Are we there yet? The disconnect on Chinese investment into Australian agriculture

 

Several weeks ago I asked the question, “Who is afraid of the big bad (Chinese) wolf?”.

Well it appears we have the answer: about 41 per cent of Australians.  That’s according to a study released this week by Daymark, that sought to find answers to the question: is there a disconnect between what people think about Chinese investment into Australian agriculture and what is actually happening with Chinese investment into Australian agriculture?

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Who is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

In the early 19th century, the Brothers’ Grimm adapted Frenchman’s Charles Perrault story of Little Red Riding Hood, a tale which we all know well.  As young children we listened wide eyed as our parents told us of the cheeky wolf who gobbled up Grandma and lay in wait for the innocent Little Red Riding Hood, only for the young girl to wise up and for the wolf to be chopped down by the good Samaritan huntsman.

Anyone who has been following the debate over the last five years surrounding foreign investment in Australian agriculture and in particular, the fervent commentary that seems to emerge when these investment dollars come from China, might be able to quickly draw parallels with our tale from the woods.

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