Labor wants details on Chinese takeover

Matt Coughlan

Shadow assistant treasurer Stephen Jones has urged the government to further explain giving the green light to a Chinese takeover of infant formula maker Bellamy's.

The federal government has approved the China Mengniu Dairy Company's $1.5 billion takeover, with a range of conditions including a requirement for the board to have a majority of Australian-resident citizens.

"There are some unusual conditions that have been placed on this one," Mr Jones told Sky News on Sunday.

"I think it's incumbent on the treasurer and the government to come out and explain why these conditions were put in place."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg backed the Foreign Investment Review Board's view that the acquisition is not contrary to Australia's national interest.

The conditions include making sure Bellamy's is headquartered in Australia for a decade and requiring the Chinese buyer to invest at least $12 million in infant milk formula processing facilities in Victoria.

Mr Jones said greater investment between Australia and China grew both economies and should be supported.

"I think it would be helpful if the treasurer, if the government, could explain all those elements and set out why they believe they were in the national interest," the Labor frontbencher said.

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and independent senator Jacqui Lambie have criticised the decision to approve the sale.