Linear Capital Managing Director Troy Harper is in the process of establishing a new company with strong backing from China-based investors that will aim to be a major player in the regional dairy industry.
He said the company was in negotiation with major Chinese state-owned enterprises to invest in farms and processing plants in Victoria and New South Wales.
“Linear Capital has sourced substantial milk supplies direct from regional farms for long-term contracts in Victoria and Tasmania, and in conjunction with Farm Gate 88 Pty Ltd through their operational facilities in NSW, substantial milk supplies from the Riverina region,” Mr Harper said.
“Linear Capital through these strategic alliances are seeking further alliances with Chinese enterprises to cooperate in investment, production and technology.”
According to The Standard, the consortium is hoping to buy dozens of south-west Victorian dairy farms and establish a vertical integration with its own dairy processing plants and training facility, and has already considered a number of locations to build two processing plants, including Warrnambool, Colac and Mount Gambie.
MR Harper said the consortium has already approached the Victorian State Government to lease Glenormiston College near Terang to provide dairy industry training for both local and overseas workers for the project.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb expressed his support for the Chinese investment, saying Australian agriculture and other industries needed injections of capital to grow.
“We’ve always needed it. We need it (foreign investment) again. I haven’t seen a farm leave Australia in my lifetime. And they can’t take it away, that’s the point. They add value, they spend money in the local town, usually they come in and they’re more cashed up than the people they’ve bought off. And they bring technology, they bring in IP, they bring in money, they spend money and we all are the beneficiaries from it. And they still pay taxes like everyone else, they have to, or else they go to court,” he said.