underwrite.

The Democrats, who are running a hard pro-Australia line, also proposed a labelling system in Getting to Work to enable consumers to identify whether purchasing a particular product would provide either jobs and/or profits, for Australians.

A U S T R A L I A N

DEMOCRATS

rSenator Coulter or Jenni Mack 06 277 3646

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