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The recent report on foreign investment in Australian property failed to address how to solve affordability issues. Joel Carrett/AAP

Foreign investment in real estate inquiry: a lost opportunity

The federal government has missed an opportunity to give serious thought to housing affordability in Australia. The House Standing Committee on Economics recently released its report on individual foreign…
Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Michael Darcy on housing affordability

In the past six months the federal government has cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and announced an inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. In both cases the government…
We must address patchy data collection to get an accurate picture of foreign property investment. ABS

Little hard data in the hard area of foreign investment

A large portion of commentary on foreign investment in Australia is based on scant data, as recent submissions to the inquiry into foreign investment in residential property show. At the moment it seems…
All aboard the pizza express to China. Ben Sutherland

Chinese capital could soon own much of high street, UK

In what might be termed “fusion finance”, a Chinese private equity company, Hony Capital, has purchased UK restaurant chain Pizza Express for £900m. This isn’t the first time a Chinese firm has bought…
We are a friend: Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told the Chinese the visit is about more than simply making a deal. AAP

Abbott to Chinese: We’re not just here for the trade deal

Prime minister Tony Abbott has cast his visit to China as not just aimed at doing a deal but being a friend – while simultaneously…
The government is seeking a free trade agreement with China by the end of the year, but concerns still remain about Chinese investment in Australia. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Don’t be misled on Chinese foreign investment: read the facts

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott shifts his Asian tour focus to China, it seems likely the threshold for formal approval on Chinese investment in Australia will be raised to A$1 billion. But any move to open…
There’s no shortage of investors in high-rise housing, but is it occupied? Dan Peled/AAP

Housing blame game here to stay in world of infinite demand

It is true that the main culprits for housing prices in Australia are taxation and regulation regimes, as argued by Stephen Kirchner last week. But this is more because of their impact on demand than supply…
More international competition won’t necessarily drive down infrastructure costs if the groundwork isn’t done by governments. AAP/Tony McDonough

How to attract foreign firms to do Australian infrastructure

Australia’s two biggest construction companies, Leighton and Lend Lease, control a significant share of construction – up to 75% in cases such as major rail projects. The recent Productivity Commission…
The National Rental Affordability Scheme is working as designed, but has failed to meet targets. jroyals/Flickr

Rental affordability scheme fears are misplaced

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) looks set for a major shakeup by the government, following suggestions it has been hijacked by universities to develop subsidised studio apartments for wealthy…
Australian farmland is changing hands more often, but data on who is buying and selling is inadequate. Erin Smith

Lost in the paddock: Australia flying blind on farm ownership

The debate about who owns Australia’s farmland is often expressed in crude and narrow ways, and not just on talkback radio. Take last year’s leaders debate at Rooty Hill during the final week of the election…
Qantas is poised to receive some form of government assistance, but will it act in the national interest? griffs0000/Flickr

Qantas can’t have it both ways on foreign ownership

The Federal Government appears ready to “throw a lifeline” to Qantas, which has been seeking a government-backed debt guarantee and a lifting of the 49% foreign ownership limit in the Qantas Sale Act…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has flagged competition issues after rejecting the ADM takeover of GrainCorp, but he failed to say how he would fix the GrainCorp monopoly. Alan Porritt/AAP

Hockey’s GrainCorp decision opens competition can of worms

When Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey quashed the acquisition of GrainCorp by Archer Daniels Midland on national interest grounds, his stated reasons were based on competition. Despite it being five years…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has blocked the A$3.4 billion bid by US giant Archer Daniel Midlands for GrainCorp. AAP

Hockey kills GrainCorp takeover by ADM: experts react

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected the proposed takeover of GrainCorp by US grain handling giant Archer Daniels Midland, arguing the takeover would not be in the public interest. Mr Hockey said…
Close to 90% of Australia’s farmland remains locally owned. Flickr: Cha222

Why not let agriculture benefit from foreign investment?

Why do we clamour to keep foreign-owned car makers here, paying them billions of dollars to stay, while being wary of foreign investment in farms? Around 0.1% of foreign investment last year was in agriculture…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
The Australian Coalition arrangement is set apart from coalitions elsewhere by its ongoing nature, even in opposition, and the fact that the parties go into elections with a common election platform. AAP

Minority government likely to continue after Saturday

Much has been made of the ‘unusual’ nature of the minority Labor government over the past three years and there has been a sense that Australia is better off without it; that we need a return to the stability…

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