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GrainCorp Foreign Takeover to Test Coalition Government’s Resolve

08 October 2013

US & AUSTRALIA - Farmershave likened selling off Australia’s largest agribusiness GrainCorp to a US buyer, to putting all of Telstra’s infrastructure under foreign control.

“The Federal Government would never allow Telstra’s communication’s infrastructure to be sold off to a foreign company,” Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Group president Brett Hosking said.

“Yet they’re willing to consider selling off Australia’s largest agribusiness to a US global food giant (Archer Daniels Midland), which would give it control of 90 per cent of Australia’s east coast grain export handling infrastructure and 75 per cent of domestic grain storage & handling. That’s just not on.”

Mr Hosking joined NSW and Queensland grain growers in Canberra last Thursday, to present their case on opposing the ADM takeover of GrainCorp to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s advisers, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Senator Fiona Nash.

Farmers were heartened to see that by Friday Mr Hockey had signed an interim order under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act, delaying his decision on the ADM takeover until December 17, 2013.

“It is clear the proposed takeover by ADM will be the first true test of the Liberal-National Coalition Government,” Mr Hosking said.

“Last Thursday we emphasised to the Treasurer’s office that an ADM takeover delivers very little new investment. It simply hands essential ports and other grain network infrastructure into foreign hands – right along the eastern seaboard of Australia.

“Treasurer Hockey must carefully consider the impact of an ADM takeover on Australia’s grain supply chain."

“For these reasons and more we appeal to the Treasurer to deny the purchase, so we can ensure a transparent and competitive grains food market. An ADM takeover is not in the interest of grain growers nor the nation as a whole."

The VFF has been pleased to see the National Party has steadfastly opposed the ADM takeover.

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