Thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land inside north-west Tasmania’s Woolnorth farm gates have been sold into Australian ownership, marking the first time the area has been in Australian hands in almost 200 years.

Key points:

  • TRT Pastoral Group has purchased 6,000ha of farmland inside the Woolnorth gates for more than $120 million
  • The family-owned company plans to change operations from dairy to beef production
  • It’s the first time land inside Woolnorth’s gates has been in Australian hands for nearly 200 years

TRT Pastoral Group has purchased 6,000 hectares at Woolnorth for more than $120 million from controversial operators Chinese-owned Van Dairy. 

The sale follows a damning audit earlier this year, which raised questions over farm standards in relation to effluent and resulted in an operating licence being suspended

Family-owned TRT Pastoral Group already has operations in Victoria and on King Island. 

TRT’s Tim Roberts-Thomson, who was born in Wynyard in Tasmania’s north-west, said he was “very excited” about the purchase. 

The land’s use will be changed from dairy to beef production. 

“It’s highly productive country. We think it’s ideal for our beef operation. It complements the other two regions we’re in,” Mr Roberts-Thomson said. 

Cattle in a grassy field.

The new owners plan to move from dairy to beef production.(TRT Pastoral Group)

The VDL farmland was British owned for about 170 years, before passing into New Zealand hands in 1993 and later being sold to Chinese owner Xianfeng Lu

Van Dairy sold off 12 farms in a $62.5 million deal with Prime Value in May.

Mr Lu, who lives at the Woolnorth homestead, said funds from the sale of the land would be reinvested into the remaining VDL farms. 

He said Van Dairy was planning to develop a packaging facility at Somerset near Burnie.

Meanwhile, Prime Value is working to consolidate five of the farms it bought off Van Dairy at Togari and build two new modern dairies.

Dairy investment manager Kirsti Keightley said the new dairies would “run more than 1,000 cows each and create greater efficiencies”.

Ms Keightley said Prime Value was also investigating the dairy beef market and had already addressed the effluent management concerns at the old Van Dairy properties.

Prime Value hopes to milk 6,000 cows across 3,000 hectares of farmland in financial year 2021–22 and has entered into long-term leases for two other Van Dairy properties within the Woolnorth gates to help achieve this goal.

Posted , updated 

Tasmanian farmland returns to Australian ownership in $120m deal
Source:
Source 1

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here