Two types of assets
|Cubbie Station - a political football|
This isn't just a technical point, it's critical to the security of Australia and to the debate.
Separate the assets
A lot of the debate quite rightly surrounds the ownership of large tracts of Australia by foreign owners, especially foreign governments.
There is also acknowledgment that Australia lacks the capital and commitment to farm our arable resources to their full capacity. So, we need to work with foreigners to make productive use of the land.
So, we can lease the asset, rather than sell it.
The UK model
For centuries, the UK property model has sold long term leaseholds over residential property. If you "buy" a flat you are most likely buying a 90 year lease, not the freehold.
We should adopt this model for significant Australian agricultural landholdings. Sell a 100 year lease. It provides food security for the Chinese buyer, but does not relinquish the ultimate ownership of the Australian land.
Selling long term leases of Australian agricultural properties is a win-win for all.
Let me know what you think.