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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8670


Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (18:07): I am pleased that we are going personal in this debate—from a bloke who really is very good at it. I have a couple of points to make. I would remind the minister, who used to believe in open markets but apparently no longer does—he has been convinced by Senator Williams—that it was John Howard who had a billion dollar threshold. He had a billion dollar threshold for land under the US FTA and others, and the $50 million threshold in relation to Singapore and Thailand was clearly what the National Party's Mark Vaile thought was appropriate.

I have two questions which arose out of both Senator Williams and Senator Whish-Wilson's contributions. I may have misunderstood them, but I understand that Senator Williams was asserting that the US FTA, the New Zealand FTA and the Chile FTA ought to be reopened to lower the agricultural land threshold. I would ask: is that government policy? Does the government have any intention of doing so? Second, I again ask: is the government prepared to consider the Greens' proposition to create a FIRB trigger in relation to water holdings?