Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Chinese billionaire communist Xingfa Ma pays $47 million for NT cattle station
A SENIOR Chinese Communist Party member has purchased two cattle stations on the Northern Territory-Queensland border.
The $47 million deal will see Xingfa Ma, who made his billions in the ball bearing business, acquire Queensland’s Wentworth station and the NT’s Wollogorang station – a property known for its shady criminal history as much as its beef production and natural beauty.
Mr Ma is listed by Bloomberg as a member of the Chinese Communist Party and a former member of the Zhejiang Committee of the National People’s Congress.
According to Reuters, the sale was finalised this week and will see Mr Ma add to his portfolio of Australian pastoral properties: Balfour Downs, Emu Downs and Wandanya Station.
He will acquire 40,000 head of cattle along with more than 700,000ha of pastoral land, where a gang of notorious international criminals were once busted running a massive drug operation. Former member of the NT Police Drug Squad Dennis Hart said the drug plot came undone when the group tried to fly a shipment of drugs into Sydney.
“It’s out in the middle of nowhere, if it weren’t for that, they could have got away with it forever,” he said.
In the 1986 royal commission into drugs, then NT police chief inspector WL Goedegebuure said the criminals had selected the property because of its remoteness, and the lower drug penalties that existed in the Territory.
The drug crops were successfully cultivated despite there being an NT police station beside Wollogorang’s airstrip, Mr Hart said.
In recent years, Paul Zlotkowski, who sold the property to Mr Ma, promoted it as a tourist destination.
The station’s 80km frontage on the Gulf of Carpentaria has fuelled speculation that the station with a fishy past could have a fishy future, with cattle industry publication Beef Central quoting industry sources who suggest an aquaculture project could be on the cards.
Mr Ma’s realtors did not respond to inquiries from the NT News by deadline.