With Chinese buyers eyeing farm land in Australia and New Zealand, authorities are coming under growing pressure to balance the need for foreign investment against accusations of “selling out”. Currently up for sale is the S. Kidman and Co. Limited cattle empire — a vast Outback estate which covers 1.3 percent of Australia’s land mass and has an average herd of 185,000 cattle.
Treasurer Scott Morrison blocked its sale to all foreign investors in November, including from China, saying it was contrary to the national interest given part of the holding overlaps with a military testing range.
But Morrison recently approved the sale of Australia’s largest dairy farming business to a Chinese buyer, despite criticism that businessman Lu Xianfeng’s Aus$280 million (US$210 million) purchase of Tasmania’s Van Diemen’s Land Company could impact food security. READ MORE