Melbourne investors join rush to big Sunraysia operations

Chris McClennan — The Weekly Times

A GROUP of Melbourne ­investors is securing a slice of the agribusiness action in the Sunraysia region. goFARM Australia has bought up more than 4200ha in the Swan Hill and Robinvale areas. The company’s chairman is Robert Costa, from the Costa fruit group in Geelong.

While the properties will grow grain crops for the next two seasons, they have substantial water entitlements and some businessmen expect the properties will be turned over to almond orchards. The centrepiece is Graeme and Wendy Dalton’s 3251ha Windomal property, near Kyalite, which has Murray and Murrumbidgee river frontages.

River homestead: The large Windomal station between Robinvale and Balranald has been sold to a company chaired by well known Geelong businessman Robert Costa.

Murray and Murrumbidgee river frontages. It was bought for an undisclosed sum by shareholders ­including goFARM directors and Melbourne businessmen. goFARM Australia director Liam Lenaghan said broadacre cropping would continue on leasehold terms.

“They are our intentions in the next few years, but there are all sorts of options going forward,” Mr Lenaghan said.

He said almonds were one of many future possible uses for Windomal.

goFARM Australia has also bought the dryland section of the Lamattina farm at ­Robinvale. A 785ha almond orchard on the Lamattina property has been sold to Almas Orchards, a company formed by former ­investors in Select Harvests.

goFARM Australia bought more than 1000ha of the Lamat­tina property and real estate company broker CBRE is looking for a buyer for the 939ha market garden. Prices were not disclosed but Lamattina was believed to have been put on the market as a whole for $30 million.