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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1047

Foreign Investment

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (14:24): My question is to the Prime Minister. I draw his attention to media reports that GrainCorp buyer ADM has been prosecuted in America, Canada and Mexico for bribery and price fixing—a thousand million dollar fine and three executives jailed. In light of this, and recalling that dairy deregulation cut prices by 19c to farmers but increased them by 41c to consumers, would the Prime Minister not agree that GrainCorp's sale creates a corporate monopoly in which grain families, like dairymen, will be skinned alive to enable a foreign company to grab an extra one billion a year?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:25): I do thank the member for Kennedy for his question and I appreciate his concerns, concerns which are quite general in this House, to ensure that the foreign investment Australia gets is the right foreign investment that supports our national interest, not the wrong foreign investment that does not. This government, this parliament, this nation has long supported foreign investment. Foreign investment has been a very important part of building the strong economy that we enjoy in this country.

Our agricultural industry, our mining industry, our manufacturing industry would not be what it is but for foreign investment. So we do very much support foreign investment, but it does have to be the right foreign investment, foreign investment that clearly is in our national interest, not the wrong foreign investment. We have a strong and a good process to determine which is which. We have the Foreign Investment Review Board, which makes recommendations, and we have the Treasurer, who makes decisions on this matter. I am confident that this process is being amply pursued in the case in question and I am confident that it will give our country the best possible result.