Trade truce fears for local farmers

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Jul-19

The US and China have indicated that they will resume trade negotiations, with President Donald Trump stating that China had agreed to buy a "tremendous amount" of US agricultural produce. This has prompted concern among Australian officials that such purchases could be at the expense of local farmers, along with fears that the US and China could strike ‘side deals’. However, despite the concerns about agriculture, there was overall relief in Australia that China and the US have agreed to keep talking about their trade differences and that Trump did not impose any more tariffs on China.

CORPORATES
UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Face climate truths: farmer’s plea to PM

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 14-Aug-18

Drought-affected grain and cattle farmer Peter Mailler says it is time for the federal government to have a honest debate about climate change, rather than trying to undermine the science behind it. Mailler recently had to send pregnant cows to the abattoir because he did not have enough grain to feed them. He says that unless the government is prepared to tackle climate change, it should not "pretend to champion" farmers who are affected by drought. He accused some politicians of trying to give the electricity sector a "free kick" on carbon emissions reduction, while at the same time expecting farmers to reduce their emissions output.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Turnbull considering more drought aid

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-18

The federal government is likely to offer more assistance to drought-impacted farmers, as it looks at ways to help farmers adjust to a climate that is becoming hotter and drier. Short-term assistance that the government can offer could include helping to pay for the high cost of fodder transportation, while longer-term measures could include assistance with on-farm water storage and other infrastructure, including the possibility of tax write-offs. National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar says subsidising crop insurance would also help farmers.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RABOBANK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEW SOUTH WALES FARMERS ASSOCIATION

Super sows seeds in agriculture

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 18 & 22 : 12-Mar-18

Hostplus chief investment officer Sam Sicilia says the $A700 billion industry superannuation fund sector wants to boost its investment in agriculture. However, it does not want to do so in an ad-hoc fashion, such as by acquiring individual dairy farms, as investing in this fashion yields lower returns than from other investments, such as infrastructure. He says that the sector is thinking of setting up a joint investment company that would have the backing of major industry funds.

CORPORATES
HOST-PLUS, VICSUPER PTY LTD, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FIRST STATE, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, RETAIL EMPLOYEES SUPERANNUATION PTY LTD

Spitting chips: workers accuse potato giant of ‘wage theft’

Original article by Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 4 : 6-Jul-17

The National Union of Workers has warned that extending the industrial award for farm workers to people who work in packing and storage sheds could result in wage cuts of up to eight per cent. Potato grower Mitolo Group has applied to the Fair Work Commission to have the scope of the Horticulture Award broadened to include non-farm gate workers, but the NUW argues that such staff should be covered by the Storage Services Award.

CORPORATES
MITOLO GROUP PTY LTD, NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Scene set for Kidman bidding war

Original article by Kylar Loussikian, Sue Neales
The Australian – Page: 4 : 28-Oct-16

Directors of S. Kidman & Company have endorsed a $A386.5m offer for the pastoral business from Gina Hancock’s Hancock Prospecting and China-based Shanghai CRED. However, the BBHO consortium has signalled that its $A386m offer could potentially be increased. The Hancock-Shanghai CRED deal must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, and Rinehart has indicated that Hancock will acquire full ownership of Kidman if the joint bid is rejected. BBHO has emphasised the all-Australian nature of its bid.

CORPORATES
S KIDMAN AND COMPANY PTY LTD, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SHANGHAI CRED REAL ESTATE STOCK COMPANY LIMITED, BBHO, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ONE NATION PARTY, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, GLOBAL FARMLAND FUND, SHANGHAI PENGXIN GROUP COMPANY LIMITED

Different rules for Rinehart, say farmers

Original article by Sue Neales
The Australian – Page: 5 : 25-Oct-16

BBHO syndicate member Sterling Buntine fears that its $A386 million bid for S. Kidman & Company will not be treated fairly by the board. Buntine stressed that a rival bid from Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and Shanghai CRED is inferior on two counts, namely being lower at $A365 million and requiring approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

CORPORATES
S KIDMAN AND COMPANY PTY LTD, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SHANGHAI CRED REAL ESTATE STOCK COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, BBHO

Rinehart swoops on Kidman

Original article by David Crowe, Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 10-Oct-16

Australian businesswoman Gina Rinehart has submitted a $A365m bid to acquire S Kidman & Company in partnership with China-based Shanghai CRED. Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting would have a 67 per cent stake in the rural property empire, a move that has the support of Senator Nick Xenophon and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson. Shanghai CRED was a member of the Chinese consortium whose bid to acquire Kidman was blocked on national interest grounds earlier in 2016.

CORPORATES
S KIDMAN AND COMPANY PTY LTD, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SHANGHAI CRED REAL ESTATE STOCK COMPANY LIMITED, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, ONE NATION PARTY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, DAKANG AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, PORT ADELAIDE FOOTBALL CLUB

PC takes aim at rural protectionism

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 21-Jul-16

The Productivity Commission has recommended a number of changes to Australia’s agricultural policy. The commission states in a draft report that protectionist measures should be removed. It says the aim of liberalisation of the agricultural market necessitates the abolition of marketing agencies such as the New South Wales Rice Marketing Board and the Western Australian Potato Marketing Corporation. The Commission also says foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural sector should be encouraged rather than discouraged.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, RICE MARKETING BOARD, POTATO MARKETING CORPORATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Overseas companies ‘can game the system’

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 6 : 10-Jun-16

The Australian Labor Party’s proposal to increase the threshold for offshore investment in agricultural land has been criticised by Treasurer Scott Morrison. Labor would require purchases of farmland valued at $A50m or more to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, but Morrison contends that offshore buyers would seek to avoid this by acquiring land for $A49m. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has also criticised Labor’s proposal to lift the threshold for foreign investment in the agribusiness sector to $A1bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY