Katter talks sense on foreign ownership.
The worst thing about Australia’s foreign investment regime is that it wrongly confuses the transfer of ownership of assets to foreigners, whereby no real investment (capital deepening) takes place, with genuine foreign investment.
The former (which is the dominant source) is akin to “selling the family jewels”, and should be discouraged, whereas the latter actually adds to the nation’s productive capacity, and should be encouraged.
If a foreign entity wants to set-up a factory or a new industry in Australia. Fantastic. But if it merely wishes to buy an existing asset (home, farm, etc) and not undertake any productive enhancements, then it should be disallowed. Otherwise, we are ‘selling-off the farm’ and our children’s future, pure and simple.
Finally, given the widespread reports about banks manipulating the bank bill swap rate, mortgage fraud, and overall dodgy lending standards, Katter’s call for a banking Royal Commission also makes a lot of sense, since it may be the only way to get to the bottom of their systemic dodgy practices.
Hopefully Katter will hold the balance-of-power in the lower house and can extract some policy action in these areas.