Blog Archives

Chinese scramble for expired pastoral leases in WA

All pastoral leases in Western Australia are due to expire in June this year leaving the door open for the Chinese-owned Shanghai Zhongfu, trading as Kimberley Agricultural Investments, and other Chinese Government companies to get control of large swag of the state’s pastoral properties.

As previously reported in the Cairns News this Chinese company, with Bob Hawke as its lobbyist, was controversially granted 15,200 ha of the Ord West Bank irrigation scheme, developed by the government at a cost of $450m. Australian farmers were the losing bidders.

 

China President Xi Jinping

The company plans to develop extensive cane growing and sugar milling projects.

Any purchases should now be scrutinised by changes to the Foreign Ownership of Land Register where land sales of more than $15 million will have to be disclosed.

This new rule does not prevent a sale to foreign countries.

The Ord River Irrigation Scheme

Liberals encourage Chinese to finance and build dams in the north

Lake Argyle

The Ord River Dam

Under a Liberal Party plan to build 100 dams, much of northern Australia could become a Chinese territory which would control a majority of farm and grazing land across three states.

Chinese interests have expressed interest in constructing more dams, a proposition encouraged by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott when releasing the party’s latest election strategy

The Vision 2030 plan to develop northern Australia is a re-badged proposal trotted out at the last three elections by the Liberal Party.

Last year the West Australian Government granted a Chinese Government-backed company 15,000 hectares of newly developed prime OrdRiver irrigation country which cost $400 million of taxpayers funds to develop.

The company has an option on an adjoining, undeveloped 15,000 hectares, intended to grow more food for China.

These extensive WA land and irrigation assets, combined with the proposal to develop more arable land in the Northern Territory and north west Queensland will allow the Chinese to control a vast expanse of northern Australia.

This land transfer has serious defence implications obviously ignored by the ALP and Liberals.

The Liberal Party and its leader Tony Abbott have encouraged Chinese ownership in Australia claiming overseas ‘investment’ in agriculture is necessary for development.

The recent controversial sale of the countrys largest irrigation farm, Cubby Station located in the far south west of Queensland to a Chinese company sparked grave misgivings among the general public and farmers

So-much-so that Katters Australian Party leader Bob Katter, himself raised in the far north west town of Cloncurry, has prepared legislation to reverse the sale of Cubby Station.

Katter says Australian farming assets should be majority owned by Australians to maintain food sovereignty.

A huge battle over the foreign ownership of land is looming between KAP, the Liberals and the ALP in the upcoming election campaign.