No Bull: Turnbull handballs question over Aussie bid for cattle empire

17 Jul 2020

The Federal Government has failed to say whether it supports a 100 per cent bid for the S. Kidman & Co cattle empire over a bid from Gina Rinehart and her Chinese partner Shanghai CRED.

In Question Time earlier today the Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, asked the Prime Minister whether he agreed, as a matter of principle, and for the national interest, if there was a commercially credible, 100 per cent Australian bid for an iconic Australian asset such as the S. Kidman & Co empire, that the local bid should take precedence over any other bids involving overseas interests.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull side stepped the question after praising Ms Sharkie’s “patriotism”.

The PM handballed the question to Treasurer Scott Morrison who also failed to answer the question.

“It’s staggering the PM and Treasurer won’t say they would prefer a 100 per cent Australian bid for the biggest farm holding in Australia,” Ms Sharkie said.

“Where is the national interest in selling off a significant chunk of that to an overseas interest?

“S. Kidman & Co is Australia’s most iconic cattle station and agricultural property.

“Earlier today I met the BBHO consortium, led by Sterling Buntine, who have put in a bid for the property.

"This 100 per cent Australian bid comprises pastoralists with big plans to own, operate and grow this iconic business into a global brand.

“Why would the PM not support that bid over a hybrid foreign-corporate bid?”

The NXT will move simultaneously in both Houses of Parliament to amend foreign takeover laws to ensure any commercially equivalent Australian bid Bnsoring this draft legislation with the Honourable Bob Katter MP, Member for Kennedy.

Senator Nick Xenophon said: “Right now the foreign investment framework seems stacked against local bids. The fact it doesn’t have to be considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board is a massive loophole in the current legislation and the PM and Treasurer's failure to provide a straightforward answer is a real worry.”

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