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Foreign Ownership and Influence
Media Release - Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader
The high level of foreign ownership and growing foreign influence in Tasmania has got people talking across the State.
Almost 25% of our state’s agricultural land is under a level of foreign ownership, and foreign donors are making large donations to the Liberals.
The Greens want to start a rational and respectful conversation about the impact of foreign ownership and influence in Tasmania.
Companies with strong links to foreign governments and overseas-based developers are having an increasing influence on the major parties.
In March 2016, the Tasmanian Liberals ignored ASIO's advice and accepted $30 000 from Yuhu Group companies with strong ties to the Chinese Communist government.
All donations that come from vested interests to political parties have a corrosive effect on our democracy.
Water security and the need for local food solutions will be critical this century. It is disturbing that Tasmania’s picture of land ownership and future impacts on resilience is so incomplete.
The Hodgman Liberals have signed secret MOUs with Chinese government companies, including the Bank of China.
The Liberals’ secrecy around the sale of Crown Land foreshore at Kangaroo Bay to a Chinese petrochemical company, and 29 000ha of public plantation land to a company based in the Cayman Islands, does little to instil faith in people that their public interests are being properly managed.
The Greens want to start a formal and respectful community conversation on this issue. In the new Parliament, we will move to establish a Joint Select Inquiry into the Nature and Extent of Foreign Ownership and Influence in Tasmania.
The Inquiry’s terms of reference will include:
· the extent of foreign ownership of land and property in Tasmania;
· assess impacts of foreign ownership on communities, food security, housing affordability and availability, strategic assets and sovereignty; and
· the level of foreign influence on political parties, planning decisions and governance.
The Greens believe this is an important conversation for the community to have and we're not going to shy away from respectfully naming it up and proposing a considered approach.
We want to ensure Tasmanians have a better and more complete picture of foreign influence in Tasmania.