Government invests pension funds in major pastoral company
THE QUEENSLAND government today announced it has bought an 80% stake in one of the countries oldest agricultural enterprises, North Australian Pastoral Company.
The North Australian Pastoral Company owns 5.8 million hectares across Queensland and the Northern Terrirtoy, including Landsborough Station 30km north west of Nebo and Gordon Downs, 45km north east of Emerald.
The investment by the State Governments' investment manager, QIC, was made on behalf of Australian and British pension funds, which state member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said traditionally go to the "bricks and mortar" variety projects.
She said the change revealed the confidence government had in the state's agriculture.
"They are in it for the long term. They have the capacity to stick to the agriculture industry through the droughts," she said.
"The production of food and fibre is the future of our state."
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the investment would create more jobs in rural Queensland.
"An investor like QIC always looks decades ahead, not months, and can see that Queensland is perfectly positioned to produce the clean, healthy food the new Asian middle class will demand." Mr Pitt said
"I'm also pleased that QIC has been able to bring together Australian and international funds to achieve this outcome. "Many commentators have argued for Australian superannuation to play a greater role in supporting Australian agriculture and now QIC has provided a platform and executed a transaction that delivers.
"We all know the pastoral sector holds lots of promise, but returns can be variable due to things like drought."
QIC is the largest shareholder in the Brisbane Airport and Port of Brisbane, as well as owning major shopping centres in the Gold Coast, Logan, Toowoomba and Townsville.