ARE superannuation-funded agribusinesses good for regional and rural Australia and why are they not investing more in agriculture?
A Rural Focus Symposium to improve the link between commercial enterprise, education and research provided by UNE will be held at Armidale next week to examine the first question and also discuss if the small farm family enterprise model is suitable for growth.
Duncan Fraser, chair of the Sheep Industry Co-operative Research Centre and board member of Prime Super will head up the symposium industry presenters.
He said there were a variety of reasons why Australian funds were not investing more in agri-business.
“A lot of it comes back to the regulatory controls we have to work under, in terms of complying with all the rules and regulations of financial institutions,” he said.
“Necessarily, a lot of agri-business investments are a longer-term nature and that doesn’t suit the time-frames we have to work under, which suit the short-term types of investments.”
He said while superannuation funds did invest in agriculture it was probably not in an obvious way.
“The government, rather than just saying that funds should be investing more, should be clearer about what they mean in terms of where and how, but also provide a level of security that enables the funds to invest with a greater degree of certainty of a longer term return,” Mr Fraser said.
If you wish to attend what should be a highly informative symposium on Thursday, July 28 you can register at www.une.edu.au/ruralfocus.
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