Level heads may not prevail in airline wars

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Stephen, too true mate. We simply cannot have the bloody cake and eat it too. Howard privatised Qantas and Telstra, got his pounds of flesh and simultaneously imposed global ownership handicaps on them but worst of all, lumbered both with unreasonable competition legislations which deterred their economy of scale power.

We also cannot simply be half pregnant when it comes to globalisation. Our Senate is riddled by every man and his dog doing their own thing. A sure recipe for a classic disaster, cut them both loose.

Foreign ownership of Qantas seems like a reasonable debate to me. Airlines are essential infrastructure (like roads), without them business would grind to a halt.

The private sector struggles with airlines. Warren Buffet won't touch them. We know that as tax payers we will periodically need to step in and bail out airlines - governments all over the world have needed to do this for the past 100 years.

Seems totally reasonable to at least debate whether we should allow foreigners to own private enterprises which are highly likely to need our domestic government support in the future.

Of course, when there is regulation, it gets messy. But Qantas collapsing under foreign ownership would also be very very messy. Life's messy. Just define the rules and move on.

Out of curiosity Vasso, what are your views on Hockey blocking ADM acquisition of Graincorp?

Alex, I second Hockey's decision, simply because the assets and product of the company will be a strategic part of the grand development plan to complement the diminishing returns from mining and manufacturing in the years ahead and should not be in foreign hands.

We are blessed with arable land, torrential rain water and quality fertiliser enough to feed a large part of the world. All we need are strategic dams and seed.

The following web links are of interest.

http://www.graincorp.com.au/about-graincorp/company/our-history

http://www.liberal.org.au/2030-vision-developing-northern-australia

http://www.potashwest.com.au/