China's appetite for Aussie farmland

06 Oct, 2014 06:13 AM
Undabri, Goondiwindi, Queensland.
The little known Shanghai-based group also beat off former PrimeAg Australia CEO Peter Corish
Undabri, Goondiwindi, Queensland.

CHINESE group Orient Agriculture has emerged as the buyer of south-west Queensland cropping property Undabri, north of Goondiwindi, Queensland, for $30 million, in a further sign of China's growing appetite for Australian farmland.

Orient beat separate Chinese group Union Agriculture, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hebei-based Jiahe Brewery, to the 11,935-hectare mixed farming operation.

The little known Shanghai-based group also beat off former PrimeAg Australia chief executive Peter Corish to the assets.

Mr Corish had started sounding out investors for a new $50 million rural land venture, which would include Undabri as the main seed ­property.

Undabri fell into the hands of corporate restructuring specialists Deloitte following an appointment by the property's financier National Australia Bank in April last year.

Undabri was formerly owned by real estate and agricultural land identity Craig Doyle.

Elders Queensland state managers John Burke and Clayton Smith were marketing Undabri, but declined to comment on the sale.

Land acquisition activity

There has been a hive of activity in the area following the purchase of neighbouring property Mobandilla by one of Australia's most well regarded young farmers, John ­Norman.

Mr Norman has since invested capital in Mobandilla and turned the ­business around to the point where he now has a full crop of export quality Durum wheat.

Mr Norman welcomed the news of the Chinese investment in the neighbouring Undabri.

"I am happy that they have invested in Australia and believe in what we believe in, which is safe, sustainable food and fibre production," Mr Norman said.

Following the investment in Mobandilla, Mr Norman is now looking to divest his neighbouring property Kingumbilla through Ray White Rural's Bruce Gunning and Mark Harrison.

The 841-hectare black soil holding with access to the MacIntyre and Weir Rivers, has a licence to store more than 3000 megalitres.

It also has potential for a feedlot with capacity for 30,000 head of cattle.

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Jock Munro
6/10/2014 6:32:00 AM

What interest does the Chinese communist government have in the purchase?
Bushie Bill
6/10/2014 12:16:51 PM

What possible difference should it make who the buyer is, Jock? If no laws have been broken, if everything is legal and if there is willing buyer and a willing seller, what possible right do you believe you have to intercede? Just asking, Jock, you know? Would you accept the government interfering with any sale you wished to make under the same conditions?
Jock Munro
6/10/2014 2:42:11 PM

I will leave someone else to try and explain to you why it is not a good idea for one nation to allow its farms and key strategic assets to be sold to another country BB.
6/10/2014 6:45:08 PM

BB try buying freehold land in China,
7/10/2014 4:58:02 AM

accountability Bushie, but u don't understand that word do u. Govt money is not accountable, look at the desalination plant in our country.
7/10/2014 6:04:23 AM

I'm agreeing with Jock Munro - what is the world coming to? X hit the spot - if we can't buy land in China they have no place to buy it here. Foreign investment is great, but it needs to be allowed both ways.
7/10/2014 6:49:30 AM

You blokes should be glad Aussie farmers can't buy Chinese farmland as it means when you get foreclosed and have to sell your farm, Australian farmers in expansion mode will be forced to look at Australian opportunities. What a ridiculous, ignorant, xenophobic argument!
Diane Teasdale
7/10/2014 7:04:33 AM

Australians need to wake up to themselves. Ring your politician and let them know that your are worried. Last week I could not buy A2 milk at my regular supermarket as the order they made simply didn't arrive. I then read that A2 was being sent to China. Is this a sign of things to come when Communist China owns a large percentage of our farmland. Wake up before it is too late.
7/10/2014 7:09:25 AM

I am with Jock.
Serfs Soon
7/10/2014 7:16:20 AM

No foreigner (s) should be allowed to buy Australian real estate. Our politicians only know how to talk spin and bulldust; and they are too dumb to see that in continuing to allow foreigners to buy Australian real estate; Australians are losing (or have already lost) control of "their own" country. Its all very sad.
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