Monday, March 30, 2009

Calls for public ownership make a comeback in Australia

Mark Crosby in his post Whose job really matters criticises the Australian Government's decision to block a bid by China Minmetals Corp for Oz Minerals.

The defence minister is accused of being too close to Chinese officials. Wayne Swan knocks back Minmetals proposed takeover of Ozminerals so as to not look too close to the Chinese. Seems to me like trying to save the Defence Minister’s job at the potential expense of several hundred mineworkers jobs. There can be surely be no sensible explanation for this bizarre decision. If you wanted to spy on the Instrumental range at Woomera the pub in Glendambo, or my Grandfather’s pub in Kingoonya, are much closer - or just try google earth.

China Minmetals is backed by the Chinese government. Unlike the case of foreign governments holding domestic government bonds, foreign investors have a say in how the corporations they own are run. Would Mark Crosby be just as supportive of government ownership to preserve jobs in the mining industry if it was the Australian government that was planning to nationalise Oz Minerals?

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