Cattle in top end comeback? NT's Legune Station with 32,000 Brahman listed for sale

Cattle in top end comeback? NT's Legune Station with 32,000 Brahman listed for sale
Cattle in top end comeback? NT's Legune Station with 32,000 Brahman listed for sale

The Northern Territory's Legune Station has been listed with $60 million expectations.

Legune Station, on the Northern Territory side of the Western Australian border near Kununurra, was previously marketed with $70 million in 2008.

Oldtimers recall the Hooker Corporation sold it to the Malaysian Sabar state government in the early 1980s for $2 million.

It's last sale price details are not know however it was around 2000 when Legune’s ownership board became directed by a Queensland farming consortium headed by Brian McLean, Kenneth Cameron, Simon Hall and Peter Campbell.

The property neighbours the Ord irrigation project in Western Australia’s east Kimberley and comes with 180,000 hectare of grazing land capable of running 32,000 head along with 60,000 hectare of floodplain country and 55,000 megalitre dam.

Colliers International agents Rawdon Briggs and Thomas Warriner are marketing the property as a global opportunity on the doorstep of the Ord irrigation expansion area. 

Chinese groups such as Shanghai Zhongfu, developing the next stage of the ambitious Ord ­irrigation project, will be understandably targeted during the marketing.

It's being marketed as an "unmatched property and water offering with reliable rainfall."

Legune has had a great wet season for far, according to the station's Facebook page.

Advanced feasibility studies indicate Legune Station is capable of supporting Australia´s largest standalone aquaculture project.

Legune Station has a reliable high average annual rainfall of 1,120 millimetres supported by 55 years of data. This wet season alone recorded over 1,400 millimetres.

Round one registration of interest close April 16.

Legune Station's current owners include the families behind Sunny Queen Farm who intend to focus on poultry and pig farming.

Legune consists of a vast floodplain system that normally dries out late in the dry season so in order to extend the amount of green feed available for cattle and to stop saltwater encroachment, the owners built large barrages – or bund walls – to retain the freshwater in 2006.

Henbury Station in the Northern Territory, formerly owned by R M Williams Agricultural, is on the market with PPB Advisory.

Herron Todd White's Northern ­Territory valuer Frank Peacocke has suggested the market had been improving with the sales of Riveren and Inverway, Maryfield, Mountain Valley and Killarney.

Killarney Station, which had been placed in receivership, sold last week to Jumback Pastoral for about $35 million. The 281,900 hectare property will now be run by the MacLachlan family.

HTW recently reported "continued strong momentum for live export cattle prices out of Darwin is underpinning the resurgence of interest in the Top End pastoral market."

"We are aware of a number of forward contracts for steers to Indonesia locked in at $2.30 per kilogram until the end of April 2014," the report noted.

"Many pastoralists we have spoken with are very happy with the improved cash flow and we have even heard of one long-time Top End cattleman actually framing his copy of an Indonesian steer contract which shows the record price he’s locked in at because he reckons “it’s a first and don’t know how long until it’s the last!"

"But make no mistake, vendors (nor purchasers) aren’t expecting values to rocket away with this increase in demand, and offers still show a significant difference between the market highs reached around 2009.

"But properties are now selling where they weren’t before.

"The interest mainly comprises local pastoralists who are looking for add-on blocks (again, with wet season access)," the HTW report said.

The Northern Territory/Kimberley pastoral property market was hit in 2011 by the introduction of the live export ban at a time Cape York Peninsula in particular had seen property values come back substantially from peak levels reached around 2007/2008.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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