The proposed sale of Australia's largest cattle operation to China was "contrary to the national interest," the government said on Friday.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said he blocked the sale of the 101,000-square-kilometre ranch owned by S Kidman & Co in central Australia to a Chinese-led consortium.
Morrison earlier rejected the sale of the same property in November to a different Chinese syndicate, citing concerns that part of it abutted a secret weapons-testing range.
He said the property represents the largest private land sale in history, comprising 2% of Australia's agricultural land.
The property - made up of 10 separate cattle stations - was expected to sell for about US$284mn.
"Given the size and significance of the Kidman portfolio, I am concerned that the acquisition of an 80% interest in S Kidman & Co Ltd by Dakang Australia Holdings Pty Ltd may be contrary to the national interest," Morrison said.
"I have concerns that the form in which the Kidman portfolio has been offered as a single aggregated asset, has rendered it difficult for Australian bidders to be able to make a competitive bid."
The proposed sale of the historic Australian cattle station to China had raised concerns among both liberal and conservative politicians.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Dust storms, giant hail batter Australia
Australia pledges $76mn to support tourism sector
Floods, road closures in Australia as storms lash some bushfire-hit regions
Rain hits Australian fires, but blazes still rage in many areas
Heavy downpour brings relief from bushfires in NSW
Rain forecast offers hope in Australian bushfire fight
Makeshift koala hospital scrambles to save dozens injured in bushfires
Aussie PM’s approval rating goes up in smoke
Koalas, wallabies endangered by Australia bushfires ‘ecological disaster’