25 January, 2016 10:05
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Earlier this year, Treasurer Scott Morrison has approved the sale of Australia’s largest dairy farming business, the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL), to the Chinese-owned Moon Lake Investments.
VDL, which dates from 1825, owns and operates 25 dairy farms in Tasmania, milking some 18,000 cows. The $280 million dollar sale has left both economists, politicians and farmers scratching their heads and has them all asking the same question: What won’t the Chinese buy?
The answer is: Anything in, near or associated with Caboolture.
That’s according to the honourable Wyatt Roy, former MP for Longman, who says Chinese investors do in fact have a limit.
“They won’t go anywhere near my electorate,”
“I’ve spoken to some residents about it. They invited a couple of these cash-chuckers to have a look at some prospects. They didn’t want a bar of it,”
While representing the electorate of Longman just North of Brisbane, Wyatt Roy says the Chinese were not at all impressed with the region, particularly the Caboolture shire.
“It probably doesn’t help that you can’t really get a good look at some of the properties around here,”
“The Commodores tend to get in the way of most Google Map photos because they are sitting on the middle of the nature strip. I’ve requested many times that they park their cars on the street but they don’t listen,”
“The bottom line is, if someone were to invest in Caboolture, they are going to have to inherit all the teenage pregnancy and crystal meth labs that come with it,”
However, in contrast to the Liberal Party MP’s wishes to sell his electorate from right underneath the residents, Local Caboolture man, Bracey Spitteri says the community is working hard to make sure their town isn’t bought out by foreign investment.
“The moment we see anyone that looks like a Chinese investor in town we have a rule. Just flick your ciggies at ’em and tell ’em to fuck off,” says ‘Brace’
“Except for Pete the butcher’s wife. She’s Asian but she doesn’t have any money ‘coz he puts it all through the pokies. Plus she helps out with the footy club, so we don’t give her a hard time,”
Despite the xenophobic themes of Mr Spitteri’s anti-foreign-investment rant, he was eventually able to articulate the sentiment held by a good part of his community.
“Foreign investment is creating a housing bubble in the Caboolture area,” he says
“It’s getting ridiculous! My nephew is 32 years old and has a $30,000 mortgage sitting over his head,”
“He’s got five kids and two wives, plus he’s living with a couple cousins at the moment. How do you expect that bloke to survive?”
“We need to look after our own first before we provide housing for foreign investors!”