The Road to Serfdom Series
South Korea secretly buys 800,000 hectacres of Australian farmland.
- Australia is to become a food colony of Korea and other nations.
- Australian farmers will go from owners of their own farm to Serf hourly workers of foreign Masters.
FOREIGN countries are secretly buying up large chunks of Australian farmland by establishing shelf companies, trust funds, and extended settlements to avoid scrutiny.
More than 800,000 hectacres of prime and fertile land, from Moree in the north to Deniliquin in the south, is foreign owned, with South Korea's Ho Myoung Farm company the largest stakeholder with 500,000 hectacres.
According to the latest figures from PRD nationwide Research, Korea's investment has almost doubled in the past six months, while Switzerland ranks third with 74,448 ha of crop and livestock properties scattered throughout NSW.
In a special investigation, The Sunday Telegraph reveals that overseas ownership was likely to be much greater but "complex business structures were hiding the true picture".
"People are being very secretive, they are negotiating settlement over a year so no one finds out and agents are advised to keep a low profile," said PRDnationwide research analyst Oded Reuveni-Etzioni.
He said big jumps in Korean and Qatari land holds reflected the protracted settlements that were taking place, but most farm purchases escaped scrutiny of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Under current legislation, only purchases of agricultural land over $244 million trigger a review and as most farms in NSW sell for between $500,000 to $10 million, few attract scrutiny.
Bought by secret agents
STAY-PUT farmer Jamie Bowman said it is the "secrecy" of the foreign land buy-up that concerns him most.
A livestock and crop farmer from Harden, Bowman, 35, said in the past two years he had knocked back big cash offers from agents acting for "mystery" buyers. "When I quiz them about who is behind the bids, they just won't say ... it's always very hush-hush. "But word gets around and we know it's not just the American buyers, but also Qatar and I think just out of decency they should disclose who they are," said the father-of-two.
"I don't like the secrecy."
"We've been here six generations, so we're not going anywhere. I'm not so worried about super funds investing, but when you're talking food security, it's a worry for the nation."
Nearby farmer Mick Townsend, 65, was one of several to sell. He recently sold his 400ha grain farm to Hassad Food, which is owned by the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, via an agent.
"Their plan is for food security for the folk back home in Qatar," he said.
Dongyi Hua would prefer to be in farming in Australia
Chinese mining executive would rather invest in Australia's agriculture to meet China's food demand
- The Chinese have little interest in simply buying Australian products. They want to own the land itself.
The head of a $7 billion Chinese mining project in the Pilbara says Australia has a golden opportunity to meet China's soaring demand for high-quality food and he would prefer to invest in agriculture rather than iron ore, given the risk of falling prices for the steelmaking ingredient.
Citic Pacific Mining executive chairman Dongyi Hua told Julia Gillard and Perth business leaders yesterday that soaring demand for Australian food, particularly beef, among China's 100 million wealthy people could buffer Australia's economy from the effects of an end to the mining boom.
"Those top people, they never care about the price," Dr Hua told an In The Zone business roundtable in Perth sponsored by The Australian.
"If it's $15 or $50 a kilo (for Australian beef), they are willing to accept it." (farmlandgrab.org)
The Road to Serfdom Series
The world is moving toward a modern form of Neo-Serfdom where everyone works for the all-powerful State or businesses controlled by the State. A world where individual property rights and economic freedom do not exist.
FREEDOM IS VANISHING: What happens when the major employers are owned by government backed investment groups, or your food comes from government owned farms, or your news is delivered by so-called "private" corporations but are in reality connected and interconnected to governments?
George Orwell had a name for it: Big Brother.
Please check out other stories in our Serfdom series.
THE FEDERALIST - "Australia and Africa become Arab Food Colonies."
THE FEDERALIST - "China buys Australia (For Cheap Too)"
THE FEDERALIST - "The Chinese conquest of Africa"
THE FEDERALIST - "China buys New Zealand - The Road to Serfdom, Part XVII"
THE FEDERALIST - "Arab Food Colonies in Black Africa."
THE FEDERALIST - "Chinese colonization of New Zealand blocked."
THE FEDERALIST - "Chinese "Slavery" in Africa - The Road to Serfdom, Part XIV."
THE FEDERALIST - "Argentina fights Saudi Land Grab."
THE FEDERALIST - "LAND GRAB: 160,000 people thrown off their land."
THE FEDERALIST - "China is buying up Argentina."
THE FEDERALIST - "Corporations use Global Warming to steal land."
THE FEDERALIST - "China wants to buy a huge chunk of Iceland"
THE FEDERALIST - "China to buy up Australian farmland"
THE FEDERALIST - "Brazil takes action to protect their farmlands from foreigners"
THE FEDERALIST - "Saudi Arabian "Food Colonies" in Argentina"
THE FEDERALIST - "China buys oil fields in Texas"
THE FEDERALIST - "America is committing suicide - The Road to Serfdom, Part IV"
THE FEDERALIST - "The Road to Serfdom, Part III"
THE FEDERALIST - "Benito Mussolini was right"
THE FEDERALIST - "The Road to Serfdom, Part II"