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Foreign Control of Australia’s Farm Land Increases

Written by: Duncan B. on 23 December 2020


The Foreign Investment Review Board has just released its latest Farmland Ownership Report.

This shows that the combined foreign freehold and leasehold of Australian farmland is more than 53 million hectares, or about 13.8% of our farming area. Foreign interests acquired a further 900,000 hectares during 2019-20, a ten percent step-up on year-to-year.

China is the by far biggest foreign landholder with 9.2 million hectares, of which 8.4 million is leased.

The United Kingdom is the next biggest with 8.16 million hectares. The Netherlands, the US, and Canada are well behind them with holdings of 2.8 million, 2.75 million and 2.61 million hectares respectively.

The Bahamas, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and Hong Kong make up the top ten foreign landholders with smaller holdings of around 1.5 to about 2 million hectares.

Many Australian farmers and other Australians are concerned about the level of foreign ownership of Australian farmland, agribusiness companies and vitally important water rights.


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