Former newspaper baron, John B. Fairfax has sold one of the NSW Central Tablelands’ most highly regarded and oldest pastoral holdings, Dunn’s Plains near Bathurst.
Property records show the 2609-hectare “fat lamb factory” at 244 Lachlan Road in Rockley sold for $17.1 million to the McIntosh Pastoral Company, which operate a mixed-farming operation at Molong, about 130 kilometres to the North.
John B. (Brehmer) Fairfax is the son of Sir Vincent Charles Fairfax and Lady Nancy Fairfax and part of the famed Australian media dynasty.
He acquired Dunn’s Plains in 1989, soon after founding Rural Press with his brother Tim.
The farm’s history dates back to 1824 when 2000 acres (809 hectares) was granted to George Porter, the first recorded settler in the Rockley area.
For much of the last century it was owned by the Coward family.
Under the ownership of Mr Fairfax, Dunn’s Plains has been managed as a prime lamb and cattle breeding nursery with the scope to carry approximately 4,500 prime composite ewes and 550 breeding cows and fattening progeny.
The new owner, McIntosh Pastoral Company, is a family business led by Christine McIntosh and her husband Richard based at Gundawanna, a mixed farming operation near Molong NSW.
“We run a sheep breeding and superfine wool production enterprise as well as a small cattle trading operation, and have a lot of fun in doing so,” according to McIntosh Pastoral’s Facebook page.
Dunn’s Plains sold with two sets of cattle yards, five sets of sheep yards, a five-stand woolshed, three hay sheds and numerous other improvements and extensive water infrastructure.
Accommodation on the property includes the three-bedroom Dunn’s Plains Homestead built in 1940, a three-bedroom manager’s cottage and a three-bedroom overseer’s cottage.
Dunn’s Plains was marketed by Sam Triggs and Jamie Inglis of Inglis Rural Property.
Mr Triggs said Dunn’s Plains had presented as an excellent property.
“The sale highlights the strong demand for versatile farms like Dunn’s Plain, which can support a number of enterprises including beef, lamb and crops,” he said.
The vendor, John B. Fairfax is well known for his investments in rural newspapers and property.
Along with his brother Tim, John B. founded Rural Press in 1988 after he acquired some titles from his half brother Warwick, who took over John Fairfax Holdings prior to its collapse in 1990.
John B. and his brother took a $20 million rural newspaper business and turned it into a $2.8bn player in regional Australian publishing.
Then in 2007, the Fairfax family, led by John B. regained partial control of the listed-Fairfax Media through a friendly merger between Rural Press and John Fairfax Holdings.
In 2011, the Fairfax family severed its ties with Fairfax Media, after John B. Fairfax’s Marinya Media sold its remaining 9.7 per cent stake in the publisher to diversify his investments in the long-term interests of his family.
Fairfax Media, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, merged with Nine Entertainment Co. in 2019.
In 2017 the Fairfax family sold its long-held Sydney harbourside home, Elaine, for $75 million to Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar.
The other Atlassian co-founder, Mike Cannon-Brookes, bought the Fairfax family’s adjoining harbourside mansion, Fairwater for close to $100 million in 2018.
Keep up with Commercial Real Estate news.