Your browser is not Javascript enable or you have turn it off. We recommend you to activate for better security reason


Changes to foreign ownership of Australian agriculture

Written by: Duncan B. on 30 March 2022


The foreign ownership of Australian farmland is a constantly changing situation.

Recently US private equity firm Proterra Investment Partners listed for sale property aggregations totalling over 42,000 hectares of land in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland. This is part of the company’s 10-year exit plan from Australian farm assets. It will be interesting to see whether these properties go to other foreign buyers or whether Australian buyers get a chance to buy them.

The massive Cubbie Station in Queensland produces ten percent of Australia’s cotton output. Until recently it was 51% owned by Macquarie Asset Management and 49% owned by a Chinese company Shandong Ruyi. Macquarie Asset Management announced recently that it has acquired 100% ownership of Cubbie Station, bringing it back into Australian hands. 

On the down side, Canadian PSP Investment group paid over $60 million for an 11,260 hectare cropping property at Morundah in NSW. They now own cropping operations totalling over 75,000 hectares in four states.

Australia’s dairy processing industry has high level of foreign ownership. Two of our biggest dairy processors are the New Zealand-owned Fonterra and the Canadian-owned Saputo (Warrnambool Cheese and Butter and Murray Goulburn). Other foreign-owned companies involved include the French-owned Lactalis (Paul’s milk and Oak flavoured milk) and the Swiss-owned Nestles.

Chinese interest are also involved in the Australian dairy industry. Shanghai Ground Foods owns WA-based Brownes Dairy. Mengniu and China Modern Dairy (Burra Foods Vic) are also active, as is Japanese company Itochu which has a 21% share in Burra Foods.

Victoria’s Forestry industry also has a high level of foreign ownership. OneFortyOne Plantations has the largest share of plantation area (95,000 hectares of forest), in the Green Triangle region which straddles the Vic-SA border in Victoria’s south-west. This company is 64% owned by Australian superannuation and sovereign wealth companies, and 36% owned by US pension and other off-shore funds.

Hancock Victorian Plantation Holdings manages 165,000 hectares of pine and eucalypt plantations out of a total of over 240,000 hectares of land in various areas of Victoria. The company is managed by US-based Hancock Timber Resource Group and is owned by a combination of Australian, US and Canadian superannuation and investment funds.

Australian Bluegum Plantations operates 85,000 hectares of plantations spread between Victoria, SA and WA. This company is owned by US-based Global Forestry Partners LP which manages about A$3 billion worth of forestry assets world-wide.

French investment company AXA Investment Managers has 24,000 hectares of pine plantations in the Green Triangle. They also manage about 60,000 hectares of plantations in France, Ireland and Finland.

Australia’s vital production of food and essential necessities such as timber will only be controlled by Australians in an independent Australia.


Print Version - new window Email article


Go back