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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