The iconic Balfour Downs pastoral station is set to return to Australian ownership with Harvest Road reaching an agreement to acquire the iconic Pilbara property.
Collectively known as Balfour Downs, the station includes three separate pastoral leases comprising approximately 634,000 hectares.
Regarded as one of the best beef breeding stations in Australia, Balfour Downs is situated in the East Pilbara region of WA, approximately 175km from the township of Newman and 1,360km north of Perth.
The sale includes approximately 12,000 head of cattle, predominantly Brahman with some Droughtmaster cattle. The property features modern infrastructure including a newly built homestead, staff quarters, sheds and 3,000 head capacity steel cattle yards.
The planned sale to Harvest Road, the diversified agri-business of Andrew and Nicola Forrest, representing one of the few times the property had changed hands in 100 years. It is also the birthplace of famed Australian writer Doris Pilkington, author of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence.
Tattarang Chief Investment Officer John Hartman said Balfour Downs will form an important part of Harvest Road’s integrated beef supply chain and unwavering commitment to the highest possible environmental stewardship and animal welfare.
“For more than a century, Balfour Downs been an important part of the development of Australia’s cattle industry. We are committed preserving this legacy and investing in its future to further enhance this iconic property’s status as some of the most productive pastoral lands in WA,” Mr Hartman said.
Balfour Downs also boasts extensive water infrastructure to support its large-scale cattle breeding and finishing operations, with 92 equipped watering points, including 35 ring dams, 48 fully equipped bores and numerous permanent and semi-permanent pools along the river and creek systems.
Harvest Road’s Chief Operating Officer Pastoral, Backgrounding and Feeding Facility Ben Dwyer paid tribute to Balfour Down’s previous owners and their strong record of investment in key infrastructure, including the development of impressive cattle and livestock facilities.
“The acquisition of Balfour Downs is part of our long-term investment into the future of Western Australia’s beef industry and our commitment to developing a world-class network of integrated supply chain assets across the State,” Mr Dwyer said.
Managing Director of TBG Agribusiness Andrew Blythe said he was extremely pleased to see the legacy of Balfour Down continued by the Forrest family.
“Over the past six years, TBG Group have proudly operated Balfour Downs, investing in its future and reinforcing its status as one of the most respected breeding stations in Australia. We couldn’t think of more perfect new custodians than the Forrests to safeguard the future of the station for many generations to come,” Mr Blythe said.
The planned transaction by Harvest Road is subject to approval by the Western Australian Minister for Lands.
A company of Tattarang, Harvest Road is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agri-food businesses. The Group’s beef division – which includes the Harvey Beef brand – is the state’s largest beef processor and owns a state-of-the-art processing facility in Harvey.