Fertiliser-free farmland hits the market

Fertiliser-free farmland near Coonamble


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Four generations of the Green family have occupied the north-west mixed farming property Trewilga, which had its origins in a celebrated turn-of-last-century land scandal.

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Four generations of the Green family have occupied the north-west mixed farming property Trewilga, which had its origins in a celebrated turn-of-last-century land scandal.

Trewilga was one of nine properties created in 1909 from the break-up of a 45,000-acre land holding amassed through dodgy dealing by NSW parliamentarian and part-time land agent W.N. Willis.

In what became known as the Willis-Crick Land Scandal, Willis - who entered parliament in 1889 as the Member for Bourke - conspired with the Member for Dubbo and Minister for Lands, W.P. Crick, to 'work the system' for personal gain.

Following a lengthy and much-publicised court case, the Willis-Crick Land Scandal became the subject of a royal commission in 1905, whereupon Crick died and which saw Willis flee the country.

None of this mattered to Edward Green and his wife May when they arrived from Cassilis to take up the newly-created Trewilga in 1909, living in a tent until a modest homestead was built in 1915.

And now, more than a century later, that same homestead - albeit much extended and renovated - is home to the founding couple's grandson Bill and his wife Lenore.

With their children having all left the farm to pursue other careers, Bill and Lenore are now retirement bound and Trewilga is to be sold.

The property has been listed with Mike Clifton of Colliers International for sale by expressions of interest which will close on April 17.

It has been listed as an aggregation incorporating the nearby Punches Plain.

It adds up to a substantial land package of 7967 hectares (19,688ac), comprising the 5687ha Trewilga and the 2280ha Punches Plain, with offers invited for the aggregation as a whole, or as separate blocks.

Situated 61 kilometres north-west of Coonamble, adjoining Paraway Pastoral's Pier Pier Station, Trewilga is described as level to slightly undulating country of mostly heavy grey floodplain soils.

The property has only been farmed since 2008, and now has just over 1700ha of developed cultivation, where prime hard cereal crops (averaging 5t/ha in 2016) are grown with no need for fertiliser.

Punches Plain, which was purchased in 2008 and only cropped since 2016, is situated 8km north-west of Trewilga and offers 400ha of cultivation.

Despite the dry times, both properties still retain good levels of subsoil moisture and require only 'topping-up' rain to close the gap and trigger a winter crop sowing of potentially 2100ha.

In addition to a cropping program, the Greens use the properties for a first-cross sheep breeding operation in which 5000 bought-in Merino ewes are mated in normal seasons to Border Leicesters.

A third string to the present enterprise 'bow' is opportunity cattle agistment.

Typically this is 2000 to 4000 steers for three months when seasons allow.

Average rainfall is 425-450mm and the properties are watered by private and trust bores, ground tanks and Nedgera Creek (which also provides periodic beneficial flooding).

The five-bedroom weatherboard homestead is set in established gardens with an in-ground pool, and is complemented by a manager's cottage of three bedrooms.

Working improvements include a four-stand Shear Safe shearing shed with steel sheep yards and an outlying set of sheep yards.

There are also steel cattle yards, machinery sheds, workshop and 534 tonnes of silo storage.

  • Agent: Mike Clifton, 0400 095 902. Colliers International.
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