Sparks are a-flying in a heated debate after Australia approved over the weekend the sale of giant cotton farm Cubbie Station to a Chinese consortium.
Sparks are currently being thrown in a heated debate after Australia approved over the weekend the sale of giant cotton farm Cubbie Station to a Chinese consortium.
Senator Barnaby Joyce lambasted the deal and urged Australians on Monday to reject the arrangement.
"It's a loss of another section of our prime agricultural land to an overseas interest," Senator Joyce was quoted as saying by Nine News. "It's a loss of our biggest water licence to an overseas interest."
"It's a loss of 13 per cent of our nation's cotton crop."
Ruyi's Australian partners, meanwhile, the fifth-generation wool processors the Lempriere family group, will hold the remaining 20 per cent.
"The proposal would bring an end to this long period of uncertainty, helping ensure the ongoing operation of Cubbie Group, protecting jobs and supporting economic activity," Treasurer Wayne Swan said as he lauded the arrangement scheme.
The 80 per cent stake will just be an initial take as Mr Swan said Ruyi would need to reduce its control to 51 per cent within three years, as part of earlier conditions imposed prior to the approval.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the sale had been "well and truly considered" by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
"There should be safeguards built around it and from what I've seen with this particular exercise, there have been safeguards in place," he said, noting the Queensland economy badly need foreign investment in order to grow.
The vast Cubbie Station, placed into voluntary administration in 2009 with reported debts of more than A$300 million ($310 million), covers almost 1,000 sq km (390 sq miles) of south-western Queensland.
Based in the east province of Shandong, Ruyi is a major player in China's textile market. It ranks among the country's top 500 companies, with $2.4 billion revenue in 2011.
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