08 November 2016

Australian sheep farmThe pros and cons of selling property and especially agricultural and farmland to Chinese buyers has been headline news around the country in the past few years, with the federal government stepping in to block some high profile deals such as the sale of SC Kidman on the grounds of ‘national security’.

Breaking down what really troubles people about such sales is the focus of University of South Australian research project and early results are suggesting that food and other security issues may not be at the core of the general concern.

Property Professor at UniSA Business School, David Parker, says the research hopes to drill down and find out exactly what concerns most people about property sales to Chinese enterprises.

He is staging an open forum in Canberra from 1 pm, Tuesday November 15 at the Centenary Room, at the Hyatt Hotel, to explore all the issues associated with the sale of Australian farms to Chinese investors.

“When the topic is raised, there is a kind of blanket ‘I don’t like it’ coming through and we want to unpack what that really means – is it genuine concern about the security of our resources, a fear of loss of control of important sources of primary production, or simply xenophobia,” Prof Parker says.

“We know that there is more foreign ownership of farming land by UK investors than any other country, with the total Chinese ownership at less than 0.5 per cent.

“Getting a better understanding of why Chinese investment creates big headlines and strong reactions, will be especially important for the property sector across Australia and for farmers such as Jane Smith from Adinfern Estate in WA, who has had her property on the market for four years with no interest from Australian buyers but strong offers coming from Chinese groups.”

Registrations for this important free forum – Selling Farms to China: What are the issues? - can be made online

Discussion will be led by Professor Parker with keynote contributions from Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo; CEO of the National Farmers Federation, Tony Mahar; Regional Director of agribusiness, CBRE, Danny Thomas;  and WA farmer and vendor, Jane Smith, Adinfern Estate.


Media contact: Michèle Nardelli mobile: +61 418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au



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