Iconic Clark and Tait properties to be sold

Iconic Clark and Tait properties on the market

Property News

The offering of the Clark and Tait properties marks the end of an era in western Queensland.


One of Australia's oldest family owned grazing partnerships will be dissolved with the sale of the iconic Clark and Tait properties in western Queensland.

The directors of Clark and Tait today announced they would offer their seven western Queensland properties for sale - 121 years after the large scale cattle and sheep grazing business was foundered.

A spokesperson for the group said it had been a difficult decision.

"The families agree it is time to take the painful, difficult but deliberate step to sell the properties, and for the family shareholders to go their separate ways.

"In making this announcement, the Board wishes to acknowledge and appreciate the great and enduring contribution of so many current and former staff of Clark and Tait, over several lifetimes."

The pastoral business was founded by James Clark and Peter Tait at Boongoondoo, Jericho, in western Queensland in 1898.

The Group expanded very quickly during the First World War and represented huge holdings based on sheep and wool growing.

This became the principal commodity of Clark and Tait for several generations. A brief history of the company can be found below.

Today, the Clark and Tait portfolio consists of seven rural aggregations currently operating as separate enterprises.

The properties are all located in the western districts of central Queensland.

The seven aggregations offered for sale on a walk-in-walk-out basis are:

  1. Mantuan Downs, Springsure - a large scale cattle breeding and fattening property (133,744 hectares) comprising an aggregation of two (2) term lease pastoral leases known as Castlevale which is situated to the west fronting the escarpments of the Great Dividing Range and, and Mantuan Downs situated towards the east, plus three (3) freehold parcels known as Semper Idem situated towards the south east on the bottom end of the Mantuan Downs lease.
  2. Mt. Enniskillen, Blackall - a large scale cattle breeding and fattening property (135,200 hectares), comprising an aggregation of 3 Pastoral Holding leases which are referred to as Enniskillen on the west, Windeyer in the central area, and Kelpum on the eastern side of the aggregation fronting the Great Dividing Range.
  3. Barcaldine Downs, Barcaldine - a large scale sheep breeding (incl. Merino Sheep Stud) property (46,735 hectares)
  4. Hobartville, Alpha - a cattle breeding and backgrounding property (55,800 hectares)
  5. Boongoondoo, Jericho - a cattle breeding and backgrounding property (48,408 Hectares)
  6. Powella, Aramac - a cattle and/or sheep breeding and backgrounding property (45,163 hectares)
  7. Bimerah, Longreach - a cattle and/or sheep backgrounding property (68,370 hectares)

The seven properties have a combined carrying capacity of circa 53,000 head of cattle (adult equivalent basis) in normal seasons (or 46,500 cattle (AE) and 68,000 Sheep (DSE)).

Ben Cameron of Bentleys International Advisory has been appointed to advise the directors through this formal sale process.

He said the seven properties offered excellent scale and landforms, a high standard improvements and were ideally distributed around the districts of central west Queensland.

He said the offering represented a turn-key operation and were heavily weighted towards early turnoff cattle production.

Current stock numbers consist of a very high quality Santa Gertrudis commercial herd along with an equally impressive high standard Barcaldine Downs blood stud and commercial Merino and poll flock.

Until now, the properties have not been listed for sale in the long period of present ownership.

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Mr Cameron said interested parties could seek the particulars of the formal sales process at www.clarkandtaitpropertysales.com.au.

"Once their interest is registered with us, an Information Memorandum will be made available," he said.

"We will be seeking Indicative Bids from potential buyers by a due date and from there, we will go forward with a Short List of potential buyers.

"These will then enter into a formal due diligence phase (including inspections) before we call for Final Bids.

"Weather permitting, we expect to complete the transactions in the second quarter of 2020".

For more information contact Ben Cameron or Brendan Goulding on 07 3222 9777 or email internationaladvisory@bris.bentleys.com.au

A short history of Clark and Tait 

Clark andTait commenced as a partnership in 1898 when James Clark (The Pearl King) went into partnership with Peter Tait. James Clark was a self-made businessman of significant capacity who was orphaned in childhood when his father, a sea captain, was lost at sea. He made his way to Brisbane as a young boy and became a plasterer and due to his interest in the sea, went on and developed his business to become one of the largest pearlers of that time. In those days before plastic, pearl shell made good buttons and the pearls were almost an afterthought.

James Clark lost his pearling fleet in the 1893 cyclone at Princess Charlotte Bay in North Queensland. He fought for several years to obtain a large insurance payout from the disaster which he eventually did and decided to go into the grazing business. He sought out someone with knowledge as he did not know a lot about sheep, and he asked Archie Tait. He was not available but his nephew Peter Tait was suggested. Peter Tait was a younger man who had excellent pastoral knowledge, especially with sheep and together the partnership became a lasting venture based on the classic foundation of 'capital and knowhow'.

James Clark and Peter Tait purchased Boongoondoo in 1898 and the property is still in the group's property portfolio today. Powella followed in 1902, Hobartville around 1908 soon followed by Mt Enniskillen which was a significant acquisition. In 1914 they purchased Barcaldine Downs, and Bimerah from the Fairbain Pastoral Company and with the advent of the First World War wool soon became the fortune which drove their partnership forward. Other properties joined the portfolio culminating in Mantuan Downs around 1934. These were vast holdings for their day and over time country has been reduced from all of them with various government changes and they have become the places they are today.

The story Iconic Clark and Tait properties to be sold first appeared on Farm Online.


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