Who owns Australia’s farms? Nation’s biggest landholders of 2018

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Lined up: Record investment in Australian agriculture is driving up prices of farming land.
Weekly Times | 22 May 2018

Who owns Australia’s farms? Nation’s biggest landholders of 2018

by JAMES WAG
 
Who owns Australia’s farms?
 
That’s the question many are asking as strong demand for prime Australian agricultural land sends property prices skyrocketing.
 
The Weekly Times has compiled a list of more than 900 properties, and their owners, who range from family farms to domestic and international corporate and investment institutions.
 
The result? The big are getting bigger.
 
While partly Chinese-owned Outback Beef is Australia’s biggest landholder, with its S Kidman and Co properties spanning more than eight million hectares, investment companies such as the US-backed TIAA-CREF are also building on their investments in prime agriculture company with its portfolio now covering more than 235,000ha of cropping land.
 
The list provides a platform for debate about investment in Australian agriculture.
 
Where is it needed and where should it come from?

LAND AHOY
AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE’S BIG PLAYERS

 

AAAW GROUP – AUSTRALIA AULONG AUNIU WANG (CHINA)

Owned by large Chinese retailer Dashang Group which operates department stores and supermarkets.

• Brindley Park, Merriwa NSW 
2002 hectares.

• Calthorpe Orchard, Sidmouth TAS
More than 94 hectares of established cherry, apple and pear trees. Purchased in 2017.

• Clear Hills, Captains Flat NSW
1100 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

• Glenrock Station, Hunter Valley NSW 
30,868 hectares. Purchased for $45 million.

• Millers Orchard, Hillwood TAS
30 hectares of established cherry, apple and pear trees. Purchased in 2017.

• Oak Park, Charleville QLD
78,000 hectares. Purchased in 2017 for $13.5-$15.5 million.

• Wootton/Kuro Kin Wagyu, Hunter Valley NSW
3439 hectares. Purchased in 2016.

 

ACE FARMING (GERMANY)

European-pension fund backed. One of mainland Australia’s largest dairy farmers with more than 15,000 cows.

• Balboora Farm, Finley NSW
800 hectares. Purchased in 2017 for $8 million with US investor.

• Blighty Farm, Blighty NSW
518 hectares. Purchased in 2017 for $7.5 million with US investor.

• Malmo Farm, Cobram VIC
500 hectares. Purchased in 2014.

• Melro Park, Heywood VIC
470 hectares. Purchased in 2014.

• Oxdale, Cobram VIC
400 hectares. Purchased in 2014.

• Shelley, Cobram VIC
270 hectares. Purchased in 2015 for $4 million.

• Tarraville, Yarram VIC
668 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

• Yarramundi, Cobram VIC
970 hectares. Purchased in 2015 for $7 million.

ACTON LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY

Owned by the family of the late Graeme Acton. Run about 1.57 million hectares of land. In 2015 sold a controlling interest to Australian Country Choice (see listing) to form a joint venture.

• Barkly Downs, Camooweal QLD
1,000,000 hectares.

• Croydon Station, Rockhampton QLD

• Moray Downs, Clermont QLD
121,000 hectares. Sold in 2012 but leased back.

• Millungera Station, Julia Creek QLD
404,600 hectares.

• Paradise Lagoons, Rockhampton QLD

• Rugby Run, Mackay QLD

ADVEQ REAL ASSETS (SWITZERLAND)

Private equity firm founded in Switzerland in 1997. Owned by UK listed fund manager Schroders.

• Olam aggregation, Robinvale VIC
20,000 hectares with 12,000 hectares of almonds. Purchased in 2014. FOR SALE with estimates of $300 million-plus.

ALICE SPRINGS PASTORAL COMPANY (GREECE)

Owned by Greek shipping tycoon Gregory Hadjieleftherriadis. Sold central QLD properties Fitzroy Vale, Lake Learmonth and Glenpairie, covering 71,000 hectares, for more than $100 million in 2005.

• Bolaro Station, Adaminaby NSW
7284 hectares.

 

ANGUS PASTORAL COMPANY

Family-owned beef company founded in 1960 and run by Blair and Josie Angus. Covers four properties totalling 161,875 hectares in central and north QLD.

• Carpentaria Downs, Einasleigh QLD
Purchased in 2005.

• Chesterfield Station, Clermont QLD
Purchased in 1996.

• Kimberley Station, Clermont QLD
Purchased in 1978.

• Sondella feedlot, Clermont QLD
Purchased in 1991.

Family affair: Blair Angus.

AN VIEN PASTORAL HOLDING AND AGRICULTURE (VIETNAM)

Owned by Vietnamese businessman Pham Nhat Vu.

• Vermelha Station NT
200,000 hectares. Purchased in 2016.

ARRABURY PASTORAL COMPANY

Family-owned company comprising six cattle properties and a mixed farming and cattle property across QLD.

• Arrabury Station, Betoota QLD
418,000 hectares.

• Binda, Condamine QLD

• Cluny Station, Bedourie QLD
546,000 hectares.

• Mineeda Station, Blackall QLD
13,057 hectares.

• Mt Leonard Station, Betoota QLD
337,000 hectares.

• Tarves Station, Blackall QLD
10,567 hectares.

Source: arrabury.com.au

 

AUSCOTT

Owned by Californian-based JG Boswell and Company. Owns and leases significant cotton farming land in the NSW Namoi, Gwydir, Macquarie and Murrumbidgee valleys. Also operates six ginning facilities.

• Widgen, Narrabri NSW
11.038 hectares.

• Midkin, Gwydir Valley NSW
Purchased in 1979.

White way: Auscott’s Justin McMillan in a cotton crop.

AUSTON CORPORATION (CANADA)

Australian arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board which was established in 1991 and administers pensions for 183,000 teachers. Owns about $400 million in almond and avocado farms in SA and Victoria, and plans to expand its agriculture base in Australia by another $600 million.

• Jasper Farms, Bussellton WA
360 hectares. Australia’s second-biggest avocado grower. Purchased in 2017.

• Margooya/Canarvon, Robinvale VIC
2878 hectares. Purchased in 201 for $115 million.

 

AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL COMPANY

Established in 1824, Operates across seven million hectares of land in QLD and the NT.

• Anthony Lagoon/Eva Downs, Tennant Creek NT
934,900 hectares.

• Aronui Feedlot, Dalby QLD
Australia’s oldest commercial feedlot. Purchased in 2002.

• Avon/Austral Downs, Camooweal QLD
863,100 hectares.

• Brunette Downs, Tennant Creek NT
1,221,200 hectares. Purchased in 1979.

• Camfield Station, Victoria River NT
279,000 hectares.

• Canobie/Alcala/Lyrian, Cloncurry QLD
492,100 hectares.

• Carrum Station, Julia Creek QLD
50,613 hectares. Purchased in 2004.

• Dalgonally Station, Julia Creek QLD
128.000 hectares.

• Delamere Station, Victoria River NT
300,300 hectares.

• Glentana Station, Springsure QLD

• Goonoo Station and feedlot, Emerald QLD.
Established in 1990.

• Headingly/Wolgra/Carandotta, Mt Isa QLD
1,003,200 hectares.

• Labelle Downs/Welltree, Batchelor NT
61,000 hectares.

• Montejinni Station, Victoria River NT

• Pell/Tortilla, Darwin NT
5473 hectares. Purchased in 2014.

• South Galway Station, Windorah QLD
487,600 hectares.

• Thorner Station, Mt Isa QLD
48,600 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

• Wondoola Station, Normanton QLD
252,500 hectares.

• Wylarah Station, Surat QLD
40,468 hectares.

Source: aaco.com.au

Pastoral icon: AACo’s Brunette Downs Station in the Northern Territory.

AUSTRALIAN GREEN PROPERTIES (PHILIPPINES)

Owned by Filipino banker and property developer Romeo Roxas.

• Cobar aggregation, Cobar NSW

• Epenarra, Barkly Tablelands NT
265,000 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

• Murray Downs, Barkly Tablelands NT
265,000 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY CHOICE

Own, lease and manage 54 QLD properties totalling 662,500 hectares, turning off 150,000 cattle a year. Also own a controlling interest in Acton Land and Cattle Company (see seperate listing).

• Babbiloora Station, Augathella QLD

• Black Mountain/Gifford. Adavale QLD

• Boomerang, Roma QLD

• Brindley Park Feedlot, Darling Downs QLD

• Bundilla, Roma QLD

• Chesterton Station, Augathella QLD

• Dooloogarah, Injune QLD
42,300 hectares. Purchased in 2016 for $8 million.

• Dungowan, Dungowan QLD

• Listowel Valley, Adavale QLD

• Mooga Hills, Roma QLD

• Mooga West, Roma QLD

• Mooga South, Roma QLD

• Niella, Roma QLD

• Opal Creek, Cecil Plains QLD 
3116 hectares with feedlot. Purchased in 2015.

• Redford Station, Mungallala QLD

• Wellclose Station, Adavale QLD

Source: accbeef.net.au

 

AUSTRALIAN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

Owned by Colin Bell and family of Bell Securities. Operate over 224,138 hectares of land in NSW. Properties include the FS Falkiner Merino studs and the recently completed Peppinella cattle and sheep feedlot in the Riverina.

• Barratta, Boonoke, Peppinella, Wanganella, Warriston and Zara, Conargo NSW 
122,935 hectares.

• Burrabogie, Kolora, Mulberrygong, North Cobran and Wahwoon, Hay NSW 
57,624 hectares.

• Wingadee and Netherway, Coonamble NSW
44,846 hectares.

Source: fsfalkiner.com.au

 

Bell division: Colin Bell of Bell Securities at Conargo in NSW.

 

AUSTRALIAN PASTORAL LAND COMPANY

Headed by AWX labour hire firm boss Tom Strachan. Holdings include:

• Lighthouse Station, Roma QLD
7365 hectares. Purchased in 2015 for $14 million.

• Lorraine, Roma QLD

ANTHONY AND SYBIL BAILLIEU

Members of Victoria’s famous Baillieu family. Sold Mount Elephant Station at Derrinallum for more than $20 million in 2010.

• Yarram Park, Willaura VIC
9700 hectares. Purchased in 1948.

BETTINI BROS

Owned by John, Ethel and Mark Bettinni.

• De Grey Station, Port Headland WA
1,214,100 hectares. Earliest pastoral lease in WA dating back to 1862.

 

BILLA KALINA PASTORAL

Owned by Colin Greenfield and family.

• Billa Kalina, Woomera SA
500,000 hectares. Runs 4000 Shorthorn breeding cows.

BLUE SKY BEEF

• Gowan Station, Blackall QLD
18,077 hectares. Purchased in 2016.

NICO BOTHA

Businessman, Kimberley cattleman and former owner of Moola Bulla Station.

• Ban Ban Springs, Darwin NT
187,300 hectares. Purchased in 2016 for $10 million.

BOUNDARY BEND LIMITED

Established in 1998, now Australia’s leading producer of premium extra-virgin olive oil. Operates over 6070 hectares of land. Shareholder-owned.

• Boort Estate, Boort VIC 
2550 hectares of olive groves, comprising 900,000 trees.

• Boundary Bend Estate, Boundary Bend/Wemen VIC
3500 hectares of olive groves, comprising 1.3 million trees.

BRETT BLUNDY RETAIL CAPITAL (SINGAPORE)

Private investment company founded by retail king Brett Blundy in 1980. Focused on growing beef exports into Asia. Runs more than 150,000 cattle over 2.4 million hectares.

• Amungee Amungee, Elliot NT
316,900 hectares.

• Beetaloo Station and OT Downs, Elliot NT
707,800 hectares.

• Mungabroom Station, Elliot NT
346,900 hectares.

• Walhallow/Cresswell Downs, Tennant Creek NT
999,700 hectares. Purchased in 2015.

Source: bbrcbeef.com

 

High steaks: Brett Blundy.

 

BRIGADOON CATTLE COMPANY

Owned by Bill and Gretchen Speed and family from Taroom in QLD.

• Mt Marlow, Isisford QLD
73,100 hectares. Purchased in 2016.

TA&PA BRINKWORTH (CAPARRA PTY LTD)

One of Australia’s wealthiest grazing families, headed up by Tom and Patricia Brinkworth. Operates over one million hectares of land spread across 100 properties, including:

• Banff Station, Salt Creek SA

• Cortina Station, Kingston SA

• Didicoolum Station, Kingston SA

• Frome Downs, Yunta SA
607,899 hectares. Purchased in 2010 for $3.8 million.

• Kaladbro Station, Strathdownie VIC
2632 hectares. Purchased in 2016.

• Ninga Ninga Station, Kingston SA

• SFM Australasia aggregation, Padthaway SA
Six properties from the receivers of the failed timber company in 2010, and reverted back to grazing.

• Uardry Station, Hay NSW 
35,000 hectares. Purchased in 2012 for $28 million.

• Watervalley Station, Kingston SA

Historic holding: The Brinkworth family’s Uardry Station at Hay in NSW.

BROOK PROPRIETORS

Birdsville Hotel owners and major shareholders in OBE Organics David and Nell Brook and family run about 3.5 million hectares in southern QLD and SA, including:

• Adria Downs, Birdsville QLD
870,000 hectares.

• Alton Downs, via Birdsville SA

• Cordillo Downs, Innamincka SA

Original source: Weekly Times
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2 Comments


  1. Kerry
    25 May 2018

    Very interesting work/list. So what is the pathway forward? What are the policy options? Social movement?

  2. John
    25 May 2018

    Of all the agricultural land in Australia suitable for growing food what percentage is now owned by foreign investors? 5, 10, 15% or more and when do you start to draw the red line? This probably could apply more so to developing countries!

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