Thursday, December 8, 2022

Murdoch son-in-law buys cattle station with carbon potential

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Rupert Murdoch’s son-in-law and former News Corp executive Alasdair MacLeod has emerged as the buyer Paradise Creek Station in Inverell, intending to take advantage of its carbon sequestration potential.

The property was reported to have sold to a “large local group” early this month.

MacLeod’s Wilmot Cattle Company breeds beef cattle while also sequestering carbon in the soil at its properties. It sold $500,000 in soil carbon credits to Microsoft last year.

It is expected to run up to 700 cows and turn over 1,000 to 1,500 trade cattle annually.

The 2,575 hectare Northern Tablelands property was offered for sale by the Nicholas family in November after 115 years of ownership. The large-scale breeding and backgrounding enterprise can carry between 18,000 and 22,000 dry sheep equivalent, and currently has 500 cows, 1,500 Merino ewes and 700 wethers.

Paradise Creek has a history of producing fine Merino wool and breeding Hereford cattle.

There are 150 hectares planted to oats and 250 hectares sown with rye and fescue-based pastures. It consists of highly productive basalt soil country, with pastures featuring perennial rye and fescue grasses, seasonal herbages and clovers on chocolate and black earths.

In 1895, Tom Roberts painted “Bailed Up” sitting on a platform he built in a tree at the property, as well as “In a Corner of the Macintyre”. Today, the paintings stand in the NSW Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia respectively.

MacLeod is married to Rupert Murdoch’s eldest daughter, Prudence MacLeod. Wilmot Cattle Company’s portfolio includes Wilmot at Hernani, Woodburn, north of Walcha, and Morocco near Gunnedah.

Also in the carbon sequestration game is Packhorse Pastoral Company, backed by billionaire Terry Snow. It recently acquired Ottley Station in northern NSW as it plots raising $1.5 billion over five years to buy up two million hectares of cattle assets with carbon sequestration upside.

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