Weekly property review: Recently completed sales  

Property editor Linda Rowley, 15/07/2020

THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of recently completed sales, and a separate article on interesting recent listings across the country.

  • Twiggy Forest ventures into the WA’s Kimberley
  • Moura’s Prospect Park and Surat’s Spring Grove make district records
  • Family purchases Westmar’s Wallanba
  • Neighbours secure Mitchell’s Greenoaks

The 221,408ha Jubilee Downs in Western Australia’s Kimberley was offered with around 11,500 Droughtmaster cattle.

Twiggy Forest ventures into WA’s Kimberley

Mining tycoon Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest last week paid more than $30 million for his first Kimberley acquisition – the 221,408ha Jubilee Downs and Quanbun Downs, including 11,500 Droughtmaster cattle.

Located 90km from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, the property was originally settled in 1880 by the McLarty and Rose families.

In 1975, Quanbun Downs was acquired by Texas billionaire and environmentalist Edward Bass, and Keith and Karen Anderson. Jubilee Downs was added in 1987 and the two holdings have been running as one entity under the stewardship of the Andersons since.

The country features the unique Alexander Island, formed where the Fitzroy River splits into two creating a 40,500ha flood plain of rich dark self-mulching alluvial loam (reminiscent of the best QLD plains country).

Around half the property comprises various forms of alluvial plains and/or river system rangelands, with the balance mainly Pindan country with woodland and shrubland.

The Fitzroy River northern branch runs through the property, while the southern branch forms the property’s south boundary. In total, Jubilee has almost 90km of river access, with some huge pools of permanent water.

When the station was listed in May, Greg Smith from Elders said the vendors were to be congratulated on their rangelands management and dedication to breeding quality Droughtmaster cattle.

“The Andersons’ management has been recognised by the North Australia Beef Research Council with Keith Anderson taking out a ‘Producer of the Year’ award, a well-deserved recognition of his commitment to the cattle industry and outstanding management practices,” he said.

Mr Smith described the cattle as magnificently bred, saying the Droughtmasters had an excellent reputation for performance and were highly sought after by live exporters, feeders and processors and could easily make $2000 each.

Mr Smith said Jubilee Downs and Quanbun Downs had proved highly attractive to buyers, with more than 14 expressions of interest.

Andrew Forrest now joins a list of well-established corporates in the region including:

  • Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting (394,000ha Fossil Downs and 450,000ha Liveringa and Nerrima)
  • Kerry Stokes (4050sq km Leopold Downs, 80,000ha Fairfield and 4047sq km Napier Downs Station)
  • Malcolm Harris’ Cleveland Agriculture (7082sq km Gogo Station which adjoins Jubilee Downs to the east)
  • Adelaide-based advisory firm Agrify investment group’s Consolidated Australian Pastoral Holdings (395,000ha Moola Bulla, 260,000ha Mount Amhurst, 206,000ha Beefwood Park and 178,000ha Shamrock Station)
  • Vietnam-based investment group Clean Agriculture & International Tourism (1000sq km Argyle Downs).

The purchase is expected to be a key part in the supply chain of Mr Forrest’s gate-to-plate beef business, including Harvest Road Group, which is part of the Minderoo Group, one of Australia’s largest private investment vehicles.

Its portfolio of agricultural investments covers 1.3 million hectares of pastoral land on five properties in Western Australia’s north, the Harvey Beef processing business and a portfolio of fine food brands targeting domestic and international markets, with exports to more than 30 countries.

Mr Forrest is also in the process of building the state’s biggest cattle feedlot at a cost of around $52m, at Koojan Downs near Moora in the central midlands wheatbelt district, 170km north of Perth.

As part of the first development phase, the Koojan facility will accommodate 40,000 cattle, with a view to supplying about 60,000 100-day grain-finished cattle each year to the Harvey processing facility. A proposed second phase is expected to double that capacity.


Moura’s Prospect Park and Surat’s Spring Grove make district records

Locals Stewart, Stephanie and Tom Nobbs have paid $8.6 million, a district grazing record $5517/ha bare, for Moura’s Prospect Park.

The well-known Central Queensland family owns and operates the Yoman Brahman Stud and commercial cattle operation which has been breeding Red and Grey Brahmans for more than 40 years.

In May 2017, the Nobbs’ secured the 5480ha Rangeview, regarded as one of best cattle enterprises in the renowned Bauhinia Downs district, for $9.3 million or $1697/ha.

There was strong interest in the 1558ha breeder block, Prospect Park, 80km from Moura and 150km from Biloela, in the heart of blue-ribbon Bauhinia district.

As a result, marketing agents Hourn & Bishop Qld decided to offer the property a day later than originally intended, to align with the Queensland government’s final easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Prospect Park’s improved soft rolling scrub country was offered with a dense coverage of buffel grass, green panic and improved pastures, originally timbered with bottle tree, bonewood, softwood and brigalow.

Featuring highly productive, fertile, mixed soil types, the property is estimated to carry 1000 backgrounders.

Water is secured by a 6km double frontage to the Bungil Creek, two bores, three dams and waterholes in the Prospect Creek.

The vendors, Sam and Heather Crowther, and their son Andrew and wife Katie, are based at the 3500ha Harrow in Central Queensland’s Arcadia Valley, which breeds, backgrounds and finishes cattle through a 650-SCU accredited feedlot.

When the Crowther family purchased the neighbouring Leeora Downs for around $17 million bare in April, they decided to offload their 2496ha Spring Grove property at Surat (see following story), as well as Prospect Park.

Prospect Park was marketed by the agency’s Brad Hanson and Gary Bishop.

Handling facilities on Prospect Park

Spring Grove

Meanwhile, the Ladbrook family from Bulah, Yuleba, has paid $5.45 million ($2183/ha) for the Crowther family’s 2496ha Spring Grove in Queensland’s Maranoa – another district record.

Located at Surat, 70km south east of Roma, the property was heavily pastured with a thick stand of buffel grass and is estimated to carry 1000 backgrounders.

The country features highly productive, fertile, mixed soil types of belah, bauhinia and brigalow scrub soils merging to deep, soft red loams.

Water is a feature of Spring Grove with an integrated system of flowing bores, poly pipe, tanks and troughs, dams and waterholes plus 6km of double frontage to the Bungil Creek.

Darryl Langton from Nutrien Harcourts handled the sale and marketing of Spring Grove.

The Ladbrook family from Bulah, Yuleba, has paid $5.45 million ($2183/ha) for the Crowther family’s 2496ha Spring Grove in Queensland’s Maranoa

Family purchases Westmar’s Wallanba

A family-owned business from Central Queensland has paid $9.5 million ($3390/ha) for the productive breeding and backgrounding property Wallanba on Queensland’s Western Downs.

The 2802ha property is located 10km north of Westmar and 55km south of Meandarra and comprises flat to slightly undulating brigalow/belah country suitable for cropping or running 550 breeders.

Water is a feature, with Wallanba boasting double frontage to the Moonie River and single frontage to the Parrie Molan Creek.

There are three separate water access licences (WAL) totalling 1199 megalitres, plus a 60ML weir and a 1000ML storage dam.

Leucaena has been grown on 150ha of irrigation and there is a centre pivot watering 42ha of fodder crops.

Vendors Garry and Amy Cordwell, who have held the property for 27 years, will now retire.

The marketing and sale of Wallanba was handled by Bruce Douglas, Mark Schwerin and Bruce Birch from Ray White Rural.

A family-owned business from Central Queensland has paid $9.5 million ($3390/ha) for the productive breeding and backgrounding property Wallanba near Westmar on the Western Darling Downs.

Neighbours secure Mitchell’s Greenoaks

Kandimulla-based Cambingila Pastoral Co has secured the neighbouring Mitchell (QLD) backgrounding property Greenoaks, which was recently passed in at auction for $2.05 million bare.

Located 65km south west of Mitchell and 150km to Roma, in southern Queensland, the 5099ha holding boasts an abundance of feed.

Greenoaks, which sits within a cluster exclusion fence, is suited to beef, sheep, wool or goat production, and can carry 950 cattle and 1800 goats.

The country comprises soft melonhole/gilgai country with brigalow, belah and running into softer red soil types of box, kurrajong and ironbark.

There are also areas of open and low mulga with good stances of buffel on sweet pebbly country.

Greenoaks is the headwaters for the Johnson Creek and Neabul Creek catchment and the property is well-watered by nine dams.

Chris and Nolene Francis who have owned the property for seven years, will now relocate north to be closer to family.

Carl Warren from TopX Australia handled the sale.

Mitchell (QLD) backgrounding property Greenoaks, boasted an abundance of feed


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