Property

Property: Rolleston’s Rewan sells as part of $50m RFG beef purchases

Jon Condon, July 4, 2016

LARGE-scale well developed Central Queensland buffel-grass country cattle property Rewan, near Rolleston, has been bought by the listed Rural Funds Group as part of its first major push into the beef sector.

Real estate investment trust RFG has well-established ag investments in almonds, poultry, vineyards and macadamias, but its $50 million acquisition last week of three grazing properties plus cattle in Central and Northwest Queensland is its first substantial beef play.

Bottle tree country on Rewan, in the Arcadia Valley

Bottle tree country on Rewan, in the Arcadia Valley

The company has an ambition to become a significant player in the Australian cattle industry after buying 17,500ha Rewan station near Rolleston, in Queensland’s Arcadia Valley in an off-market deal with vendors, the Veivers family, plus two other breeding properties further north.

Also included in the purchases are Oakland Park and Mutton Hole, two gulf district breeding properties east of Normanton understood to be owned by the Jefferis family from Cloncurry. The three holdings combined cover some 242,000ha.

The three properties acquired for $42m and the 11,000 cattle bought for an additional $8m, will be leased for ten years to Cattle JV, a subsidiary of Rural Funds Management.

The property purchases and a $61m capital raising will position Rural Funds as the only real estate investment trust in the sector, in which the Australian Agricultural Co is the largest listed cattle and land company.

Rural Funds says the move was part of its plan to expand its portfolio of cattle assets in northern Australia.

In a typical northern integrated supply chain move, calves bred at Mutton Hole and Oakland will be transported to Rewan’s better country for finishing.

RFM describes itself as one of the oldest and most experienced managers of agricultural assets in Australia. The company employs more than 70 staff in fund and asset management activities.

Managing director David Bryant established RFM in 1997. Since then the company has acquired  $390 million in agricultural assets across eight Australian agricultural regions. This has included negotiating the acquisition of more than 35 properties and over 70,000 ML of water entitlements.

“The Australian cattle industry in northern Australia is attractive to us because of our desire for climatic diversification. It’s also a high value commodity and Australia’s largest agricultural industry,” Mr Bryant said.

“The timing appears to be very good – there’s been a once-in-a-decade increase in cattle prices but as yet no significant increase in the value in value of the land,” he said.

Mr Bryant said RFM had been searching for a suitable leased cattle property investment but had decided to act now and make acquisitions to establish a footprint in the industry. This would help attract a lessee, he said.

“That’s been our experience in almonds and wine and we expect to repeat that in cattle.”

He said that taking on the operation risk initially would give the group intimate knowledge of how the cattle industry operates and build a network in the sector.

 

  • Gary Bishop from Hourn & Bishop, Moura negotiated the sale Rewan, while Peter MacPherson from RuralCo was the agent for of Oakland Park and Mutton Hole.

 

 

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  1. Thomas J Mahon, July 12, 2019

    “Rewan” cattle property was in a former life, 1909 to 1934, “Rewan Police Horse Breeding Station” the equivalent of GMH and Ford Motors in that it supplied the means of transport to the whole of the Queensland Police Force until mechanization was introduced in 1934.

    With the exception of roofing iron and window sashes all the buildings were constructed by the Police personnel transferred to that Station. They felled the trees; cut and planed the timber; made the joinery and all by cross cut and hand saw.

    One hundred and ten (110) years later, the Stables, Meat House and one residence, originally known as the “Commissioner’s Cottage” are still standing; the residence being occupied.

    The operation of the Station was conducted by Police personnel ably assisted by Aboriginal Staff.

    An application was made to have these building listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in recognition of the work conducted by Police and Aboriginal Staff.

    Staff of the Heritage Branch supplied great support and much research consisting of 25 pages of History and associated references.

    Rural Funds Group Managing Director David Bryant and National Manager Dan Edwards together with Jane Alexander, Manager, Heritage Advocacy, National Trust of Australia (Qld) also supported the application.

    The Queensland Heritage Council at its meeting of 31 May 2019 resolved to enter the place in the Queensland Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place.

    Notice of the Decision was recorded in the Queensland Government Gazette on 14 June 2019.

    I record my appreciation to the former managers, David and Lucy Sheridan; current Managers, Michael and Tania Millewski and Transport Operator Warren Ohl for help in bringing the Application to a successful conclusion.

    Thomas J Mahon.
    Bribie Island. Q 4507

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