Chinese developers have set their sights on the northern beaches in anticipation for a wholesale change of zoning laws in Frenchs Forest following the completion of the privatised northern beaches hospital.
A sizeable amount of Chinese capital is believed to be hidden from the public gaze through the use of front companies and joint ventures.
Increasing Chinese interest in the northern beaches property market, particularly the affordable housing market, signals a concerted push into the area by Chinese capital.
The northern beaches is home to Australia’s largest Tibetan community, many of whom rely on affordable housing.
With the influx of Chinese capital into the northern beaches housing market, some local Tibetan community members have voiced concerns about the potential for China to in effect become landlord to some Tibetan refugees.
This will mean that local Tibetans are potentially forced to pay rent to the very regime they fled from in the first place.
One significant point of contention is the level of Chinese investment in the joint ventures currently buying up Frenchs Forest en masse.
Commercial in confidence clauses and refusal of companies to comment is clouding the true level of Chinese investment.
Some local residents expressed unease about the communist nation’s growing property portfolio on the beaches, especially considering the area plays host to Australia’s largest Tibetan community.
“The Chinese know most of our local Tibetan population live in affordable housing, so it’s a bit too convenient to discover that’s exactly where a bulk of Chinese money is going,” one resident said.
Another suggested that the investment went beyond economics, and spoke volumes to control the living arrangements of the very people who came to Australia seeking refuge.
“Imagine the feeling of fleeing your occupied homeland because you feared Chinese persecution, only to find out China was actually your landlord. This is more than economics, it’s about control. China wants to keep tabs on our local Tibetan population. It’s Orwellian in the extreme,” another resident suggested.
With Frenchs Forest High School slated to be knocked down for high rise apartments and a village square, questions about the true level of Chinese investment continues to linger.
Meanwhile, local Tibetans face the real and present danger of having the very communist regime they fled from become their landlord.