Gina Rinehart Is Punting On Australia Becoming Asia's Food Bowl And Buying Back The Farm

Photo: Getty/Tony Lewis

It is somewhat ironic that on the same day that Goodman Fielder agreed to a lower offer from Singaporean agribusiness company Wilmar and its Hong Kong based co-bidder First Pacific, Gina Reinhart announced she was buying into two Western Australian cattle stations through her Hancock Prospecting company.

The AFR reports that Reinhart, Australia’s richest person, said Australia’s north has enormous potential to be an important food producer and that “We are well placed to meet the ­growing needs of our Asian neighbours”.

This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Reinhart who also said, “My family has had a long history in the West ­Australian pastoral industry with our interest continuing over generations in Mulga Downs Station in the Pilbara.”

Hancock’s partner in this new venture is Dowford Investments and together the two firms have established Liveringa Station Beef (LSB) with managing director Graham Laitt comparing the path miners have established to the one facing the agricultural industry.

Laitt said:

In many ways the challenges they face [in mining] are the challenges we are facing [in agriculture] and the ­markets they sell into are the markets we want to sell into. In some ways they’ve laid down the road for us.”

The demand for product is huge and there is an ­opportunity for Australia as supplier.

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