Record offering of 3000 Gulf heifers could create three-way bidding duel

Jon Condon, 24/08/2020

Mustering on Riversleigh/Lawn Hill

WHAT’S shaping up as the largest single-vendor, single-sale offering ever assembled on AuctionsPlus could produce a three-way contest among buyers when they are catalogued for sale on Friday week, September 4.

Lawn Hill Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company in Queensland’s Gulf country north of Mt Isa is preparing to offer around 3000 Grey and Red Brahman heifers, to be drafted into six-deck lots (about 180 head each), on pregnancy status and weight. Most will be number 8’s and 9’s, in store to fresh store condition.

GDL’s Peter Daniel will start in the monumental AuctionsPlus assessment process on Friday.

The offering will be drafted from a mob of about 3500 station heifers, but once the tail is removed about 3000 are expected to be put up for competition, Beef Central was told.

Lawn Hill and Riversleigh run around 45,000 cattle in a good year, but heifers are being sold in greater numbers, and early this year because of the failed northern wet season across the region last summer.

In 2018 Beef Central wrote about the final stage of acquisition of Lawn Hill and Riversleigh cattle stations on the Gregory River, south of Burketown by the local Waanyi people.

Back in 1997 the Gulf Communities Agreement created the Lawn Hill Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Co (LHRPHC) with ownership of the 539,000ha pastoral properties split between mining company New Century Resources (formerly Century Mine – 49pc) and Waanyi Advancement Limited (51pc).

New Century made a commitment to the Waanyi People that it would return 100pc ownership of Lawn Hill and Riversleigh to Waanyi once mining operations wound up. That stage is now complete.

Peter Daniel said GDL sold a lot of cattle off Riversleigh and Lawn Hill, and the Brahman genetics had improved substantially over the past decade. Grey Brahman bulls are bought out of Gypsy Plains near Cloncurry, supplemented with good bulls from prominent studs in Central Queensland.

Lighter steers from the aggregation tended to b e sold direct to live export to Indonesia, with heavier steers to Vietnam, and cull cows to various Queensland coastal processing plants. In recent times turnoff has also been directed through Charters Towers saleyards.

“The steers  have a reputation in the Indonesian feedlots for good performance,” Mr Daniel said.

It is anticipated that live exporters, southern restockers looking for breeder replacements, and feedlots looking for backgrounders/feeders may all compete for the offering, depending on age and pregnancy status.

“The pregnant heifers will appeal to the restocker market back in central or western Queensland, while the empties and younger heifers could go to either the boat trade or backgrounders/feedlots looking for domestic feeders,” Mr Daniel said.

Brahman boat heifers like those run on Riversleigh have recently been making 280-300c/kg ex Cloncurry or Mt Isa, while good quality pregnant Brahman heifers have been making $1100-$1200 in southern Queensland sales in recent weeks.

Record contenders

Friday week’s Riversleigh/Lawn Hill offering is shaping to be the largest ever seen being sold exclusively via AuctionsPlus.

In March last year, the Australian Agricultural Co offered 5196 females for sale, but that was a physical sale at Longreach saleyards, interfaced on AuctionsPlus.

Records show several other large lines of single-vendor sold on AuctionsPlus in recent years, but nothing that comes close to next week’s offering:


The Riversleigh/Lawn Hill heifers will be sold online via AuctionsPlus on Friday, 4 September. A full assessment description is likely to be available from next Monday.




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -