Movement at the Station: A roundup of rural property briefs

Jon Condon, 13/04/2016
  • Cargill US entity buys Goondiwindi property
  • Change of venue for Clifton auction
  • Quilpie offering for Gibson family
  • Historic Portland Downs station to sell
  • Longreach country still worth looking at


Cargill entity buys Goondiwindi property

A COMPANY controlled by US-based soft commodities giant Cargill has bought versatile 5900ha Goondiwindi (Qld) grazing and farming property Kinbeachie.

One of three properties currently being divested by the Australian Pastoral Group, Kinbeachie is located on the alluvial floodplain between the Macintyre and Weir Rivers. It was bought by APG in 2014.

No price was disclosed, however the fact that the deal is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval confirms it was above $15 million. It’s been suggested that the three properties currently being offered by APG are worth around $70 million.

APG chief executive officer Campbell Hayes said there had been a strong level of inquiry for what was a first-class agricultural asset.

“Kinbeachie is extremely versatile country that is equally suited to backgrounding cattle as it is to growing crops,” he said. We are pleased that this property has sold to a company of the calibre of One Tree, that has the management and organisational skills to fully appreciate the value of this operation.”

One Tree Agriculture is owned by Cargill through its property investment vehicle, Black River Asset Management, which has expanded its graingrowing, sugar and pastoral land assets in Australia over the past three years. During 2014 Black River made substantial grainfarming acquisitions on the Darling Downs, adding to earlier purchases on the NSW Liverpool Plains.

Handling the Kinbeachie sale was Henry Leonard from Leonard and Co, Raine and Horne Rural in Goondiwindi.

As highlighted in an earlier Movement at the Station column, Australian Pastoral Group is also selling its 143,000ha Gulf holding Neumayer Valley Normanton property and its 2573ha Riverina property Deltroit Station.


Change of venue for Clifton auction

Unforeseen circumstances have necessitated a change of venue for the upcoming auction of showcase Central Queensland grazing property, Clifton in Rockhampton later this month.

The new venue is the Regent Hotel, 192 Bolsover Street, Rockhampton. Date and time remain unchanged – Thursday 21 April at 11am.

Agents CBRE have been happy with the level of inspection activity, with both property and cattle presenting well coming into winter. Sentiment is high for a successful result under the hammer, and the CBRE team say they are looking forward to setting the bar for highest auction price in Queensland so far for the year.


Quilpie offering ends century-long connection for Gibsons

Queensland grazing personality Mick Gibson and family are putting their longstanding western headquarters, Gunnadorah to market. The Gibsons have been resident on the property, 60km north of Quilpie, since 1919.

Covering about 51,000ha, the holding, pictured below, is low-cost, safe and productive, with a good balance of country suited to softer Euro and crossbred cattle. Calvings regularly exceed 80pc and the country produces good weightgains.


The Bulloo River is a reliable flow and about 30pc of the property is flooded river country, supporting buffel grass, Mitchell grass, neverfail and prolific herbages in season.

The property is well watered with 11 large open dams with safe banks and good catches, permanent holes in Bulloo River, Corona Creek, plus semi-permanent creeks, lagoons and swamps. Vendors claim a carrying capacity of 1500 cows and followers, or 2800 mixed cattle; or equivalent in sheep.

Gunnadorah is being offered bare of plant and stock, but options exist to purchase 1200 females and calves and 300 steers 280/350kg (predominantly NAPCO composites). There are also deferred settlement options for cattle purchase, and buy-and-leaseback options on the property itself.

Historic Portland Downs to sell

On top of handling the marketing for Quilpie’s Gunnadorah, mentioned above, veteran Elders property agent Dick Allpass will have his hands full in coming months charged with the disposal of Dutch-owned historic Western Queensland property Portland Downs.

Located between Isisford and Ilfracombe, Portland covers 100,000ha of mostly downs country and had been running 6000 breeding cattle in recent years. It is perhaps best known as a historic woolgrowing property, having run 60,000-plus sheep in its heyday.

Owner, GP Cattle Co, headquartered in Brisbane, is also planning to sell its 7400ha Condamine property Cotswold which had been used to background cattle bred on Portland. Cotswald features heavy Condamine River black soils to brigalow/belah country and has been used to background more than 5000 cattle on an annual basis. It features a 1500ML water licence and five centre pivot irrigators covering 320ha. A feedlot is also under construction. Mr Allpass said both Portland and Cotswold were expected to be marketed in June.

Contact Dick Allpass, 0417 070 418.


Longreach/Muttaburra country still worth looking at

Despite being at the epicentre of the record drought event across eastern Australia over the past two years, not all country around Longreach and areas further north is as bad as some media outlets would have viewers believe.

Tom Warriner

Tom Warriner

One of the problems property agents active in the area have faced is in convincing some buyer contacts that the region is still worth considering for grazing land acquisitions.

Typical is CBRE, which has a couple of solid central western grazing holdings between Longreach and Muttaburra listed at present. One is an ‘off-market’ listing, while the other is described as a ‘low-key’ recent listing. Both are larger blocks, one with normal carrying capacity for 8000 head. Neither property is being forced to market because of the dry, but are being sold simply because of generational change.

“Unfortunately the area has a stigma due to drought at present which is making it more difficult,” CBRE’s Tom Warriner told Beef Central. “As soon as a place is listed with a Longreach address, the buyers’ eyes tend to just glaze over.”

“Certainly there are places not far away that are completely bare and totally destocked, but not all district holdings are like that. Because of the type of country these holdings are, they are still 50-60 percent stocked, and are still in productive condition.In our opinion, the dry has impacted land demand and values across the Longreach area and further north, where in some cases it probably should not have, because of the drought resistant qualities of these places,” Mr Warriner said.

Both properties in question had areas of channels which had enjoyed beneficial flooding from earlier rains further north back in December, plus areas of mulga.

“But prospective buyers at this stage are definitely shying away from the Longreach area, because of the broader seasons that have been experienced,” he said.

“The press coverage has made no mention of people who still have cattle on hand. Not all properties in the area are totally destocked. It’s surprising just how many cattle are still out there, despite the state of the seasons this year and last. We have buyers on our books who are looking for places out that way – perhaps more downs-type country – some are saying there is going to have to be a big consideration in price, given the shape they’re in. But not all holdings are as bad as that, by any means.”

Lack of stock would also impact on saleability, perhaps as much as the state of the country, Mr Warriner said.

“Yes there are places that are completely bare and have not run stock for a long while, but there are places three doors down that are doing OK, and cattle are in decent shape. Buyers should consider that,” he said.

Contact Tom Warriner 0419 108 638.




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