News / Asia

Chinese Group Buys Huge Farm in Australia

In an undated photograph, pelicans swim in a river at the cotton producer Cubbie Station near Dirranbandi in Queensland, 600 km west of Brisbane, August 17, 2009.
In an undated photograph, pelicans swim in a river at the cotton producer Cubbie Station near Dirranbandi in Queensland, 600 km west of Brisbane, August 17, 2009.
Phil Mercer
A Chinese-led consortium has bought one of the biggest farms in the world in outback Australia, prompting concerns about key assets being sold to foreigners.  Cubbie Station in Queensland produces cotton and grain, and has been taken over by a joint Chinese, Japanese and Australian enterprise. 

The 93,000 hectare property known as Cubbie Station covers an area the size of Australia’s national capital, Canberra and sits on the border of Queensland and New South Wales.

Supporters of the multi-million dollar deal to sell the property to a Chinese-led consortium say it will guarantee the future of one of Australia’s most iconic farms, which went into administration in 2009 following financial troubles.  Critics, however, fear it is the start of a sell-off of Australia’ agricultural gems to foreign companies.
 
The local mayor, Donna Stewart, says Cubbie Station, Australia’s biggest cotton producer, should have remained under Australian control. “We would like Cubbie Station to stay in Australian hands," she said. "It is, I think, a very sad day for the Australian people as a whole that we're selling off prime agricultural land to foreign interests,”

Approval of the sale was granted by the Australian government following advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board, which determines whether large-scale sales to overseas companies are in the national interest.
 
There is increasing interest from China in Australian agriculture, including the dairy industry, as Beijing tries to guarantee food supplies for its burgeoning middle class. The government in the island state of Tasmania has said it would welcome Chinese investment in its farming sector.
 
While critics bemoan sales to foreigners, Keith De Lacy, the former chairman of the Cubbie Group, which runs the property in Queensland, says there should be more support for overseas investment. "From Australia's point of view, we were built on the back of foreign investment. We've always had foreign investment, and we've needed it.  We're a big country with a small population. It used to be mostly British, then it was American. But wherever it comes from, it is all positive for Australia and not negative,” he stated.
 
Beijing and Canberra are looking at ways to allow wealthy Chinese investors to develop parts of northern Australia for farming.  The Australian government says such partnerships will always be subject to strict regulation.

You May Like

Key Al-Shabab Commander Captured

Zakariye Ismail Hersi was captured in a raid Saturday morning in the town of El Wak near the border with Kenya More

Relations Between Pakistan, Afghanistan Key to Fighting Taliban

A Pakistani official tells VOA that anti-terrorism campaign has resulted in improved counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan More

160,000 Displaced by Flooding in Malaysia

Prime Minister Najib Razak visits hard-hit Kelantan state, announces nearly $145M in additional relief for victims More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jay War from: Bundeena, NSW
October 15, 2012 8:18 PM
FOR SALE: Australia; country, island, continent. Hardly used. Open to foreign exploitation. Governed by politicians that are easily persuaded to sell out national interests to the highest bidder.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid