Family-run businesses are taking advantage of high commodity prices and relatively low interest rates to secure significant pastoral holdings.

Story Sue Smethurst  Photo Fiona Lake

Over the past decade, billionaires and private equity firms have notably circled and snapped up large-scale pastoral holdings across northern Australia. In something of a station stampede, between 2015 and 2020, some of Australia’s best-known properties were acquired by the likes of Gina Rinehart’s S. Kidman & Co, retail giant Brett Blundy’s private investment firm BBRC, and R.M.Williams owner Dr Andrew Forrest, who added a number of prime Pilbara stations to his family’s Harvest Road portfolio. 

But, with commodity prices currently high and interest rates relatively low, some of the big-name players are leveraging good selling conditions to change their investment mixes, and it’s smaller, family-run agribusinesses who are stepping into the breach.

This story excerpt is from Issue #147

Outback Magazine: February/March 2023