Deputy PM wary of GrainCorp sale

Australia must control its food security, says Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, who is concerned that the sale of GrainCorp to ADM could see Australia's agricultural future determined by foreign businesses.

The federal government is currently considering whether or not to approve US grain giant, Archer Daniels Midland's $3.4 billion offer for GrainCorp, Australia's largest grains handler.

According to SMH, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the deal in June, but Treasurer Joe Hockey said the government needs more time to consider all the issues surrounding the sale, as well as advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board. A decision is expected on 17 December.

If the sale goes ahead, most of Australia's grain infrastructure will be owned by foreign bodies.

The Nationals oppose the sale, and Truss said if it goes ahead, decisions on the Australia's grains industry could be out of our hands.

"On top of that, GrainCorp is the largest listed agribusiness in Australia and if we lose this business to foreign ownership, then we will lose the potential to have an international-standard agribusiness trading around the world," he said.

Truss said both sides of government have identified agriculture as a key part of the country's future, but this would be control to achieve if Australia doesn't own any of the supply chain.

"It's very important for Australia to maintain control of its own food security that we have control of our own destiny in what is an important pillar of our national economy," he told ABC television.


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