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(generated from captions) It if you have had a problem with your smart meter let us know via our Now to the carve-up of Australia, as foreign invaders and most productive farmland. buy some of our best It's all about food security, land deals are done so secretly. and the multimillion-dollar That farmers on adjoining properties their new neighbours are, don't know who or what their plans are. where they're from, investigation shows, And as Laura Sparkes' politicians are involved. some of Australia's most prominent of the food security issue globally Given the increasing significance and particularly in the gulf states foreign direct investment coming in. we shouldn't be frightened about It's the big Aussie farm sell-off. And the chief spruikers? Our former government ministers the great land buy-up. actively promoting round the world to the Middle East They've travelled halfway to flog Australia. to see increasing investment There's no doubt that we're going in Australian agriculture. But locals watch on in despair disappearing to foreign companies. as their prime farmland keeps Why is there so much secrecy? now we're locked out. This was Australian land, Yeah, it's a shame. It's a shame. I didn't get it. I'm very disappointed for a foreign company to come in Aussie farmers pushed aside government-owned farmland. and buy up a fair bit more to spend on it I got the feeling they had so I pulled out. This is a very common practice I think it's fraught with danger and I have to say, for Australia's future. two hours north of Melbourne. This is Kyabram, a small town state-of-the-art dairy research farm Home to a multimillion-dollar by the Victorian State Government. once owned of research on the milk They'd milk cows and then do a lot they produced and whatnot. and how much they fed and how much late last year, When it was put up for auction was keen to buy local dairy farmer Mark Ryan and run it as a dairy farm but redeveloped the infrastructure retirement village. into a much-needed Mark was confident. Come auction day, that were interested in the property There was another local group doing the bidding. and at the start it was only us It staggered at $1.3 million was showing any interest and it looked like nobody else with half a chance here. and I thought I might be in All of a sudden, started bidding ferociously, a group of Chinese businessmen matching him bid for bid. Every time I put a larger bid in, straight over the top of me. they would sort of come in to get it. Yeah, they were pretty keen for $1.81 million. And they did, scooping up the farm Mark could only afford $1.8 million. When you look at it now to think this could have been yours? are you sad because we had big plans I wish it was and it would have been fantastic. that bought this farm. Mystery surrounds the company Investment International. It's called the Agri Alliance is Chinese-born David Lee. Its sole director and secretary set the company up Strangely, Mr Lee didn't even the auction of the farm. until two months after is just a cover It also appears the business based in the Cayman Islands. for an international company on the other side of the world. Now, that's a tax haven this former Aussie farm So, who exactly now owns is anyone's guess. you know, ownership hidden, Cayman Islands, tax haven, who is hiding, why is there that secrecy, that convoluted ownership? why are they hiding behind are now left gobsmacked. Local farmers and business people that's not right. Our locals can't compete, to defend this country Australians risked their lives just giving it away. and now we're basically Dairy farmer Peter Costello of the Kyabram Research Farm. felt the direct benefits that help is now gone for good. He's now worried to bring Chinese students out here I've been told they're going and train them up. company director and secretary, We do know that the farm's new Mr Lee, in this nondescript townhouse. lives here the company is run out of his home. In fact, If the sale was set up that way two months post sale, and the company was set up for the government? doesn't that raise flags the Victorian Government No-one from inside was prepared to talk about the sale. In a statement, they said: But it's not just state governments. Former federal government ministers the Aussie buy-up. are helping to facilitate I mean, it does help. And we do open doors, Senator Nick Sherry and Mark Vaile Former Labor government ministers of Australian big business led a trades mission to the Middle East under the Australia Gulf Council. with local TV network Dubai One, In this interview spruik their success. the politicians that may be crystallised There are a number of deals and in the live trade sector. in the agricultural sector The Australia Gulf Council CEO Michael Yabsley. is former Liberal politician is a distinguished adviser, Former prime minister Bob Hawke has joined them former treasurer Peter Costello to the Middle East. on past trade missions At the top of the list this time? Food security. Arab countries hungry for our land are keen to help. and our politicians in agriculture has been in areas Much of the investment the farms were struggling. where, frankly, who has bought what. The problem is we'll never know the Foreign Investment Review Board The trigger for investigation by is $244 million. sell for under $10 million. Most farms in Australia your own destiny long term, If you want to control your means of production why wouldn't you control to another country? rather than hand them over Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan the senate committee hearing is chairing Foreign Investment Review Board. into the He's horrified to hear about the sheer lack of investigation done by the board on foreign buy-ups. It's a series of phone calls, looking at the papers. There are no structures and hurdles. We haven't got a clue. We do not know what's going on. Back in Kyabram, Mark Ryan has had to move on. It certainly is a shame. Very disappointed I didn't get it. I hope they use it for Australian purposes and Australian workers.