THE Foreign Investment Review Board has been accused of ignoring its own guidelines.
In response to requests from The Weekly Times, the FIRB supplied a list of general considerations it applies when assessing foreign buy-ups of farmland.
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The points include "employment and prosperity in Australia's local and regional communities" and "agricultural production and productivity".
But Great Southern Plantations' committee of inspection member Phillip Capicchiano said the sale of 252,000ha of former farmland owned by Great Southern to Canadian group Alberta did not match these guidelines.
He said it was "fact" that more regional Australians would have been employed had the land been sold to 650 local farmers instead of being sold as forestry land to Alberta.
"Who is actually, physically working that land right now? Nearly no one," Mr Capicchiano said.
He also argued the FIRB had ignored another of its guidelines, contained in a policy document - that the interests of Australian employees, creditors and stakeholders be considered in evaluating whether sales were in the national interest.
Mr Capicchiano remains furious the sale of one package of 252,000ha, instead of 650 smaller farms, returned less money to Great Southern investors and creditors.
"It appears there's a case to answer that the FIRB has not even applied its own guidelines," Mr Capicchiano said.
The New Zealand High Court this month ordered its parliament to reconsider the Chinese takeover of a cluster of dairy farms being sold as one lot.
The New Zealand Farmers Federation told The Weekly Times the parcel should have been sold off as individual farms to Kiwi farmers, and argued more money could have actually been made by undertaking this strategy.
The FIRB had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to print.
However, it has previously said that when evaluating whether a purchase was in the national interest, it assessed the effect the purchase would have on the quality and availability of Australia's agricultural resources, including water, land access and use, agricultural production and productivity and biodiversity.