The Port of Darwin in the far north of Australia has been leased for 99 years to Chinese privately held Landbridge Group for A$506m ($370m). Landbridge is a Chinese energy and infrastructure group.
Landbridge intends to develop the port both for cargo and cruise purposes, with the Chinese markert as the main target for business.
As part of the deal Landbridge have paid the full price for the lease, but only taken an 80% ownership stake. Within five years the Chinese company must find an Australian investor to purchase the other 20%, and until that time that stake will remain with the provincial government.
Landbridge said there would be no redundancies at the port until 2018 at least, something that did not appease locals, with a spokesperson for the Maritime Union of Australia telling local media: “The workers want assurances that their conditions are protected for the life of the lease and that jobs will not be contracted out.”