Property

Commins Portfolio offers stellar Riverina asset

Linda Rowley, February 9, 2024

The Commins Portfolio is on the market for the first time. Photo: LAWD

MORE than $90 million is anticipated for an institutional-grade irrigated opportunity underpinned by 14,112ML of water entitlements in the renowned Riverina region of southern New South Wales.

The Commins Portfolio is located on the northern side of the Murrumbidgee River, 3km south of Whitton and 17km east of Darlington Point.

Appointed to handle the sale are LAWD agents Danny Thomas and Erica Semmens, who are expecting good inquiry from corporates and institutions for the operation’s cotton and cropping capabilities, as well as its horticultural development potential.

The Commins Portfolio is being offered by Whitton-based brothers Tim and Roger Commins, who helped establish the cotton industry in the Murrumbidgee Valley and develop the independently owned Southern Cotton gin nearby in 2011.

In fact, the pair’s achievements were recognised in 2016 with the AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year Award, one of five categories in the Australian Cotton Industry Awards.

Irrigated cotton is one of the Commins Portfolio’s main crops. Photo: LAWD

The brothers and their wives, Leeann and Annette, formed Commins Enterprises after purchasing their first property back in 1989.

Up until four years ago, they progressively added a further nine irrigation holdings to the aggregation.

Today, the Commins Portfolio spans 2807ha across four non-contiguous hubs within an 18km radius, comprising 1097ha Karwar, 1253ha Whitton Hub, 183ha The Weir and 274ha Nardoo.

While cotton is the family’s most lucrative crop, Roger Commins said the properties grow maize, wheat, barley and seed canola in rotation, with the productive soil types also suited to permanent plantings.

Brothers Roger and Tim Commins. Photo: Southern Cotton

Mr Commins said as part of the sales process, the diversified family business is being streamlined.

“We are currently in the process of converting a hardwood eucalyptus plantation back to farming land and selling down a wine tank and storage facility and stainless steel plant.”

“In addition, we have listed a joint-venture hydroponic seedless mandarin plantation for sale with CBRE Agribusiness.”

Roger is also a contractor grower to Murray Cod Australia with two dams used for fish farming are included in the sale of the Commins Portfolio.

Mr Commins said after a very successful family partnership, it is time to scale back and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

“After a corporate approached us, we started thinking about selling the farming business.

“We believe now is the right time to slow down and have a life after large-scale intensive irrigated farming.”

“The sale will give us time to focus on the many existing and successful business ventures we maintain in the surrounding region,” he explained.

Together, Roger and Tim are 40 percent shareholders and also directors of Southern Cotton which owns Whitton Malt House, a dining, event and accommodation venue opened in 2020.

The brothers supply barley to the co-located Voyager Craft Malt and also hold a 40 percent stake in the state-of-the-art craft-malting facility that produces small-batch artisanal malts from locally grown and regionally sourced grains.

Described as first-class, the irrigation development on the Commins Portfolio includes 2244ha (80 percent) of laser-levelled bankless channel irrigation (which simplify irrigation), supported by 1860ML of combined on-farm water storage.

The Commins Portfolio has significant entitlements from the Murrumbidgee River. Photo: LAWD

The surface water and groundwater entitlements include:

  • 1975ML of High Security Murrumbidgee Regulated River Water;
  • 6635ML of General Security Murrumbidgee Regulated River Water;
  • 1605ML of Zone 1 Lower Murrumbidgee Deep Groundwater;
  • 214ML of Zone 2 Lower Murrumbidgee Groundwater;
  • 2293ML of Zone 3 Lower Murrumbidgee Groundwater;
  •  300ML of Lower Murrumbidgee Shallow Groundwater; and.
  • 1090ML of Supplementary Murrumbidgee Regulated River Water.

Infrastructure includes numerous residences, significant shedding, a silo complex and more than 4200t of grain storage.

Expressions of interest for the Commins Portfolio close March 14.

 

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