Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan has welcomed the Government’s decision not to approve the sale of S. Kidman and Co to foreign investors, citing national interests.
“I congratulate the Treasurer for making this decision which would clearly not have been in our national interests if the sale went ahead,” he said.
Kidman is Australia’s largest private land owner and holds approximately 1.3 per cent of Australia’s total land area, and 2.5 per cent of Australia’s agricultural land. This is a significantly larger than the next biggest rural landholding in the country.
One of Kidman’s stations, Anna Creek, is also the largest single property holding in Australia. Importantly, around 50 per cent of the Anna Creek pastoral lease is located in the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) in South Australia.
The WPA weapons testing range makes a unique and sensitive contribution to Australia’s national defence and it is not unusual for governments to restrict access to sensitive areas on national security grounds.
“Both the Government and I welcome foreign investment when it is in our national interest, but given the size of these properties and the sensitive location, the proposed sale fails this test,” Mr Hogan said.
“At the last national Nationals conference, we called on the Government to block the sale of S. Kidman and I am very pleased that the Treasurer has listened and acted on our concerns.”