THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of recently completed sales, and a separate article on interesting recent listings across the country.
- Qld government acquires two cattle stations
- Neighbour secures a portion of WA’s Shiloh Farms
Qld government acquires two CW cattle stations
More than a century of single family ownership has ended for Peter Magoffin, with the fourth generation beef producer selling two central western Queensland grazing properties to the state government.
The 138,200ha Tonkoro Station (comprising 67,400ha Tonkoro and 70,800ha Carcara) is located 245km south of Winton and 240km south-west of Longreach.
The 73,048ha Melrose Station is 90km south-east of Winton and 140km north-west of Longreach.
The purchase of Tonkoro and Melrose Stations was funded by the Queensland State government’s 2023/24 budget, which included $30.6m for land acquisitions to expand its network of protected areas.
Almost all (65,000ha) of Melrose was purchased by the state government, with Mr Magoffin retaining a portion of the freehold block that has a house.
The purchase price was undisclosed, however when Tonkoro and Melrose were offered to the market in 2022, they were expected to make between $36m and $37m (including 11,958ha of freehold country).
At the time, they were marketed as safe, low cost, large-scale breeding and backgrounding country, offering potential for organic status and a substantial carbon project.
In a statement, the Queensland Government said the acquisition of Tonkoro will connect the protected area corridor from Diamantina National Park, Mt Windsor Nature Refuge, Pullen Pullen Special Wildlife Reserve and Goneaway National Park (which it neighbours), creating a total protected area of more than 1.2 million hectares.
Melrose Station, which adjoins the 84,900ha Bladensburg National Park will almost double the protected area to 150,721ha.
The 200,000ha purchase will help to protect the headwaters of the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin, one of the last remaining free-flowing arid river systems in the world and one of Australia’s most important inland catchments.
Both properties contain regional ecosystems and biodiversity values which are either not represented, or are under-represented, in Queensland’s existing protected area estate.
The acquisitions will consolidate suitable habitat for a range of rare and endangered species, including the critically endangered Night Parrot and the highly restricted Opalton Grasswren.
A two-year transitional arrangement for both properties will enable Mr Magoffin to meet existing cattle supply contracts, gradually destock the property and transfer the business interests and assets off the property.
In the meantime, it is rumoured the Queensland government is in the process of purchasing an additional two properties that neighbour Tonkoro and the protected areas.
They are the Bode family’s 352,590ha Vergemont Station (which has been on the market since 2016) and Chris Skelton’s 249,800ha Eildon Park Aggregation (comprising the 103,000ha Eildon Park, the 17,400ha The Don, the 35,600ha Mayneside and 93,800ha Elvo) which he acquired in 2019 for more than $11m including cattle.
Locals have raised concerns about the future of opal mining in the region if the two properties were secured to further expand the footprint of the protected area.
Neighbour secures a portion of WA’s Shiloh Farms
A neighbour has paid $10 million for a portion of a substantial grazing and cropping opportunity on Western Australia’s south coast that was expected to achieve $62 million in total.
Aggregated by David and Sally Cox and family over 30 years, the 5006ha Shiloh Farms is located near Neridup, 40km north-east of Esperance, and comprises seven contiguous holdings.
AWN Real Estate agent Rowan Spittle said six lots are being offered to the market via a staged sale, with one property available for lease.
A local farmer has secured Lot 111 (741ha) for $10m in the current Stage One process, with Lot 116 (850ha) listed for $12m and Lot 112 (739ha) available for lease.
Stage Two, which is coming soon, consists of Lot 127 (913ha) for $12m and Lot 134 (890ha) for $10m.
Stage Three will offer Lot 135 (799ha) for $8.4m and Lot 136 (813ha) for $9.6m once the other holdings have been sold.
Mr Spittle the stand-alone aggregation would suit a larger farming operator with the southern properties running 3000 trade cattle, as well as growing out young heifers for a local dairy business.
“The northern holdings currently produce 3500ha to 4000ha of crops (canola/wheat rotation and barley), with some areas of deeper sands planted to cattle fodder,” he said.
Biodiversity on the asset has been maintained with about five percent of the land set aside with plantations, tree lines and fenced remnant native vegetation and waterways.
Considered drought proof in a 450mm to 500mm rainfall zone, Shiloh Farms is well watered by four bores and three equipped dams.
There is extensive infrastructure for both sheep and cattle, as well as numerous sheds and silos, two homes, a worker’s cottage and a modern workers quarters.