Boonoke and Wanganella on Gina Rinehart's radar

Boonoke and Wanganella on Gina Rinehart's radar
Boonoke and Wanganella on Gina Rinehart's radar

The Australian Food and Agriculture Company, backed by Colin Bell and the global hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, could be on the radar of billionaire Gina Rinehart, according to The Australian's DataRoom column. 

The portfolio, controlled by the Bell Financial Group, recently changed its name from FS Falkiner to the Australian Food and Agriculture Company.

The privately owned AFA has been investing in agriculture since the early 1990s with holdings totalling 225,405ha.

The portfolio is located in southwest NSW in the districts of Coonambie, Deniliquin and Hay, with properties in the portfolio including Boonoke, Wanganella, Burrabogie and Wingadee.

Collectively, estimates suggest that it may be worth about $200 million.

The Bell brothers and partners bought the bulk of the holdings from News Corp in 2000 for $29 million. 

News Corp included a clause in the sale contract to the Bells that Wanganella's heritage had to be preserved, that the property could not be split up.

Wanganella, outside Deniliquin in the Riverina, was the cradle of the sheep breed that revolutionised the world of agriculture through the work of a Somerset sheep man, George Peppin.

The Peppin merino came to be featured on the old one shilling coin, symbolising the prosperity that sheep had brought the country.

The story has now been published Wanganella and the Merino Aristocrats by Timothy Lee. 

Wanganella and Boonoke were involved in the great shearers' dispute that led to the formation of the Australian Workers Union and the ALP.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Wanganella Sheep Farming


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