For Like minded people who like to see-
The Ord East Kimberley Expansion Project is a State Government initiative that will increase the size of the Ord irrigation area to approximately 28,000 hectares of agricultural land. Approximately 14,000 hectares of irrigated farmland has already been developed.
The State Government has contributed $322.5 million, mainly through the Royalties for Regions program. This contribution is being used to fund construction of irrigation channels, drainage and roads, and create farmlands. Stage 2 works are expected to be completed in late 2013.
The project is being managed by the Department of Regional Development as the Lead Agency in conjunction with a range of State Government departments and agencies.
Kimberley Agricultural Investments (KAI) had been announced as the preferred proponent for Stage 2 of the project to lease and develop 13,400 hectares into irrigated farmland. However, what they never bothered to mention is KAI in fact :
CHINESE property development conglomerate Shanghai Zhongfu has won the sole right to develop 15,200ha of high-value irrigated agricultural land in northern Australia after the state and federal governments spent $510 million of taxpayer funds building road, irrigation, port and local community infrastructure to support the .
The little-known Chinese private company has been handed all available land in the second stage expansion of the Ord irrigation scheme in Western Australia’s Kimberley region for a peppercorn rent, on the condition it is cleared, developed, farmed and a state-of-the-art export sugar mill built.
The West Australian government will formally announce Shanghai Zhongfu as the preferred developer of the pivotal Ord stage 2 expansion next Tuesday, doubling the size of the East Kimberley’s 30-year-old food and farming scheme.
It will argue that because the Chinese company is taking out a 50-year lease on the valuable farmland and will not own the irrigation channels, it is a good deal for the state’s taxpayers who paid $315m to get the project ready for food bowl farming.
Behind the scenes, the state and federal governments are bracing for a new furore about foreign ownership of Australian agriculture after the Zhongfu deal is announced.
It follows a public outcry in August when Australia’s largest cotton farm and water rights holder, Cubbie Station, was sold to a Chinese textile company.
The Barnett Liberal government claims Shanghai Zhongfu’s long-term investment in the East Kimberley region is a very different scenario from Shandong Ruyi’s contentious $300m purchase of Cubbie Station because the land is only leased and is undeveloped now.
It will cost Shanghai Zhongfu at least $250m to turn the 7800ha of undeveloped country it will lease on the Knox Plains and Ord West Bank into sugar fields and to build a sugar mill near Kununurra. The other 7400ha of the Ord stage 2 land at Goomig is already fully irrigated with taxpayer-provided water piped right to each block – land the West Australian government originally hoped to sell to small Australian farmers.
Shanghai Zhongfu beat two other Australian shortlisted contenders, including Australia’s largest cattle and land company, AACo, to win the prized tender to develop the second stage of the Ord irrigation scheme into a new Asian food bowl.
Then we discover Kevin Rudd has found a way to more of our money into Chinese investment by Unveiling Labor’s northern Australia policy in Darwin, the Prime Minister also pledged to build the third stage of the Ord River irrigation scheme in Western Australia, and develop special economic development plans for north Queensland centres. Mr Rudd said the NT’s special status under the constitution would allow the creation of a special taxation zone.
The only attached to the policy was a promised $10 million to help resolve native title disputes preventing further development of the Ord scheme.
On 15 August 2013 Kevin Rudd has pledged to create a special economic zone in the Northern Territory, with a company tax rate up to a third lower than elsewhere in Australia.
Basically what we missed in the horror of another policy on the fly is, the money spent will be of benefit to a Chinese company, and the lowering of Company tax in the Region means another bonus to the Labor preferred Chinese investors, who have been buying up(sorry that is supposed to say investing) all around this country.
Another Failure of a Labor Policy