Chinese firm denies Ord tender win reports

The Chinese company Shanghai Zhongfu says it does not yet know whether it has won the right to develop land in the second stage of the Ord Valley expansion in Western Australia.

There were reports in the Australian newspaper today that the conglomerate had been awarded all the land in the tender process.

The $515 million Ord expansion project is part of a state and federal government plan to continue the development of farming in the area.

It covers more than 15,000 hectares of land.

Shanghai Zhongfu says it has not yet heard from the West Australian State Government and does not know when it will be told if its bid has been successful.

The WA Premier Colin Barnett says he will not reveal which company has been awarded the lease until next week.

Mr Barnett told state parliament the tender agreement details will be revealed then.

"The tender process has been conducted; there still are some steps to take and we will not, Mr Speaker, I will not pre-empt any stages of the announcement until the final stages of that tender and the verification process is finished," he said.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke says he does not know exactly what WA has decided to do, but he is comfortable with foreign investment.

"Who's bought it? Exactly how it's happened? That question can only be answered by the WA Government," he said.

"But in the general principle of do I have a problem with foreign investment? No.

"And, anybody who wants to say we should put up the tariff walls needs to argue that with their eyes wide open that they'd be running the economy into the ground." But Federal Nationals leader Warren Truss says the State Government should give fair consideration to Australian companies wanting to develop the land.

"Our argument has always been that foreign investment needs to be subject to a national interest test.

We need to be sure that new developments are not contrary to the national interest," he said.

"I haven't seen any of the bids to be able to make any kind of a comparison.

"But I make the observations, firstly that their decision needs to take into account that the project is not contrary to the national interest and that it delivers the very best possible deal for WA and for Australia."

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