Keswick Island

Chinese Company Buys Australian Island Then Bans Australians From It

PHOTO: Keswick Island is well known for its views STUART MCANDREW/CC

A Chinese developer has bought an Australian Island and is now preventing Australians from setting foot on it, much to the frustration of locals and tourists.

A portion of Keswick Island, a potential tourist hotspot, was bought by China Bloom, who residents say is stopping locals from accessing the slice of paradise. They claim that the company has stopped them from accessing beaches, banned their boats from reaching the island and even prevented access to the island’s airstrip.

Families also say that the company is killing tourism to the island as they have been banned from renting their properties or advertising them to tourists on Airbnb.

“I just don’t think they want Australians on the island,” former resident Julie Willis told Australian news program A Current Affair. “I think that they want to have this island solely for the use of the Chinese tourism market.”

Willis and her partner Robert Lee say that their problems were further compounded when they were told by the developer they had three days in February to vacate the property they had been renting without a problem for six years. The couple then tried to purchase a property but were told by China Bloom that they had to pay 100,000 AUD ($70,000) as a deposit so any damage to the property could be fixed.