From the moment Tony Abbott emerged as a possible leader of this country the mainstream media went silent on his inability to keep his word. Instead, they echoed his claims ad nauseum that his opponent for most of that time, Julia Gillard, was a person who could not keep hers.
Her promise that “There will be no Carbon Tax in a government I lead” was upheld, yet it was distorted to present her as a dishonest politician. While all the time, Tony Abbott flip-flopped his way through the political landscape with verbal twists and turns and counter statement after counter statement.
They were repeatedly overlooked by the old media.
It appears they still are. But not in the independent media. The old media were happy to announce yesterday, without question, that:
Tony Abbott has put investment and free trade at the centre of the Coalition’s agenda to reignite economic growth by warning that other countries would “build walls against us” if the nation cracked down on foreign capital.
I say ‘without question’ because it was an announcement that blatantly contradicts everything Tony Abbott stood against when in Opposition and planning the ascension of his party. The article continued with:
In a news conference to announce his government frontbench, Mr Abbott said: “I want people here and abroad to understand that Australia welcomes foreign investment. It’s got to be the right foreign investment, which is in our national interest, but one thing we can’t do is build walls against the world.”
Without hesitation, they believed him. But only because they offer no scrutiny. They ignore that in August last year in their own discussion paper:
. . . the Coalition proposes the sale of farmland and agribusinesses be examined particularly closely, suggesting the Foreign Investment Review Board scrutinise all foreign acquisitions of agricultural land valued at over $15 million. The current threshold is $244 million.
As an aside, the wording in the ‘supportive’ Murdoch media at the time was a bit misleading. See if you can spot the difference.
. . . the release of a Coalition discussion paper that suggests slashing the foreign investment threshold to $53 million from $244 million for offshore buyers wanting to acquire agricultural assets.
Maybe the Murdoch media needed to leave out a ‘minor’ detail in order to sell the proposal, which, incidentally, will save the country from the great ruin the Gillard Government has deviously planned for us. Please try not to laugh at this from the above link:
South Australia’s food supplies will be increasingly at risk unless Julia Gillard adopts the Opposition’s new measures on the sale of farms to foreign investors, farmers warn.
Yes, the sky was going to fall in.
Yet most people think the sky was going to fall in on this proposal. Take, for example, the views of David Farley, the chief executive of Australian Agricultural Company:
“The Coalition partners, the Nationals, should actually study agriculture a bit more closely and understand what is needed to develop the industry in Australia.
“I am concerned that it is shouting out a xenophobic view rather than an informed view about what is best for the local industry,” Mr Farley said.
Mr Farley said there were was “plenty” of capital available to invest in Australian Agriculture, both through the trillion dollar domestic superannuation system and foreign investors.
“There are already enough hurdles to agricultural development in Australia, why put further barriers in place?
“If the pathways for Australian capital into agriculture are not attractive enough we definitely need to make sure that it is for international investors.”
Mr Farley said that as a major agricultural producer Australia had “big job to do’ over the next 20 years to meet the food needs of a global population tipped to reach nine billion people.
It did appear to be policy on the run. Populist policy at that. Just another thought bubble policy. A policy so bad that not even Joe Hockey could defend it, let alone explain it.
As at 2010 foreign ownership of agricultural land in Australia was a mere 6 per cent. If the Gillard Government didn’t do anything about this then the good folk of South Australia would have suffered from the effects of malnutrition and possibly scurvy. First only Whyalla was at risk. Then it was the whole state.
And all along the Coalition had been predicting that the Mining Resources Tax (MRT) would deter foreign investment in Australia. And isn’t it a surprise to learn that the mining industry in Australia is 83 per cent foreign owned?
What isn’t surprising is the Opposition’s hypocrisy.
On the run, they were producing policies that were promoted with the prediction that the country will be ruined if foreign ownership isn’t controlled, yet they opposed Government policies that they predicted – unfounded – that will deter foreign ownership.
Now we read that Tony Abbott wants to attract foreign investment.
I’m sorry, but hypocrites and policies don’t marry up too well.
This latest announcement simply reinforces that Tony Abbott is a man whose words mean nothing. He could possibly be offering this new policy with honesty and sincerity and if he is, it means that everything he said about this issue in the past was, in a word, bullshit.
Why can’t journalists in the mainstream media pick up on these obvious contradictions? Or better still, expose him as a liar?