Chinese add iconic Victorian estate to impressive portfolio

Property editor Linda Rowley, December 1, 2023

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

 Chinese add iconic Victorian estate to an impressive portfolio

 Blue ribbon NSW irrigation enterprise makes $30m+

 Diverse Southern Qld property sells for more than $31m

 Wilcannia’s Volo Station lists for $6.5m

Chinese add iconic Victorian estate to its impressive portfolio

Guangxi Investment Co Ltd has reportedly paid $80 million for a second iconic landholding north-west of Melbourne.

The 4033ha Greystones was offered to the market after 90 years ownership by the family of Sir William Angliss – a Melbourne butcher, pastoralist, pioneering meat exporter, businessman and politician.

Settled in 1840, Greystones is situated near Rowsley and Bacchus Marsh, and boasts an historic 13-bedroom bluestone mansion.

Around 2808ha of native and improved pastures are running 6000 sheep, with 1214ha set aside for dryland cropping.

The infrastructure includes nine dwellings, shearers quarters, several sheds, a six-stand shearing shed and sheep and cattle yards.

The sale of Greystones was handled by Colliers Agribusiness agents James Beer and Thomas Quinn who were unable to disclose any details.

Three years ago, Harvest Agriculture (an Australian-based wholly owned subsidiary of Guangxi Investment Co Ltd) paid around $60m for Victoria’s Yaloak Estate – one of the largest single landholdings within 60km of Melbourne and just 20km from Greystones.

The 5071ha, near Ballan, are operated as a highly productive grazing and cropping enterprise and, like Greystones, represents an unprecedented land bank opportunity given its proximity to Melbourne.

Yaloak Estate comprises circa 2003ha of arable land suitable for cropping, with the balance used for grazing.

There are extensive structural improvements of historic significance including the circa 1890 homestead, seven additional residences and the renowned Yaloak Polo Club.

The estate also benefits from a wind farm agreement which provides a passive income.

The sale of Yaloak in October 2020 was handled by Colliers agents Duncan McCulloch and James Beer, together with David Williams and Tim Faulkner from Kidder Williams.

Blue ribbon NSW irrigation enterprise makes $30m+

Agricultural asset management company Impact Ag has paid more than $30 million for a blue-ribbon Lachlan Valley irrigation enterprise.

The 3786ha Fairholme Aggregation is situated 25km east of Condobolin, 65km from Forbes and 160km from Orange in New South Wales’ central west.

Described by selling agent LAWD as a first-class irrigation development, the dryland cropping and livestock breeding and finishing operation comprises two landholdings:

The 1428ha The Island, owned by Sean Duggan, is believed to have achieved around $11m.

With 6.5km of Lachlan River frontage, the property is developed to 670ha of lateral and centre pivot irrigation, 77ha of highly developed flood irrigation, 344ha have been identified for irrigation potential, with the balance dryland cropping (wheat, barley, canola and cotton).

The adjoining 2358ha Fairholme, owned by a conglomerate of five local parties, is understood to have made around $19m.

Fairholme uses pastures and supplementary feed (silage) produced under irrigation to finish livestock.

At the time of sale, 160ha were under centre pivot irrigation, 310ha were under border check flood irrigation, a further 500ha are suitable for irrigation, 1253ha are dryland arable and there are 135ha of grazing and support land.

Infrastructure includes a 1900 tonne grain silo, fertiliser storage and machinery sheds, a four-stand shearing shed and undercover cattle yards.

The sale of the Fairholme Aggregation included significant water entitlements – 472ML of Lachlan regulated river water, 184ML of Jemalong Irrigation Scheme general security water, 900ML of delivery entitlements and 2000ML of Lachlan alluvial groundwater.

Diverse southern QLD property sells for more than $31m

A quality southern Queensland irrigation, dryland farming and grazing enterprise has sold for more than the $31m asking price.

Owned by UK-based investor Mark Robinson, the 3145ha Booberoi is situated on the Macintyre River, 22km south of Toobeah and 72km south-west of Goondiwindi.

Elders agent Henry Leonard was unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, but said Booberoi attracted enquiry from four interested parties and would settle at the end of December.

Featuring mostly undulating coolibah, myall and belah floodplain country, the property has soft self-mulching black to chocolate soils, broken by some higher box country.

Situated in a 600mm annual average rainfall area, Booberoi is well watered by 10km of Macintyre River frontage, dams and a lagoon.

Water is also secured by New South Wales and Queensland Macintyre River allocations, in-stream water harvesting and a licenced overland flow. A 5711ML certified on-farm water storage is adjacent to the Macintyre River.

Water harvesting opportunities are maximised by access to relatively low overland flow events and the pumping infrastructure.

Around 1028 hectares of Booberoi have been developed to irrigation with 522ha planted to cotton.

The layout of the irrigation property lends itself to an intensive cropping program using a variety of crops that require less water and a shorter growing season. In the past, small crops of onions and broccoli have proved a useful supplement to the cotton program.

In addition to the irrigation, there are 1005ha of grazing and support lands. Around 955ha dryland cultivation country is suited to cash cropping or forage crops. Some of that country also suitable for irrigation.

Wilcannia’s Volo Station lists for $6.5m

David Russell from Nutrien Russell Property & Livestock is negotiating with interested parties after Wilcannia’s Volo Station passed in at auction for $5.9 million.

The north-western New South Wales grazing and farming country features a picturesque natural lake system and has returned to the market with a $6.5m price tag.

The 23,990ha were purchased in 1992 by the Nitschke family who have decided to retire and relocate back to South Australia.

Volo Station is currently running 5000 Dorper ewes and followers, 1000 goats and 360 breeding cows and calves.

When the season prevails, the family farms the lakebed country for cereal crops including sorghum, oats, hay and wheat.

There are around 3300ha of alluvial black self-mulching lakebed country fronting the Poopelloe Lake and the sale includes a 1877ha cultivation permit from the receding Darling River flooding system.

The balance of the country is red loam and soft under stone grazing, growing an abundance of native shrubs and grasses, salines and a variety of edible fodder.

With around 10km of Poopelloe shoreline frontage, Volo is well watered and is supported by a dam and three bores in a 250mm annual average rainfall region.

Improvements include a three-bedroom home, a one-bedroom worker’s cottage, a four-stand shearing shed, steel sheep yards, cattle yards and numerous sheds.


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