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Kathryn Fox's new novel all about GM and Chinese buying up Tasmania

Australian medical novelist, Kathryn Fox's writing shows more interest in the lives of victims of crime than in the gruesome details of their deaths. Her obvious social conscience and real sensitivity makes other forensic crime writers, like Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, look like teen-age necrophiliacs.

Kathryn Fox is different. One is educated about society in her novels. Her most recent novel,
Fatal Impact set in Tasmania, an island which is the southernmost point of Australia, has developed beyond the social, into the political.

With ongoing news of the growth lobby's entrenchment in Tasmania, I was sensitized to the major topic, which was the Chinese takeover of agricultural land in Tasmania, aided and abetted by Australian politicians and property dealers. (Is there any difference?) Fox even cites the problems in Australia's Foreign Mergers and Acquisitions Law.

Australians know and are worried about the selling off agricultural land on the mainland and in Tasmania, but only the organisations that lead the growth lobby, such as the Property Council of Australia and the State government executives can be aware of the design and extent of this dispossession and our disempowerment.

Kathryn Fox's characters find out more than you and I can, and you have to wonder whether this doctor-author, who has real-live experience in criminal investigations, knows more than most of us about the selling off of Australia. If she does, she is doing Tasmanians and other Australians a favour in outing the intrinsic sociopathy of the politicians who are selling off Australia piece by piece in a covertly planned and publicly defiant operation that goes right up to the office of prime minister and beyond, since it is international. See "Bad Australian Foreign Investment Laws marginalise Australians", National Foreign Investment Review Board (NFIRB) and "Foreign ownership".

The book also integrates information from recent reports on European studies of the longer-than-3 months effects of genetic Engineering and applies them to its human characters. The actual reports her fictitious ones seem to be based on were about Monsanto and Roundup and led to the complete banning of genetic engineering of farm crops in France and other parts of continental Europe. See "France: Rats fed GM foods for two years massive increase in tumours and death." In 2012, this ban was reversed by the European Union which can override French law. The scientist whose study drew attention to Roundup has suffered predictably for his courage and you can read more in this article: "150 Global Scientists Condemn Retraction of Seralini GM Maize Study".

In fact, the problems we are actually looking at with loss of self-government to foreign occupation, and with mainstream media too invested in food and drugs to report on the problems of genetic engineering and other aspects of totally industrialised food chains, are so awful and involve such powerful forces that it seems that the only way they can be pursued safely is via a novel.

I commend Kathryn Fox for developing the forensic pathology novel into a forensic political pathology novel and for attempting to educate Australians who might otherwise not be aware of some major issues affecting this country.

I also highly recommend all her novels, mostly set in Australia.

NOTES

The Foreign Investment Review Board (of Australia) www.firb.gov.au
"The Government also recognises community concerns about foreign ownership of certain Australian assets. The review system allows the Government to consider these concerns when assessing Australia’s national interest.
The national interest test also recognises the importance of Australia’s market-based system, where companies are responsive to shareholders and where investment and sales decisions are driven by market forces rather than external strategic or non-commercial considerations." Source: Australia's Foreign Investment Policy (2013) http://www.firb.gov.au/content/policy.asp?NavID=1

"Foreign Investment Review Board Annual Report 2012-2013"
Main points

In 2012?13, 12,731 proposals received foreign investment approval; compared with 10,703 in 2011?12 (the sectoral breakdown below excludes 84 reorganisations).
The real estate sector recorded 12,025 approvals, compared with 10,118 approvals in 2011?12.
Other sectors also had an increase in approvals with 622 approvals in 2012?13, compared with 504 approvals in 2011?12.
Approvals in 2012?13 were given for $135.7 billion of proposed investment. This represented a 20.5 per cent decrease on the $170.7 billion in proposed investment approved in 2011?12.
In real estate, approved proposed investment was $51.9 billion in 2012?13, compared with $59.1 billion in 2011?12. Proposed investment in commercial real estate decreased, from $39.4 billion in 2011?12 to $34.8 billion in 2012?13. Proposed investment in residential real estate also decreased, from $19.7 billion in 2011?12 to $17.2 billion in 2012?13.
In other sectors, approved proposed investment in 2012?13 was $83.8 billion, a decrease of 24.9 per cent compared with the $111.6 billion approved in 2011?12.
In 2012?13, no proposals were rejected (compared with 13 real estate related proposals rejected in 2011?12).
The real estate sector was the largest destination by value, with approvals in 2012?13 of $51.9 billion. In 2012?13, the other major sectors were: mineral exploration and development, with approved proposed investment of $45.1 billion; and services (excluding tourism), with approved proposed investment of $25.9 billion.
The United States ($20.6 billion) was again the largest source country for approved proposed investment in 2012?13. Other major source countries of approved proposed investment in 2012?13 were Switzerland ($18.4 billion), China ($15.8 billion), Canada ($14.4 billion) and the United Kingdom ($6.8 billion).

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Comments

Selling off our land is a market-based system, rather than one based on national and patriotic interest, where "companies are responsive to shareholders and where investment and sales decisions are driven by market forces rather than external strategic or non-commercial considerations." The interests of profits for shareholders shouldn't and can't be allowed to ride rough-shod over the community, and national interests. So, as long as businesses and individuals maximise their sales prices, it doesn't matter who the sales are made to - even foreign interests? It's a sell-out, as the sovereignty of Australian land, resources, and built assets must over-ride individual and group interests. Neo liberalism means no restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no tariffs; free trade is seen as the best way for a nation’s economy to develop. Such ideas were “liberal” in the sense of no controls.
It means greater openness to international trade and investment, reducing wages by de-unionising workers and eliminating workers’ rights, won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services.
The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a minority of the world’s people. It's contrary to the concept of nationalism, patriotism and sovereignty, all of which imply controls and borders.
The neoliberals believe that national success - "in today's global market" - requires the abandonment of national economic autonomy and sovereignty. A 2012 report by Oxfam said that two thirds of investors in agricultural lands in developing countries exported everything they produce. Nearly 60 percent of crops are used for biofuels, yet the vast majority of deals are in countries with serious hunger problems. Selling off land for agricultural use would be a similar disaster for Australia.
How much reviewing does the Foreign Investment Review Board actually do? It seems that they are more interested in counting the sheep escape through the unbolted fence!