Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The group had been lucky with the weather, which was perfect for the next few days out
at sea. At the very most, there might have been stronger waves, but there were no rains
or storms and the sky was clear.
As the yacht needed a name, Li Du decided to call it Li-Martin. Brother Wolf did a
search on the internet and told them that there was no yacht with the same name in
Australia; hence, they could keep the name.
Li Du assumed that not many people would have thought of such a name for a yacht. It
was a unique name, based on his and Sophie’s surnames.
Sophie had designed a logo for the yacht. It depicted two hands holding each other
under a starry sky.
Every time they sailed, she would recall the time Li Du held her hands as they looked up
at the starry sky together from the top of the yacht.
On their sea journey, Li Du had been in high spirits. Once they arrived at Hobart,
however, his mood dipped. Stuart Burr and Tony Theodore were at the dock waiting for
him, or rather, for his bank card.
The two were experienced agents working for the largest real estate company in
Australia, the Auswell Group.
Li Du had arranged for two lawyers to assist them. With the four-man team, they would
be able to mobilize and benefit from the power of all their connections. They would form
the Island Purchase Team.
The procedures necessary for the island purchase were completed without a glitch, but
the process was time-consuming. The governments of Tasmania and Australia, as well
as the Ministry of Defense and the navy, had to spend time inspecting and evaluating
the island. Only after the island was declared to be fit for sale, could they go on with the
If the island ownership transfer would affect national security, it could not be sold. That
was the most fundamental condition.
In addition, if the island was known as a source of natural resources or minerals, it
would not be sold either. Even if it were, the price tag would be exorbitantly high at
about ten billion.
The Australian government had acted dishonestly. Although they had not found any
resources on the island, they still inflated the price, justifying it by the presence of the
black gold abalone colonies and the possibility of developing geothermal energy.
The agents had initially estimated the value of the island at less than one-fifth of the
final transaction sum. However, the Australian and the Tasmanian governments had
been extremely greedy in driving up the price.
After meeting, Burr started to complain. “These officers are too greedy. They stooped so
low to increase the price!”
“Can’t it be lowered? Negotiate the price again,” Li Du frowned as he spoke. The price
was too high at 178 million.
Burr held out both his hands helplessly. “Mr. Li, we don’t have a choice. Do you know
what the Australian government did after we proposed the idea of the island purchase?”
“As they were negotiating with us, they also put the island up for auction and accepted
bids from others. That was to put pressure on us.”
Li Du asked suspiciously, “There were others interested in the island?”
Burr laughed bitterly and said, “Not many individuals were interested. However, some
businesses, sea bureaus, fisheries and suchlike corporations were interested. They had
also competed with us on the price.”
What could Li Du say to that? If he wanted to buy the island from such a shameless
government, he would have to fork out a large amount of money.
Fortunately, the opal mine on the island could not be seen on the surface without testing
the ore. The government had not found the hidden mineral deposits.
Had it been otherwise, Li Du could forget about buying the island.
Originally, he had planned to buy the island for thirty to forty million. That would be
really profitable for him and the return on investment would be very high.
However, at the current price, he could still make a big profit as long as he developed
the opal mine on the island. He could potentially make over ten million a year.
Even after the opal mine had been exhausted, the island would still be valuable. The
view there was gorgeous, it was a prime location and he could develop the island into a
Most of the private islands now had been developed into tourist destinations.
Under the guidance of Burr and Theodore, he started to interact with the Tasmanian
land administration. The latter had already drawn up the conditions for the land
purchase and was just waiting for Li Du to prepare the money and sign the contract.
It was an important matter for Tasmania. After all, there was no pillar industry in the
whole state. It relied heavily on tourism for development, and the state government's
fiscal revenue was one of the lowest in the whole of Australia.
The island was priced at one 178 million US dollars, which was equivalent to more than
two hundred million Australian dollars. It would be equivalent to the entire amount of tax
for the Tasmanian government in that quarter.
Hence, how could they not care about the island sale?
The high cost of the island was also linked to the local economic conditions.
Tasmania was located far away from central Australia and was considered as a
provincial region. There were not much plans to develop the area, and it did not enjoy
significant investments under the lead of the government. Hence, island tourism was the
only attraction that drew visitors and developed the economy.
The local housing market was also closely related to the tourism industry. That was
because most of the people who bought land in the area were attracted by the beautiful
scenery and comfortable climate.
Island trading was also one of the key drivers in the housing industry. Each island was a
pillar of the state government's tourism industry. Or, at least, it was a key pillar of their
marketing efforts. Although there were no tourists on Seagull Island, the government
and the tourism bureau still believed that it had a major driving effect on tourism.
Li Du would have to pay for the tourism industry’s loss for the next 20 years. A portion of
the island’s price was a compensation claim from the Tourism Bureau.
In any case, it was the territory of Australia and Tasmania. Li Du did not have much
authority to protest. He could only comply with whatever the officials mandated.
After all, he was not making an investment and he was buying off the resources. Of
course, the government would not provide him with favorable terms.
The Australian Deputy Prime Minister Yallint Wood, The Tasmanian Governor Brusno-
Kyle, State Assembly Speaker Daniel Derrick, and other national dignitaries attended
the signing of the island ownership transfer.
They had originally wanted to hold a press conference to announce that it was the most
expensive island that had been sold in the entire history of the area.
However, Li Du had wanted to stay low profile as he would be living overseas and might
attract unwanted attention if the purchase was too highly publicized.
The key officials could only accede to Li Du’s request and did not hold any press
conference. There was only a contract signing ceremony.
It was only when he was signing the contract that Li Du felt his money was well spent.
It was just like signing an indemnity agreement. The Australian and Tasmanian
governments belonged to the losing side. It was rather interesting to observe the
expression of those people.
After the signing was complete, Li Du started to make the fund transfer in a series of
Governor Brusno shook Li Du’s hand and said enthusiastically, “Mr. Li, congratulations
on becoming the owner of the largest private island in Australia. Hope that we can have
a further partnership in the future and that you can introduce us to more friends who
would be interested in our islands.”
Tasmania was Australia's state of the Thousand Islands. It was made up of large and
small islands. Of course, the governor was referring mainly to small islands with only a
Li Du agreed enthusiastically and mentioned that he would invite his rich friends to visit.
However, he mentioned that he had a request for the Tasmanian government to help
develop the island he just bought.