Foreign investment farmland register 'imminent'

THE China trade deal would create benefits across beef, dairy, horticulture and wine exports, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sealed the deal with China on Monday.

The deal includes removing tariffs on 85% of all Australian exports to China as soon as the final terms are signed, while tariffs on more agricultural commodities will be rolled back over nine years.

Mr Joyce said the deal was essential for "safeguarding" the future of Australian agriculture, and once enacted would help put upward pressure on domestic saleyard prices for cattle.

But despite an election pledge to create a register of foreign investment in Australian farmland by September this year, Mr Joyce said he still did not know when the register would be complete.

He said he could only say the register was "imminent', after recent similar announcements from Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Despite reduced tariffs on numerous agriculture exports, Mr Joyce said he was still disappointed better outcomes could not be reached on sugar exports.

He said while he would have liked a better deal for sugar producers, the overall deal could not be delayed by any single sector.

- APN NEWSDESK



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