Incitec Pivot foreign buyout sparks calls for Reserve Resource Policy
TWO Far North leaders are calling for the protection and expansion of Australia’s fertiliser assets as Indonesian interest in the prized commodity looms.
With all countries facing food security challenges, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) is calling for governments to seriously consider Reserve Resource Policies, in response to Indonesia expressing interest in buying out the major fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivot. 
It is understood the manufacturer is the largest in Australia, and its control by a foreign entity poses a supply guarantee threat to domestic users of its fertiliser.
KAP leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) ought to consider the supply issues that would arise if the manufacturer were sold.
“We can’t just sell it off like we did with the gas in this country, we need to consider a Resource Reserve Policy,” Mr Katter said.
“So for instance when we had the drought in the cattle industry, the big companies like Wilmar sold off all the molasses and there was nothing there to feed the drought-stricken livestock. You’ve got no control over that and the government says ‘well there’s nothing we can do at that point’.
“That’s why you need to approach these transactions in a smart way and say, ‘if it’s going through the FIRB, you need to put conditions in on these sales to ensure that we look after ourselves first before we look after any other countries. We want to be good neighbours at the end of the day and trade internationally, but we have to look after ourselves first.”
Kennedy MP Bob Katter echoed his state counterpart’s calls to ensure Australia remained a positive trading partner with Indonesia while protecting domestic users of the product.
However, he said with targeted investment, local manufacturing of fertiliser could be expanded.
“Incitec Pivot is producing 1.5 million tonnes at Mount Isa, they’re producing over 6 million tonnes in their plant in the United States,” Bob Katter said.
“So we want a big plant. The whole of the Northern Territory-Queensland border is phosphate. “There’s miles of phosphate, so we have no problem getting the phosphate.”
The Federal MP said there was an opportunity to value-add to the local fertiliser industry with the construction of a canal north of Mount Isa and into – which could help ship the product to Asian markets at a lower cost than transporting via rail and the port of Townsville.
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