To a Chinese Red Army-controlled company, Landbridge.
We usually have enough on our plate just reporting on local FNQ issues, but this story has local impact, and we believe a
|STEVE BREEN, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE|
Chinese companies are increasingly taking on non-Chinese sounding names as they attempt to purchase infrastructure assets around the world. And the Brisbane-based Landbridge Industry Australia P/L, like many, appoint an Australian 空服 (empty suit) to front the project. Not much different from the various "front men" Tony Fung has put forward for his casino dealings across Australia.
Operational control of the Port of Darwin has been given to this Chinese company, with alarm being raised by our allies at the incompetence being shown by the government. At a high-level Australia/US security meeting in Boston last month, Julie Bishop failed to mention this information to the US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter despite the growing permanent presence of US troops in Darwin - troops who now will be using a Chinese-controlled port. So far, the only response from our head of defence Dennis Richardson has been to tell the US that they should read the papers.
President Obama two weeks ago took PM Malcolm Turnbull aside at the APEC meetings to raise strong objection to the Chinese military presence in this port, with Turnbull apparently only hearing of the agreement a week before. NO federal government approval was needed as the port was ostensibly owned by the NT government, who couldn't resist over half a billion $$$ from the Chinese.
We understand the Palaszczuk ALP government has had discussions with Landbridge about ports in Queensland - including Cairns. This has yet to raise any RED FLAGS with our local Minister for Blogs Warren Entsch, who you'd think might have a passing objection to a foreign country owning a port where an Australian Navy base is located. Any chance his recent knock on the head (does anyone believe that bullshit story about a cow, anyway??) might get him focused on his job?
The US government has previously knocked-back port purchases by foreign entities, including the huge Dubai Ports Company. And Dubai is ostensibly an ally!
|CHINESE ADVERTISING BUCKS MORE IMPORTANT|
TO AIRPORT CEO KEVIN BROWN THAN
PROMOTING OUR REGION TO THE VISITORS!
But some infrastructure you just don't sell. Look at how we've gotten screwed by selling off the Cairns Airport to Greedy Venture Capitalists who don't give a stuff about anyone.
Both LNP and ALP governments have put out the "FOR SALE" signs in China. EVERYTHING MUST GO! NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED! An exhaustive report in the Guardian lists just some of the property being snapped up by the Chinese. Our largest and most efficient farms. Our cattle stations. Our largest dairy. Why have Australians as the middle-man when the Chinese can buy our most profitable enterprises and, thanks to the Free Trade (ChAFTA) Agreement, begin sending Chinese workers to run these farms THEIR way??
ChAFTA takes effect next Sunday, 20 December 2015. Merry Christmas, Suckers!
While ostensibly these purchases are by private interests in China, they are all operating under Chinese Government orders to secure their food security. The race to develop Chinese farmland into homes, office blocks, and commercial space has seen China go from a net exporter of food to a net importer of food in just 15 years. Increasingly massive amounts of food are being imported. China is short water and short land. These quasi-government companies can only access these levels of foreign currency with authorisation from Zhongnanhai.
There are also negotiations underway to combine and sell up to six pastoral cattle stations in Cape York, with the deal rumoured to be in the $2Billion range. We're informed that former MP Michael Trout has been involved in these negotiations. Not something you'll hear him spruiking on the Cueball MacKenzie show.
New Zealand as well has been raided, although they now are starting to look askance at these deals and begun knocking them back. The Chinese now own all the large dairies in New Zealand. But just last month the NZ government rejected the Chinese purchase of 13,800 hectare pastoral cattle and sheep station. It is now unlikely that any agricultural land sales by the Kiwis will be approved there.
We all know what's happened to the price of local fish since we began "live exporting" our seafood to China. Our own reef fish is off the menu for most Australians, priced dearer than Wagu beef! What do you think happens when the Chinese begin draining our country of grain, produce, cattle, and sheep?
Those profiting from these sales routinely "dog whistle" charges of "xenophobia" whenever someone questions the policies and lack of foresight being shown in these sales. It has less to do with the Chinese and more to do with just basic common sense.
Only three counties in the world are fully self-sufficient in food: The United States, Canada, and Australia. EVERYONE ELSE in the world relies on these big three to produce huge surpluses. The US and Canada have tight restrictions on foreign ownership of farmland.
Why isn't it registering with our politicians?
As Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein were told in All The President's Men - FOLLOW THE MONEY.