Inquiry into Foreign Investment Proposals

by David Richardson

The Australia institute is pleased to make the present submission to the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into foreign investment proposals.

This submission begins with some general thoughts based on earlier work at The Australia Institute. We note that Australia’s history has included rigorous debates about foreign ownership of the Australian economy. Sometimes that debate has taken twistsand turns from Australian control of uranium mining to the question of Chinese influence. However it must be said that at the official level there has been an increasing tendency to ‘leave it to the market’ which essentially means much of what the players want they get. We make the point that the presumption that Australian interests areadvanced by foreign investment is often wrong. Australia’s economy is increasingly dominated by big business and most markets are increasingly subject to monopoly, duopoly, or oligopoly; often foreign owned. One consequence has been the increasingshare of profits at the expense of labour’s share of national income with foreign corporations bound up in that development.

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