Movement at the station: A roundup of rural property briefs

Jon Condon, 22/06/2016
  • First sale in 150 years for Mundubbera’s Deepbank
  • Mt Surprise’s Amber Station features water
  • Fletcher joins Cubbie ownership consortium as Chinese investor gets selldown extension

First sale in 150 years for Mundubbera’s Deepbank

Generational change is behind a decision to offer a substantial portion of Central Burnett district grazing property Deepbank to the market, for the first time in 150 years. + PIC

Located in the heartland of some of Queensland’s premium cattle country, the 4200ha of land is a mix of cleared and improved soil types. The property was originally timbered with brigalow, box and ironbark, while improved pastures including buffel, creeping bluegrass, green panic, urochloa and Rhodes support a productive cattle operation.  Remnant areas timbered with narrow leaf ironbark and spotted gum are ideal for harvest as an additional source of income.

Vendors the McCord family have a connection with the region spanning six generations.

Diverse improved pastures on cleared country on Deepbank, near Mundubbera

Diverse improved pastures on cleared country on Deepbank, near Mundubbera

Agent Tom Warriner from CBRE said the property represented a unique opportunity to gain a footprint in one of Queensland’s most tightly-held cattle regions.

“The McCord family’s decision to sell marks an exciting opportunity for rural ownership in this renowned cattle region,” he said. “Properties in this area do no change hands often, which is testament to the productive nature of the region.”

Major features include the highly secure stock water resources, which include six bores – two of which are equipped with solar – six dams, three creek systems with associated watering holes, and the intricate and extensive reticulation system, which covers most of the land area.

  • Deepbank Lots 1 & 4 will be auctioned at Munduberra Bowls Club on July 20. CBRE’s Tom Warriner, Geoff Warriner and Chris Holgar are handling the transaction.

Mt Surprise’s Amber Station features water

Another large Northern grazing holding to hit the market last week is Amber Station, a versatile well-improved 103,000ha Rolling-Term Lease block about 50km north of Mt Surprise.

With a 30km double frontage to the spring-fed Lynd River, the dominant feature of Amber is water. Additionally the Fulford River, Eight-Mile Creek, numerous gullies and rock holes provide seasonal waterholes and valuable grazing frontages. An extensive network of 26 substantial dams completes the stock watering matrix.

Water is a feature on Amber Station, near Mt Surprise

Water is a feature on Amber Station, near Mt Surprise

The property has enjoying a good 2016 wet season with 800mm falling since December and is also benefiting from recent useful rain. Amber consistently runs 4000-5000 mixed Brahman cross cattle and is being offered for sale with 2000 breeders and heifers. The successful buyer will have the option of purchasing the herd.

Amber has an extensive 80km network of laneways and holding squares around the strategic dams and waters providing ease of mustering, low labour requirement and low costs. About 50pc of the property is fenced into five paddocks while the remainder is managed via the laneway/holding paddock plan. There are three sets of permanent cattle yards, with the remainder serviced with portable yards moved from site to site as required, at locations adjacent the permanent holding paddocks and laneways.

The country includes numerous creek and river flats growing verano and seca stylos, black and white spear, kangaroo grasses and numerous native edible shrubs. The property is intersected by ranges and rocky outcrops with soil types being mainly decomposed granite, sandy soils, alluvial watercourse frontages and an area of basalt soil.

The station complex includes two houses, and is connected to rural power, serviced by the Mt Surprise township and State School.

With further development and a supplementary feeding program, Amber’s carrying capacity has considerable upside. The property is ideally placed to provide a reliable supply of weaners to southern fattening properties or feeders to live export markets.

  • For auction 29 July, The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville. Marketing Agent: Henry Slaney, Slaney & Co, Charters Towers

Fletcher joins Cubbie ownership consortium, as Chinese investor gets extension to find a partner

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has granted the foreign owners of Cubbie Station near Dirranbandi  an extra three years to comply with an original condition of the sale, to sell down its stake from 80 percent to 51pc or less.

Mr Morrision’s office confirmed to the ABC this week that Chinese textile giant Shandong Ruyi had requested more time to find an additional investor, indicating it was unable to meet the original October 2015 deadline.

Consistent with Foreign Investment Review Board advice, the Treasurer granted a three year extension which was reflective of the” genuine undertakings Shandong Ruyi had made to sell-down its interest,” the Treasurer’s office said.

“It also recognises the fact that Shandong Ruyi has met the other undertakings placed on it through the FIRB approval process,” it said

Cubbie Station was sold to a Chinese consortium in 2012, with textile giant, Shandong Ruyi taking an 80pc stake and Melbourne-based family company Lempriere holding the remainder. Former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan approved the sale on the provision that Shandong Ruyi reduce its ownership stake, over time.

At the same time the Australian side of the consortium has also undergone major changes, the ABC reported. Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show CS Agriculture has absorbed Lempriere into the business, and Dubbo businessman and sheep processor and wool exporter Roger Fletcher has taken the remaining 20pc stake.


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  1. Dennis Scanlon, 22/06/2016

    As long as the FIRB figures are complied with, the Lempriere and Fletcher families should add a strong and capable ‘Australian’ ownership and management presence.

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