For­eign own­ers’ share grow­ing

Tasmanian Country - - TRADES AND SERVICES -

THE pro­por­tion of Tas­ma­nia’s farm­land un­der for­eign own­er­ship has in­creased and is the sec­ond high­est in the na­tion, a new re­port shows.

The For­eign Owned Agri­cul­tural Land Reg­is­ter as at June 30 2017 shows that of Tas­ma­nia’s al­most 1.6 mil­lion hectares of agri­cul­tural land, 354,000ha is owned by for­eign in­ter­ests across 924 prop­er­ties.

The state’s pro­por­tion of for­eign-owned agri­cul­tural land is 24.3 per cent, up from 23.4 per cent in 2015-2016. The North­ern Ter­ri­tory heads the ta­ble just ahead of Tas­ma­nia at 25.6 per cent.

Forestry is the big­gest sec­tor of for­eign own­er­ship in Tas­ma­nia with 268,000ha with live­stock ac­count­ing for 52,000ha, hor­ti­cul­ture 18,000ha, crops 5000ha crops and other farm­ing 3000ha.

Nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment body NRM South is keen to work with for­eign in­vestors and has an un­der­stand­ing with a Chi­nese re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Chi­nese Academy of Agri­cul­tural Sci­ences, to de­velop a part­ner­ship.

NRM South agri­cul­ture sus­tain­able con­sult- ant Ken Moore said he urged for­eign in­vestors to fol­low key steps for suc­cess­ful in­vest­ment in Tas­ma­nian farm­ing busi­nesses.

“Some steps should be com­pleted be­fore pur­chase. It’s im­por­tant that the farm’s soil, water, veg­e­ta­tion and en­vi­ron­ment is cared for and the busi­ness and owner be­come part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” Mr Moore said.

“Tas­ma­nian agri­cul­ture needs for­eign in­vest­ment to grow and help meet the in­creas­ing over­seas de­mand for our pre­mium prod­ucts, but it’s im­por­tant for the in­vestors to de­velop a strong ‘so­cial li­cence’ and con­trib­ute to our econ­omy and com­mu­nity.”

Mr Moore said for­eign in­vestors needed a strong vi­sion and man­age­ment plan for the busi­ness, in­clud­ing en­gag­ing ex­pe­ri­enced agri­cul­tural ad­vis­ers and man­agers.

He rec­om­mends for­eign in­vestors check with lo­cal govern­ment if the busi­ness plan will re­quire a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion and whether planned en­ter­prises are suited to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“They need to be aware of the farm’s place in the sur­round­ing land­scape and en­vi­ron­ment.”

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