Movement at the Station – a roundup of property industry briefs

Jon Condon, 23/03/2016
  • Australian Pastoral Group off-loads three Qld, NSW properties
  • Ferndale to sell for first time in its 147-year history
  • Qld’s Panhandle and Pyramid to test market
  • Clive Palmer’s Mamelon Station looks like selling – eventually


Australian Pastoral Group off-loads three Qld, NSW properties

The recently formed Australian Pastoral Group is selling its three grazing properties in Queensland and southern NSW.

The first, 5900ha Kinbeachie Aggregation, 50km west of Goondiwindi in southern Qld, was purchased just two years ago. The three properties comprising Kinbeachie operate as a grazing and cropping enterprise and are part of the alluvial flood plain situated between the Macintyre and Weir Rivers.

Soon to be listed is Australian Pastoral Group’s 2600ha Deltroit Station, located between Wagga Wagga and Gundagai in the eastern Riverina of southern NSW. Featuring gently undulating creek and rising low hill country, Deltroit is a well-regarded pastoral holding and primarily operates as a beef cattle trading enterprise. It was purchased in 2013 by APG for $15.5m from former Lumley Insurance chairman Anthony Crichton-Brown.

And 143,000ha Neumayer Valley Station, 120km south west of Normanton in Queensland’s Gulf Country will be listed by APG for sale after Easter. A feature is its access to water, with the Alexandra River running through the property and meeting the Leichhardt River. APG purchased the station three years ago from Queensland businessman and live exporter Syd Faithful for about $30 million.

APG was founded in 2012 by former Macquarie Pastoral Services managing director Alan Hayes, buying $45m worth of rural property during 2013. It’s understood there are four institutional investors backing APG, including the Michigan-based Municipal Employees’ Retirement System and a fund based in Switzerland. Earlier in his career, Alan Hayes was involved in aggregating some large cattle station portfolios, including Colonial’s 2 million ha in the 1990s and 3.4 million ha for Macquarie Group’s Paraway Pastoral Co.

APG was not prepared to offer a reason for the sales, beyond using the term, ‘opportunistic market timing’. It said it planned to issue a press release later this week. Beef Central will publish it when it arrives.


Ferndale to sell for first time in its 147-year history

Angus and Murray Grey cows and calves on Ferndale

Angus and Murray Grey cows and calves on Ferndale

It’s got to be close to a record in the history of Australian grazing land ownership.

Noted Cootamundra property Ferndale will be offered for sale for the first time since the holding was taken up as a selection by the forebears of the current owners in 1869. The 2024ha property on NSW’s south-west slopes is being offered for sale by David Merrin, a fifth-generation descendent of original settler John Elliott. David’s father Leigh and his wife Sally, who live on Ferndale, are retiring to nearby Cootamundra.

Current owner David Merrin believes the timing is right for the family to be selling the property. He has relocated to Penshurst in Victoria to pursue his own farming interests, and believes it would be a shame for a homestead like Ferndale not to have people living in it.

“It’s time for the next chapter to begin. Our time here has been great, and we have many wonderful memories spanning five generations, but whoever the new owners are, they will be able to create their own legacy.”

Ferndale has a good mix of grazing and cropping country, and has been used over the years for highly-productive wool growing, cattle and lamb grazing and cropping. A feature of the property is a beautiful seven- bedroom homestead set in a magnificent English style garden, and featuring its own small lake.

Ferndale is being offered in six separate lots or as a whole. This will allow a larger pool of potential purchasers to participate in the process, agents say. Much of the property is currently leased. Agent Angus McLaren from Miller and James Real Estate at Temora describes Ferndale as a “blue ribbon property in a blue ribbon area.”


Panhandle and Pyramid, QLD

Two Queensland grazing properties are being offered for sale by tender by Roma’s MAA Livestock and Property.

Panhandle, 32,000ha and Pyramid 41,000ha are located near Collinsville in the Whitsunday region of North Queensland. Both carry a good body of buffel grass. Pyramid and adjoining Weetalaba at one point were owned by Stanbroke Pastoral Co. Both were listed for private sale earlier, before the decision to take them to tender.


Clive Palmer’s Mamelon Station fails to sell, after earlier delays

This item update since initial posting this morning – Editor.

Clive Palmer’s Central Queensland cattle station Mamelon failed to sell  at auction in Rockhampton earlier this afternoon.

In front of a packed auction-room audience that included TV film crews from the major network channels, the 6258ha cattle breeding and grazing operation west of Rockhampton was passed in on an ‘unrepresentative’ telephone bid of only $1.5 million.

Mamelon was being auctioned to help pay debts of more than $100 million owed by Mr Palmer’s Townsville nickel refinery. The property was offered bare of stock by Colliers International. Agents says discussions are continuing with all parties, outside the auction process.

Mr Palmer’s QNI Metals bought the property, including coal tenements in 2010 for $8.3m.

In dramatic scenes last Friday, QNI’s administrators, FTI Consulting, ordered the last-minute postponement of the original intended auction in front of a room-full of people, after Mr Palmer’s interests revealed previously undisclosed mining compensation agreements had been signed with mining companies. This forced the auction to be delayed so prospective buyers could review the contracts.

Administrators pulled the pin on the original auction after they were told landowner QNI Metals had signed three conduct and compensation agreements with other Palmer companies, Fairway Coal and Styx Coal.

It’s understood the agreements mean Fairway and Styx, who hold the mining tenements over the property, will have to pay compensation to access the land for exploration. FTI Consulting said a future buyer may be bound by the agreements.

Those events obviously weighed heavily on the bidding process that unfolded this afternoon.




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 Property news headlines emailed to you -