Property

Water gives THF Portfolio options beyond beef

Liz Wells, August 11, 2021

The THF Portfolio comprises five properties, three with irrigation entitlements. Photo: Oxley Capital Partners

THE OPPORTUNITY to purchase 21,900 hectares of prime Fitzroy Basin beef country with a water allocation big enough to allow diversification into permanent plantings has come to the market with the listing of the THF Portfolio.

Made up of five properties, all within 150 kilometres of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, the portfolio is being offered for sale via Oxley Capital Partners on behalf of Europe’s THF Agribusiness after more than 10 years of ownership.

The properties are:

  • The Pocket, Gogango, 1917ha plus 5364-megalitre water allocation;
  • Mostowie, Baralaba, 3859ha plus 400ML allocation;
  • Bindaree, Moura, 3168ha plus 850ML allocation;
  • Karamea, Moura, 3744ha;
  • Lucie Station, Bluff, 9212ha.

The portfolio includes more than 35 kilometres in total of frontage to the Dawson and Fitzroy rivers, and 6614ML of irrigation entitlement.

Oxley managing director Ben Craw said the vendors have invested extensively in water infrastructure and development of the portfolio, and centre pivots are used to irrigate leucaena and hay undersown with improved pastures fodder on three of the five properties.

Mr Craw said the portfolio could carry on as a productive beef property for breeding and fattening, or undergo some land-use conversion subject to approval from authorities.

“The Pocket already has seven centre pivots, and when you look at the flexibility that’s coming with Rookwood Weir, it has other options for water use,” Mr Craw said.

A government project due for completion in 2023 is raising the crest height of Rookwood Weir by 700mm, which will increase water security for irrigated properties including The Pocket on the Fitzroy River. Photo: Sunwater

Rookwood Weir is being built downstream from The Pocket, and is expected to enhance security for Gogango irrigators who access water from the Fitzroy.

And while citrus orchards are well established in the Emerald region west of Gogango, macadamia production may well be ready to kick into in CQ with improved water security.

Large-scale investor RFM, which owns The Pocket’s neighbour, Comanche, is already planting macadamia trees in the Fitzroy Basin, and Mr Craw said The Pocket might prove suitable for a similar development.

Bindaree and Mostowie are contiguous properties, and have smaller irrigation allocations which could be used to grow cotton or other crops.

“They lend themselves to management which can be pulled together into the one operation.”

While the portfolio’s location close to a major regional city and meat-processing hub in Rockhampton is advantageous, Mr Craw said its being north of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) was a further selling point.

“It’s a hedge on seasonal variation, and it’s a different water-use proposition.”

This could see the irrigation properties sell to investors with assets within the MDB, particularly if they have cotton or other broadacre crops, or tree plantings.

Karamea is a dryland grazing property with potential for some cropping.

“Karamea has rich dark self-mulching soils, and it could add scale as a bolt-on operation for a landholder within the district, or from elsewhere.”

Lucie Station is the largest by far of the five holdings, and Mr Craw said it and Karamea could well hold appeal for producers from further north looking for a supplementary block for growing or finishing cattle.

Expressions of interest for one, some or all of the properties within the THF Portfolio close September 17.

 

 

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