Indigenous Cattle Company Building Billionaire-style Cattle Empire

AUSTRALIA - An Indigenous-owned cattle company is building a portfolio of stations akin to those of Australian and foreign billionaires, but their endgame is radically different.
calendar icon 22 January 2019
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The long-awaited acquisition this week of Myroodah Station on the Fitzroy River in the west Kimberley more than doubles the acreage and herd of the Kimberley Agriculture and Pastoral Company (KAPCO).

Now with four Kimberley properties totalling over 700,000 hectares, KAPCO's rise sounds similar to the acquisitions of Australian billionaires Gina Rinehart, Kerry Stokes, and Andrew Forrest, and Chinese companies including Australian Pastoral Holdings and Shanghai CRED.

But KAPCO is vastly different because it is owned by Kimberley Aboriginal traditional owners, and their dream is to make cattle stations generate a profit and social outcomes.

Robert Watson is a traditional owner of Myroodah Station and the chairperson of the Aboriginal corporation taking over the pastoral lease from the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).

He said this is a huge moment in over a century of Aboriginal people working at Myroodah.

"This is the first time that we've had real ownership of the property," Mr Watson said.

As well as returning Myroodah to its rightful owners, Mr Watson sees the station as a key to elevating KAPCO's other Aboriginal-owned stations to the same level as the multimillion-dollar properties that have attracted the interest of billionaire investors.

"The cattle industry really requires these properties to operate at a higher level, and a more productive level, that's the core challenge before we start doing other things," he said.

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Source: ABC Online

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