27 September 2011 – An Oxfam report about the impact of agricultural land grabs around the world shows that current rules, regulations and attitudes about food production and trade are out of step with a new global reality, say the Australian Greens, pointing to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that show that 24 per cent of the Northern Territory’s agricultural land is either partly or wholly foreign owned, and 31 per cent of water entitlements for agricultural purposes in Western Australia are also partly or wholly foreign owned..
The report’s launch coincided with a Senate debate on Senators Milne and Xenophon’s bill for greater oversight and control of the sale of Australian agricultural land and water to overseas interests.
“Agricultural land grabs around the world are accelerating rapidly as climate change and population growth make food a national security issue for many countries,” Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
“Oxfam has raised the impact of these land grabs on the poor and dispossessed around the world, an issue that is easily forgotten in Australia, particularly when many refuse to see that this problem exists at all.
“Australia is living in a fool’s paradise if we don’t start to recognise that the world has changed. Current attitudes to trade and to land ownership are leaving Australia vulnerable.”