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Even Our Water is Sold; Pathetic By James Reed
In the driest continent on Earth, which is perennially in drought, with endless battles over limited water resources, the endgame is to let China buy water from the Murray Darling; my God, why don’t they just give it to them!
“Chinese state-owned enterprises have acquired water entitlements in Australia and some foreign water investors face limited scrutiny by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
• There are concerns about the level of oversight of foreign investment in water assets in Australia
• Private foreign investors buying into Australian water are largely exempt from restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic
• Mick Keelty says foreign investment in water needs greater scrutiny
Water ownership in Australia is an increasingly lucrative investment for both domestic and overseas buyers. The reduction of water available in key river systems has seen the price of water steadily rise. Water has been a tradable commodity since water rights were "unbundled" from agriculture and property interests. Since 2014, restrictions on trading water allocations were also relaxed in the Murray-Darling Basin. Despite water's essential value, there are increasing concerns about the amount of oversight of water markets compared to financial or property markets. "It is a commodity and yet it doesn't have the same governance and due diligence around it as other commodities like gold or minerals, and I think that's what's of concern to people," Mick Keelty, former Australian Federal Police commissioner and now the interim inspector general of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources, told 7.30. 7.30 has been investigating how water entitlements held by foreign investors are regulated in Australia and has identified at least two Chinese state-owned enterprises that own water entitlements. Unibale Pty Ltd is listed as an Australian subsidiary of the state-owned COFCO Corporation, one of China's major agriculture companies. Unibale Pty Ltd owns more than 7,000 megalitres of water entitlements in the Gwydir River system in the northern end of the Murry-Darling Basin in New South Wales. The conduct of another COFCO subsidiary, Chinatex Australia, has been criticised in Federal Parliament over its failure to pay a sizeable Federal Court order to compensate a local beef provider. COFCO and Unibale Pty Ltd did not respond to questions from 7.30.”
Australia must be the laughing stock of Asia to allow itself to be flogged off for a mess of pottage; just imagine buying up any scarce Chinese resource! It is the end point of the post-World War II deracination and de-nationalisation strategies of the elites, pushed to the limits, which are dissolving Western countries. Oh, what is wrong with China buying up everything, the Arts student asks, we have no identity, and they are so cool and all? Maybe Australians do not deserve to drink water, or, at least, Arts students.