A Pastoral station, huge cattle farm, has been sold in auction in South Australia for a huge €5.59 million price tag ($8.4million), as reported by abc.net.au.
The historical Beltana station in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia was sold to South Australian pastoralist Andrew Doman. Mr. Doman is already the owner of the Yadlamalka station and now owns the 1,541 square km property(154100 hectares), sold in Adelaide.
Also sold on the day was thousands of livestock, with a high number of sheep and cattle for sale. As well as that the household on site was also sold, along with all the farm's equipment.
The property was sold by Vendors Graham and Laura Ragless, who owned it for over 17 years and felt the need for a change. Laura described the sale as “emotional” and says they now have to move onto other adventures. Laura says her and her husband were happy with the prices received for all their animals and says they will now slow down their pace of life.
"All the boxes (were) ticked — cattle prices are good, sheep prices are high, goats are good, lamb prices are great...It's time for us to ... slow down a bit and have a break."
"I'm really happy that it has gone to a South Australian," Ms. Ragless said.
The couple also admitted their surprise at a lack of Chinese bidders on the day.
“Amazingly, there was really no Chinese (interest) from the start….Being an Elder property ... I'm really happy it has stayed in (the region)."
Her husband Graham did admit the final part of the negotiation process was particularly tough and says the result of the auction is “still sinking in”.
The auctioneer on the day, Phil Keen, said recent strong commodity prices had generated a significant interest in the property. He said cattle prices have improved vastly as of late, with lamb prices also healthy, which helped proceedings. He also added that the property’s close distance from Adelaide made it more appealing to buyers.
"Cattle has softened a bit in the last couple of months, but cattle prices have been really good now for the last two to three years...[The former owners were] running a reproductive Dorper and Dorper-cross ewe flock there, and the price of lamb has been really healthy.", Phil said.
"It's on a sealed highway and the homestead itself is only eight kilometers off the highway, so there are mail and freight going through two to four times a week," he said.
The pastoral station has been described by Heritage consultant, Peter Donovan, as an important historical landmark in the area.
"It was part of the pastoral empire of Thomas Elder," he said.
"Beltana was only one of several significant pastoral stations through the area, but particularly for the Elder Smith group, this became one of the main stations. (When you) think of camels coming into Australia, you think of Thomas Elder bringing them out (in 1866) to provide transport through the region from the various railheads that were established (in the Flinders Ranges).", he said.
Mr. Donovan said historically small communities would develop in close proximity to these pastoral stations.
"When you look at places like Beltana and allied stations, they were all about sheep, [but] they were (also) little towns....You had the shearing shed, which was a fundamental part of this mini-town, and that's a feature of Beltana Station today.”, he said.
"It's like a little microcosm of the pastoral industry in South Australia.", he concluded.