CPC to divest three Qld properties to focus on northern development

Beef Central, 22/08/2016

CONSOLIDATED Pastoral Co plans to divest three of its quality smaller western Queensland grazing properties in order to refocus capital on further productivity development on its northern Australia grazing assets.

Sweetly timed to coincide with the current surge in demand for cattle grazing land across northern Australia, CPC has elected to sell Mount Marlow and Gowan in the Blackall District and Cooinda Station, located north of Winton. The holdings will be auctioned separately on October 6.

CPC will offer three central western Queensland properties as part of a capital re-diversion in early October,

CPC will offer three central western Queensland properties as part of a capital re-diversion in early October

Speaking from Jakarta this morning, CPC chief executive officer Troy Setter told Beef Central the sales were fundamentally designed to allow the company to re-deploy capital into further development of other, larger northern landholdings.

CPC still has large areas of ‘under-developed’ land, in terms of stockwater and fencing infrastructure on its Barkly Tableland and Victoria River District grazing properties where significant productivity improvements can still be made.

“We want to re-invest the capital from the sale of the three Queensland properties into that development work,” Mr Setter said.

By CPC’s lofty standards, the three Queensland properties being put to market are smaller holdings, with an average carrying capacity around 4000 head each.

There are apparently no further plans to offload more grazing land as part of the company’s capital re-allocation process.

The announcement follows last month’s announcement that CPC had sold its Carlton Hill station on the fringes of the Ord River dam in WA’s eastern Kimberley to Chinese interests in a $100m deal, where CPC will get to lease back the majority of the holding not required for irrigated cropping development by the new owners.

The three properties now being offered are Mount Marlow and Gowan in Queensland’s Blackall District and Cooinda Station, north of Winton. They have all been acquired in the period since 2004 when Mount Marlow was purchased from Mick Gibson and family.

Mr Setter said the sales would not have a significant impact on the balance CPC property portfolio, with further investment in productivity in remaining properties offsetting the loss of land area caused by the sales. Properties in the Territory identified with further development potential include Newcastle Waters, Ucharonidge, Auvergne and Bunda Stations, plus Isis Downs near Isisford in Central Queensland.

Mew water infrastructure like this tank and troughs on Brunette Downs is driving productivity on other CPC properties.

New water infrastructure like this tank and troughs on Newcastle Waters is driving productivity on other CPC properties.

“Essentially, there won’t be loss in production or cattle numbers, but an increase in overall productivity,” Mr Setter said.

“We have identified several development projects across our northern properties that promise to show a good return on investment,” he said.

The company also retains the ability to produce Certified Organic cattle, through its Nockatunga Station in the Channel country, suggesting a small organic production stream will continue within the overall enterprise.

With recent rain across the region, the three properties are presently in excellent condition, with good pasture growth and an opportunity for an incoming owner to benefit from the strong start to the season.

Flexibility over stock access

Significantly, given recent discussion in property circles, CPC plans to offer some flexibility in access to stock with the deals. Property commentators have recently made the point that unstocked, or under-stocked properties have been much harder to sell, in the current atmosphere of extreme high cattle prices and short supply.

CPC says it is flexible over the topic of stock, being prepared to sell with cattle if the successful purchasers wanted access to CPC cattle as part of the deals.

Early estimates suggest the three holdings, combined, are worth $20-$20 million, plus stock value.

Here’s a brief rundown on each of the holdings, for the benefit of potential buyers:

Mount Marlow Station

Mount Marlow, west of Blackall near Yaraka, is 73,100ha of country ideally suited to be run as a breeding and growing property. The property is Organically Certified, and can carry about 4000 head of mixed cattle. It has a 32km frontage to the Barcoo River, with extensive channels and permanent and semi-permanent waterholes. Diverse pastures include Mitchell, Flinders, Button, Buffel, prolific herbages, Blue Bush and Lignum.

Gowan Station

Gowan is a 18,077ha property 70km south of Blackall, with a mixture of developed Gidgee sown to buffel grass, lightly shaded Mitchell grass, lightly shaded pebbly gidgee country and flooded coolibah creek systems. Gowan can carry 3000 to 4000 cattle, with all paddocks watered by the property’s own reticulated bore system. Gowan was originally part of the CSR Pastoral portfolio, sold-off around 1985.

Cooinda Station

A 24,300ha property 70km north of Winton, Cooinda is ideally suited to growing and backgrounding cattle for northern and southern markets. With an estimated capacity of 3000 to 4000 cattle, Cooinda features a balance of Flinders and Mitchell grass with plentiful artesian water.


Ruralco Property’s Andrew Adcock has been appointed to market the three holdings, culminating with an auction in Brisbane on October 6, if not sold prior.




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.


  1. Michael Vail, 22/08/2016

    The market is always right on the day; as Buyers set the market by agreeing to pay a certain price: else, the property is ‘passed-in’, and negotiations commence; or not.

    The most important decision to make for a Buyer/Investor (as to ensuring the investment actually remains one) is, where the spot-price today, sits when compared to the fundamental/underlying value today. If value is above price; happy days: else, much opportunity for future unhappiness.

    Looking through the prism of a ten year cycle, cumulative risk, and the ups and downs of seasons and farm-gate prices, the best I can get to (considering we may be already at the top of the cycle for spot-prices in both meat and property) for these three properties mentioned above, is a WIWO fundamental/underlying value (as a going-concern, including fully-stocked for cattle, plant & equipment, and ‘all-things-necessary’) of $25.172-million AUD: a value which may be apportioned via the area weightings to arrive at single property values.

    Making the BARE basis value (where you are merely buying improved land, and the grass and water upon it) around $14.25-million

    Bear in mind that Back-grounding young cattle, changes the sustainable carrying-capacity, by a factor of round 1.4-times: meaning you may carry more cattle, and turn-off is quicker.

    The burning question is, will the incoming Buyer/Investor use the properties for the same purpose, at Highest and Best Use; or will they be returned to being stand-alone breeding properties?

    It is all about sustainability …

    Mt Marlow is excellent sheep country, which will fatten cattle in better seasons.

    Gowan is an excellent multi-purpose property, capable of doing the job for both sheep and cattle.

    I have never been to Cooinda, but worked as Overseer on “Daintree”, a bullock-depot east of there. All I know is, you must inspect; as it can be a long-way between the grass tussocks: and be careful of the ‘ashy’ country.

    Remember, a high market for meat now, doesn’t mean it will continue forever, so lower your sights, and your expectation: as rising markets float all boats, but not forever.

    Tides wax and wane …

    It will take around 5 to 7 years to get back to full production for those with cattle (if it rains), and there will be a lot of properties, even after the rain, that may have grass (or a ‘green-drought’); but where will the cattle come from who will eat it, get fat, and turn into cash?

    The only alternatives for those with grass and water, but no cattle, will be to offer Agistment (short-term leasing, of usually less than 2-years, but sometimes longer) for access to a cash-flow; lease the property long-term; or sell: so a quality leasing market may develop and give an indication of the true value of a property, on a BARE basis; and now when the tables may have turned, with plenty of grass, and no cattle.

    The pendulum always swings; and if it rains in September, with the right follow-up rain over Dec/Jan, it bodes well for the next two years or so, and it becomes a Buyer’s market for property from around the end of February (or so I believe, though not for cattle for a few years, until surplus cattle start coming through in volume), and eventually, with plenty of properties to choose from too.

    Generational change, and transition is upon us; I believe.

    It will be sad for some, due to the burden of debt; which will be called upon …

    Happy Investing …

Get Property news headlines emailed to you -