The federal government is poised to sell some of Australia’s grassland parks to the US as part of a multi-billion dollar sale of Australian agricultural land, with the Government Communications and Media office announcing the sale will be completed in the coming weeks.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the National Farmers’ Union have completed a deal to sell three National Grassland Park lands, with more to be completed before the end of the year.
In a statement the Agriculture Department said it would sell a portion of the national grassland for $2.7 billion, which is a record price for grassland.
“It is a significant increase from the $2 billion sale of the National Grasslands and Cattlefields in 2013 and the $1.5 billion sale in 2015,” it said.
The sale of national grasslands will be a boon to farmers, as it will allow them to farm more land for cattle feed and feed their animals.
The deal with US real estate firm Colony Capital will see the sale of four national grass lands at Cootamundra, Coot-A-Horse and the Cootlands.
The deal will bring the total sale of grasslands to 16 national grass areas.
The purchase is part of an overall sale of over 3.3 million hectares of agricultural land by the government.
It is expected the sale, which will involve about 30 per cent of the Cattlelands National Grass Land, will be finalized in the new year.
The government also announced the sale and purchase of the remaining three national grass land at the Cripplegate National Grass Park in the north of the country.
“This sale is another step towards improving access to grassland and supporting our nation’s economy,” Agriculture Minister Greg Hunt said.
Cripplegate was previously owned by the Cottesloe and Cottons Creek families and was also the subject of a $1 billion investment from Colony Capital.
The Government is selling land at Cripplese National Grass Reserve, at the northern tip of South Australia, in the $750 million sale.
It will bring Australia’s total number of grassland reserves to 14, the highest total in the world, with only two other countries having more than one grassland reserve.