THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of interesting recent listings across the country, and a separate article of recently completed sales of note.
- CQ water attracts Australia-wide inquiry
- Water features in WA Kimberley offering
- Well-known Liverpool Plains property to go under the hammer
- Historic Grenfell property must be sold
- Vertically integrated beef production centre near Inverell
- Scale in Northern NSW
- Centrally-located SA station is low maintenance
- NT backgrounding block near Katherine
CQ water attracts Australia-wide inquiry
A large-scale property in one of Central Queensland’s highly productive water-secure areas is attracting nationwide interest.
The Dray Family Farming Aggregation offers substantial beef production and sugar cane. The 8825ha holding comprises 1248ha of sugarcane growing land, suitable for alternative high-value horticulture, and the balance of grazing land.
The origins of the aggregation can be traced back three generations to 1925 when Eddie Dray purchased his first farm and quickly established a reputation as one of the hardest working and most passionate farmers in the district.
The Dray Family Farming Aggregation boasts 4488 ML of water licenses plus six unregulated irrigation bores. The family have also invested in extensive underground irrigation and storage infrastructure, with the high levels of water security being enhanced by water harvesting (overland flows), drainage and reuse infrastructure.
Elders national general manager real estate, Tom Russo, said the substantial water portfolio was of particular interest to large private operators, corporate farmers and investment funds.
“Water security has become a critical issue for farmland investors. When you consider that Proserpine receives 1400mm of annual rainfall, and the Faust dam is currently 80 percent of capacity with over 10,000ML of irrigation water remaining unallocated, then this is an extremely attractive proposition.”
Elders’ Whitsunday farmland expert Rob Murolo said it was rare for an enterprise of this scale and quality to be offered to the market in the Proserpine district.
“Our recent experience in marketing the Faust Family Aggregation (Jon link to this week’s sold story) would suggest that these assets will attract significant interest in the local market and further abroad.”
The improved tropical pastures on the Dray Family Farming Aggregation are presently used to finish the progeny of the 1000 breeders.
Spanning 36 individual titles, potential buyers will be given the opportunity to express interest in numerous individual assets, or the portfolio as a whole. The sale will include numerous dwellings and an extensive portfolio of plant and equipment.
Mr Russo and Mr Murolo are managing the expressions of interest sale process which closes on September 20.
Water features in WA Kimberley offering
The strategic location and enormous development opportunities offered by Western Australia’s 3097ha La Grange Farm are expected to attract large-scale overseas or corporate investors.
Located 210km south of Broome and 400km north of Port Hedland, the property, pictured at top of page, is in a bluetongue disease-free zone, close to key logistic depots and ports.
La Grange is also situated in one of the key economic development regions of the Kimberley identified for its groundwater and land assets.
Glenn McTaggart from Landmark Harcourts said it was a rare opportunity to secure a large 6GL volume of high-quality water and land asset in a tightly held area.
“The property would suit a live export depot, feedlot or a significant fodder irrigation project, with the high-quality soils and climate making it also suitable for horticulture.”
“There is an opportunity to increase production and value-add further through earlier turn-off, increased weightgain, drought-proofing, better land management, breeding genetics, better fodder and improved livestock performance, using models established in similar Northern Australian operations,” Mr McTaggart said.
It is understood that neighbouring properties are successfully using stand and graze, silage and hay models which have proven value-adding results.
Damian and Kirsty Forshaw are selling so they can further develop their neighbouring property Nita Downs.
La Grange Farm is being offered for sale via expressions of interest with Landmark Harcourts.
Well-known Liverpool Plains property to go under the hammer
After sitting on the market for 12 months, Currabubula Station, one of northern New South Wales’ finest cattle and cropping properties, will be auctioned (bare of cattle and plant) on September 27 by Ray White Rural.
The 2407ha blue-ribbon operation was purchased five years ago for around $8.5m by the United World Enterprise Group (UWE) – established in 1993 in Australia by Jimmy Liu and wife Freda Feng.
Under that ownership, Currabubula was run as a vertically integrated business processing grain and grassfed Black Angus and Wagyu beef products for the domestic, as well as the international market (including China, Vietnam and south-east Asia).
Positioned in the heart of the Liverpool Plains, 38km south-west of Tamworth, the enterprise is blessed by some of the best soils money can buy – ranging from friable grey and chocolate loams and areas of level red basalt and loam soils.
Currabubula is best suited to backgrounding or finishing, and cereal cropping – a range of cash and fodder crops such as barley, wheat, lucerne and forage sorghum. It is supported by a 741ML water access licence and is complemented by 528ML storage dams.
The blue-ribbon assets include Pastoria – one of the original homesteads transformed into a premium function centre or Airbnb sleeping 20 people.
Given the natural topography and infrastructure, it has been suggested Currabubula Station could also be run as:
- a cattle breeding enterprise selling off young weaners to the feedlot or store cattle markets.
- a trade cattle enterprise sourcing young cattle to finish either on pasture and or grain assisted ration suppling local or export markets.
- a self-replacing prime lamb or wool production enterprise.
- a horse breeding or spelling enterprise being closely located to the major horse centres of Tamworth and the Hunter Valley.
It also lends itself favourably for future rural subdivision with frontage to two public roads. The current LEP for rural land permits 200ha minimum lots.
RWR selling agent Bruce Birch said the latest marketing campaign has attracted interest from farming families.
“Inquiry has come from previously interested parties, as well as producers from New South Wales and northern Victoria. However, it would also suit high-net worth individuals, corporates and institutions.”
Mr Birch urged all interested parties to ignore previous price expectations.
Historic Grenfell property must be sold
The historic Grenfell property Glenelg will change hands for the second time in 134 years when it is auctioned by Ray White Rural Wagga Wagga on September 25.
Glenelg was settled in 1885 by one of the district’s pioneer families – the Priddles. By the early 20th century, William Priddle presided over 4450ha and was shearing up to 15,000 sheep.
Following his death in 1930, Glenelg was subdivided, with the homestead portion being acquired by his eldest son Henry. In 1949 Douglas Lander purchased the block which is now being run by his grandson Duncan.
Situated in what has been traditionally referred to as a safe district, 916ha Glenelg is 20km north of Grenfell and 2.5 hours from Canberra.
It is currently being run as a mixed cropping, wool production and prime lamb enterprise, having previously run 5000 DSE.
The rich red loams support pastures of clovers, ryegrass and native grasses.
Water is a feature, with 10 dams and access to 20,000 litres/day of stock water from the Ooma water scheme for reticulation to paddock troughs.
The property boasts a circa 1905 eight-bedroom granite stone homestead built by stonemasons from Scotland.
Geoff Palmer from Ray White Rural Wagga Wagga said interest was coming from Sydney, Canberra and Western NSW.
“There’s been no corporate enquiry at this stage. It is all coming from family operators seeking a scalable asset in a favourable district. Most are interested in running a stud operation. While the season is average, everything presents in good order,” he said.
In terms of price, Glenelg was expected to change hands for around $5 million when it was listed two years ago by another agent.
Mr Palmer refused to speculate on a price, urging prospective buyers to ignore all previous expectations.
Despite the cautions, Glenelg is likely to attract competitive bidding above $4.5m and hit around the $5m mark.
Vertically integrated beef production centre near Inverell
A vertically integrated beef production centre in northern New South Wales is expected to make an excellent addition to a strong family farming, background or breeding operation.
The Nullamanna Station and Koolabah Aggregation, spanning 2207ha, is located 23km from Inverell.
The country consists of 800ha of red and black basalt cultivation (including 175ha of lucerne pasture) and 1276ha of heavily fertilised native pasture.
It is watered by 39 dams, troughs, bores and a 3km frontage to Frasers Creek.
Vendor Peter Taylor is extremely proud of what he achieved in just four years of ownership.
The capacity of the feedlot has been increased from 1000 to 3000 head, the yards have been upgraded and there is a secure water supply (storage and tanks) underpinning the operation. Approval has also been granted for EPA, NFAS, MSA and EU accreditation. Despite the ongoing drought, the aggregation is reportedly performing consistently and profitably.
Mr Taylor said Nullamanna was a great property.
“It might be looking at its absolute worst, but the new buyer won’t be disappointed once the seasonal conditions improve,” he said.
In a really good season, the estimated carrying capacity of the aggregation would be 3000 head (smaller trade cattle) on farm and 3000 in the feedlot, or between 1500 and 2500 for adult equivalents.
Mr Taylor has decided to consolidate his assets but will retain the family farm south of Moree.
The Nullamanna Station and Koolabah Aggregation is being offered for sale via expressions of interest by Bob Jamieson from BJA Inverell closing on September 20.
Scale in Northern NSW
One of the largest pastoral land holdings in the Tamworth and Armidale region of northern NSW is being offered for sale via an expressions of interest campaign.
The 9288ha Glen Barra is a historic, well regarded cattle breeding property located 74km north west of Tamworth and 70km south west of Armidale. The country ranges from gently undulating to hilly grazing and comprises 4451ha of granite and 3642ha of basalt and 1416ha of trap.
With an average rainfall of 825mm per annum and an altitude ranging between 500 and 1100 metres, the temperate climate is also ideal for pasture development.
Around 323ha have been sown down to winter oats in the past two years, while a further 809ha could undergo further pasture development to increase carrying capacity and provide backgrounding capabilities.
Glen Barra is rated by current management at 2000 breeders, however numbers have been drastically reduced over the past few years due to the ongoing drought conditions.
The property fronts the New England and Athlone creeks and the property’s water security has been well managed throughout the drought with a number of dams and springs recently cleaned out.
The Glen Barra homestead was built in 1870 out of local stone and has been tastefully restored.
Ruralco Property Davidson Cameron is running the EOI campaign which closes on September 26.
Well-located SA station is low-maintenance
After three years on South Australia’s Oakvale Station, Scott and Kaylene Loader have decided to head further north.
The couple purchased the 77,181ha property in November 2016 due to its central location – 203km to Burra, 157km to Renmark and 192km to Broken Hill in NSW – but now their boys are about to finish boarding school.
The country is a productive balance of blue bush with a mix of black oak, mulga and cassia. A feature is the major water courses, natural lakes and swamp catchment areas, clovers and grass in season.
Oakvale also features flood areas and lake systems in season and is watered by 17 dams, two equipped bores and 60km of poly pipe to tanks and troughs.
Mr Loader said the property is low cost and low maintenance.
“We have spent significant funds upgrading the fencing and the water infrastructure, as well as renovating the homestead,” he said.
The station is ideally suited to sheep breeding or cattle, as well as mustering feral goats. While it has a pastoral board rating of 8000 sheep, it is conservatively stocked with 3500 ewes plus 2000 weaners and lambs.
Oakvale will be auctioned (bare of stock) on September 25 by Elders Mildura.
NT backgrounding block near Katherine
A backgrounding block on the outskirts of Katherine is being offered by Andy Gray from Ruralco as an ideal addition to a breeder operation.
The 17,500ha Maud Creek consists of two adjoining freehold titles, in a 1000mm rainfall area, 25km from Katherine.
The property features black and red basalt country and 300ha of cleared and developed land with scope for diversified development.
Located within the Venn Horticultural District, Maud Park includes areas of arable fertile soils, 529MG water extraction license and a recently acquired centre pivot.
Varied land zoning across the property presents a subdivision opportunity, and there is additional scope for residential, cropping and horticulture developments.
Owned by several interstate absentee owners, they are selling up due to a partnership restructure.
Maud Creek is offered for sale on a bare of livestock basis inclusive of plant and equipment.