Movement at the Station: A roundup of rural property briefs

Jon Condon, 09/03/2016
  • Strong interest in Clive Palmer’s Mamelon Station
  • Clifton to test CQ market
  • Google Maps technology used in HTW’s property briefing
  • FIRB used as ‘xenophobic weapon’

Strong interest in Clive Palmer’s Mamelon Station

Agents Colliers International report strong pre-auction interest in high-profile miner and Federal MP Clive Palmer’s Mamelon Station near Marlborough in Central Queensland, which comes up for sale in Rockhampton on March 18.

Mamelon is the first of Mr Palmer’s property assets to be divested since administrators took control of his embattled Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville in January. A key reason why he owns the cattle property? There’s a mining tenement in one corner of the holding, understood to be magnesite, a source of magnesium.

The 6258ha Mamelon Station, quality grazing country about 135km north of Rockhampton has attracted a dozen serious inspections to date. The reason for the compressed five-week marketing window is apparently because of the need to generate some cash for the benefit of Mr Palmer’s embattled Queensland Nickel’s operations.

The property was bought by Mr Palmer’s QNI Metals for $8.2 million in 2010. The previous owner bought it in 2006 for $5.5m.

Mamelon has large areas of ponded pasture, good brigalow soils and a double frontage to the Bruce Highway. It will be sold without cattle and without an indicative carrying capacity or overall price indicator.

Agents Colliers are expecting a ‘room-full’ of interested bidders and onlookers at next Friday’s auction. Greatest interest has come from established Central Queensland and North Queensland cattle producers looking to expand with good, safe coastal country.

Click here to view Colliers excellent video of the asset:

Clifton to test CQ market

Central Queensland’s buffel grass country has been a property hot-spot for the past six months and another recently-listed high quality holding will further test that market segment.


Clifton boasts a mix of land and soil types, with well-established native and improved pastures including buffel, green panic, Rhodes grass and seca and verano stylos

Clifton station, near Marlborough is being offered to the market by vendors, the Olive family for only the second time in 70 years.

Agents, CBRE’s Geoff Warriner, Chris Holgar and Tom Warriner will offer the property on 21 April in Rockhampton. Covering 16,000ha plus 4100ha of forestry lease, Clifton has a combined carrying capacity of around 4000 adult equivalents.

There’s a mix of land and soil types, with well-established native and improved pastures including buffel, green panic, Rhodes grass and seca and verano stylos, subdivided into 20 main paddocks.

CBRE’s Geoff Warriner said proximity to Rockhampton was expected to draw significant investor interest.

“The opportunity to acquire a property with scale and scope for expansion in one of the most keenly contested sectors of the agribusiness market will no doubt attract a wide range of interest from both domestic and foreign investors,” he said.

  • Auction: Thursday 21 April 2016 at 11am at the Leichardt Hotel, Rockhampton.

Google Maps technology used in HTW’s property briefing

Herron Todd White’s annual rural property briefing in Brisbane last Friday morning employed a technology we had not seen applied in this space before.

During his presentation to the gathering of 150 rural property stakeholders, HTW’s Central Queensland valuer Will McLay used Google Maps to illustrate some of his points about property sales and price activity. The technology allowed him to zoom in an out of selected recent sale property examples in different regions, each with their boundary fencelines picked-out in yellow.

Apologies for the poor quality, very hasty iphone video shot below, but it may be sufficient to give readers an idea of how the technology was used.

The only downside was that apparently there was a lot of sweat and tears involved in getting the presentation to its finished state. Impressive, nonetheless, and it gave the audience a real insight as to where each of the holdings were in relation to each other, and the rest of Queensland.

FIRB used as ‘xenophobic weapon’

Interesting comments on the Business Spectator website last week where a respected food industry executive warned that the Foreign Investment Review Board was being unfairly used as a “xenophobic weapon’’ to delay or halt Chinese investment in Australia’s agricultural sector.

Barry Irvin, executive chairman of Bega Cheese, the nation’s fifth largest dairy processor, said too often discussion about Chinese investment degenerated into xenophobia.

His comments came amid another fierce debate over foreign investment in Australian farms after the sale of the Van Diemen’s Land Company to Chinese company Moon Lake Investments was approved by Treasurer Scott Morrison last week, after it was given the green light by FIRB.

“What we had was a lot of alarmist press and alarmist commentary around the purchase of VDL that had been foreign-owned for years. The purchasers clearly have a vision for it but there was almost vitriol around the decision of FIRB,’’ Mr Irvin told Business Spectator.

PPB Advisory Agribusiness partner Ben Craw said the FIRB annual report showed very few transactions were opposed.

“Ordinarily, you know FIRB is pretty transparent. You know a 30-day process with a 10-day determination time, so we haven’t had much trouble,’’ he said. “But we were in China in December last year and the opening questions with investor groups there were: ‘Let’s talk about Kidman. You know, are you willing to allow us to invest in your country? Why is there no investment?’

“So, it’s quite difficult but it’s the cost of doing business in ­ Australia.’’

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