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Anger Over Deal To Sell Martin Place GPO Building Off Shore

Australia Post is in the process of selling the historic Sydney GPO building at Martin Place to foreign buyers.

The sale, reportedly to Singaporean developers Far East Organisation for $150 million, has been cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board but still has to be signed off by Commonwealth Heritage, an Australia Post spokesman said.

The adjoining Westin Hotel is already part of Far East's expanding Australian portfolio.

Far East has invested more than $2 billion in partnerships and acquisitions in prime Australian locations, according to the company's website.

"With its attractive urban centres, developed economy, well-regulated business environment and stable market conditions, Australia presents an attractive market for Far East Organisation to build a diversified, balanced real estate portfolio," it says.

The original section of the Sydney GPO - designed by colonial architect James Barnet - opened in 1874 and was the centre of the NSW postage system until 1996, according to the National Archives.

The Westin section was sold off in 1997.

"Crucially, the entire building remains heritage protected... and the existing post office will continue to operate under a lease that remains in place until 2096," an Australia Post spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.

The Far East Organisation is controlled by the billionaire Ng brothers.

AAP

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