qic settles stuarts creek purchase from packhorse pastoral company
QIC has settled the Stuart’s Creek acquisition. Image: Supplied.
  • Is the second acquisition for the QIC Natural Capital platform.
  • The property was listed in late 2022, by Packhorse Pastoral Company.
  • It is prime agricultural land that also has significant areas registered for sequestration.

Stuart’s Creek has been acquired by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) for its Natural Capital platform. It represents the second acquisition under the platform, following the purchase of a 600-hectare irrigated sugar cane property south of the Mackay region last year.

Both the Stuart’s Creek and sugar cane farm acquisitions were made possible through a foundational investment from the Queensland Government’s Land Restoration Fund.

queensland investment corporation buys stuarts creek from packhorse pastoral company
The Packhorse Pastoral Company property was listed for sale late last year. Image: Supplied.

Acquired from Packhorse Pastoral Company, the 8,300 hectare property is the last in the Packhorse portfolio.

Stuart’s Creek is located northwest of Roma and came to market with two other properties late last year, following the tragic passing of co-founder and “chief storyteller”, Tom Strachan.

The three properties were operated as “grass motels” and carbon sequestration farms, in line with Strachan’s passion for regenerative agriculture. The properties were offered with registered carbon baselines in place along with predetermined strategies to maximise carbon sequestration and natural capital development over the next 25 years.

CBRE’s David Goodfellow, who managed the sale with James Auty, said at the time of the listing:

“Packhorse is a recognised leader in carbon farming initiatives and the environmental initiatives at these stations are well ahead of industry norms, with clearly established carbon baselines and management practices.”

Cattle and carbon

The Stuart’s Creek acquisition is a solid foundation to explore environmental market opportunities that are complementary to the existing traditional cattle grazing operations, said the head of natural capital, Tom Murphy.

“This is prime agricultural land that also has significant areas registered for sequestration, offering the best of both worlds in cattle and carbon.

qic acquires stuarts creek from packhorse pastoral company
QIC has acquired Stuart’s Creek. Image: Supplied.

QIC also welcomed collaborations with academic, environmental and industry groups to support new and existing biodiversity projects on site.

“There is a genuine alignment of the Packhorse vision and QIC’s Natural Capital platform, giving us great confidence in carrying on this important work to deliver positive commercial and environmental outcomes,” added Murphy.

Strong returns

Managing director of Packhorse Pastoral Company, Geoff Murrell, said the sale was a true alignment of outcomes and solutions for the environment and investors.

“The sale of Stuart’s Creek has delivered strong shareholder returns and the compatibility of a new land steward to continue building on the solid regenerative agricultural practices Packhorse had underway,” said Murrell.

“Packhorse had registered 20,000 hectares of land with the Clean Energy Regulator that is primed for carbon sequestration.

“We are fortunate to have collaborated with some notable partners and industry experts to establish an exceptional foundation for biodiversity above and below the ground.”

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