The Land – Coal mine site ready for gavel

Chapman Eastway have been appointed to work with CBRE and Milling Stuart to oversee the sale of 44,000 hectares in the Dunedoo area, formerly a coal mine site.

This article appeared in The Land newspaper on 13/10/16.

For Sale signs are in the process for almost 44,000 hectares of farmland acquired for the failed Cobbora Coal Project now ready to go on the market.

Cobbora Holding Company (CHC) announced that after a competitive tender process, it had appointed CBRE to oversee the sale of its landholdings.

CBRE will be supported by Dunedoo-based agents Milling Stuart and accounting and agribusiness advisers Chapman Eastway.

Waterfind has been engaged to oversee the sale of high security water access licences and groundwater licences, after a similar tender process.

Taxpayers’ money was used to buy 43,857 hectares of land southwest of Dunedoo in 2009 and 2010, as part of the former Labor government’s plan to supply cheap coal to the state’s power stations.

In 2013, the Baird government, facing a cost of more than $1.5 billion to develop and operate the mine, announced the project would be leased or sold. In November 2015, the government announced the site would be sold as agricultural land, with its value for that purpose exceeding all expressions of interest in the coal project.

“These are highly qualified companies who will bring the benefit of significant knowledge to the sale process,” CHC chief executive officer Richard Outridge said.

“We are particularly pleased to be working with Milling Stuart, a local Dunedoo-based firm, who have operated in this area since 1914. “Their local knowledge will be invaluable.”
CBRE agribusiness director Colin Medway said the sale would be eagerly anticipated.

“CBRE is excited to have been appointed to market such a large landholding within what is a very tightly held district,” he said.

“The site offers multiple opportunities, with the smaller land parcels likely to be sold either as weekenders or to locals looking for lifestyle acreage sites.

“The larger timberland sites are expected to attract strong interest from businesses looking for vegetation offsets while the agricultural aggregations will be hotly contested, including by established farming families looking to expand their existing landholdings.”

Marketing for the land is expected to start in mid to late October and the sale process for water licences has begun. CHC will continue to liaise with current licensees and tenants to ensure they are informed about the sale process, which is expected to finish in 2017.

All proceeds from the sale will be directed to Restart NSW, to be invested into new infrastructure across the state.

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