Palmer urges Nats to confront Hockey on Graincorp takeover

FORMER Nationals Party member and Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has called on the Nationals to stand up to Treasurer Joe Hockey on the Graincorp takeover.

The Sunshine Coast MP on Tuesday said the proposed takeover threatened the future of grain growers around the country, and it needed to be turned down.

He said while he didn't oppose foreign investment as a whole, he believed there were no conditions that should allow the takeover to go ahead.

Mr Palmer said the Foreign Investment Review Board had "no teeth" to ensure any such conditions would actually be fulfilled once a takeover was approved.

He said the board, which is currently considering the proposal from US oilseeds giant Archer Daniels Midland, could not impose penalties if conditions were contravened.

While his comments were backed by other crossbenchers, Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has previously made it clear the party opposed the takeover.

It is understood the Coalition's minor partner would not accept any conditions on the approval, fearing the impacts it could have on growers.

But after voicing opposition, party members and other concerned rural Coalition MPs and senators have left it to Mr Hockey to make his decision.

The Treasurer will make a final decision on the proposal in mid-December.


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