The Nationals, and some regional Liberals, claim that without the register, Australia's food security and sovereignty could be jeopardised.
So much for the Ord as a ‘food bowl’. So much too for a new partnership with indigenous people. As in transactions with land-grabbers in poorer lands, the valued partnership now is with big money.
Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke lobbied Colin Barnett to allow a Chinese company to buy a large package of land in the Ord River.
Sundrop Farms has received a capital injection from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to aggressively expand its tomato growing operations in South Australia.
Kimberley Agricultural Investment, owned by Chinese company Shanghai Zhongfu, has told the State Government "on an informal basis" it wants freehold ownership of the 6000ha Knox Plain area, in northern Australia.
The $700 million fund, owned by London based Terra Firma, controls 19 properties across Australia's top end covering more than 5.6 million hectares.
China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited, the largest privately owned juice producer in China, plans to invest in the agricultural resources in Australia by acquiring one or two farms.
London-based private equity titan Terra Firma is mulling a partial sale of Australia's largest privately owned beef producer, after being approached by several Chinese companies.
Chinese state-owned company, Greenland Holding Group, is in talks with Australian agricultural companies on possible takeovers and plans to complete its first deal in six months.
Chinese giant New Hope will invest up to $500 million in Australian dairy farms in what could be the first of many deals fuelled by the historic China-Australia free trade agreement.
Black River Asset Management, a subsidiary of Cargill, one of the world's biggest food producers, has bought four grain-producing farms in the Darling Downs farming region between Dalby and Chinchilla.
Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart is teaming up with the China National Machinery Industry Corporation to acquire a 5,000 ha dairy farm in Queensland to supply infant formula to China.