Written by Stefan Kostarelis
South Australian pastoralists the McTaggart family have put Bidgemia Station, one of Western Australia’s premier cattle stations, up for sale.
Located on the banks of the Gascoyne River, the station covers over 575,000 hectares of cattle country and runs a herd of around 11,000 cattle.
Although there is still no official price tag, The Australian Financial Review reports that market expectations are in excess of $16 million for the land and accompanying livestock.
Lachlan McTaggart, who took over management in 1977, told ABC News that the pending sale would hopefully generate some capital to give opportunities to family members. He added:
“Most of us are sitting on our superannuation and the only way to try and unlock some capital is to sell whole or part…Our interests are primarily in agriculture, but [the sale] will allow for everyone to have a crack at something else.”
The McTaggart family’s association with Bidgemia began in 1947 when Lachlan McTaggart Senior took up the pastoral lease at the Station with his brother Donald.
They purchased it on behalf of the family company, Nonning Pastoral, which was established in the Gawler Ranges and Kilmory in 1900.
In the years following 1947, the McTaggart name became synonymous with WA’s pastoral industry, with several family members taking on roles in the Pastoralists and Grazers Association (PGA).
In the early 1990s, the station made the switch from sheep to cattle due to economical reasons and an increasing dog problem.
Another major event was a flood in 2010 that partially destroyed the station.
McTaggart told Farm Weekly that the waters of the Gascoyne River reached levels at least two metres higher than the previous flood levels in 1980, making it the worst flood in 30 years.
According to the AFR, Bidgemia is being sold by Elders real estate specialist Malcolm French through an expressions of interest campaign.
Speaking about the station, French said:
“Bidgemia is truly an iconic property of not only of the Gascoyne region but within the vast Pastoral regions of Western Australia…Today, with exceptional facilities, Bidgemia is presented as a standout beef enterprise investment.
“The cattle produced here are keenly sought after by all sectors of the beef industry, the herd reputation for temperament, ‘doing ability’, and sheer beef quality is well known.”
Bidgemia lies about 185 kilometres east of Carnarvon in northern WA. At present, the station is being run by McTaggart’s son, Hamish.