Sarawak development corp defends Aussie cattle property deal

Sarawak Economic Development Corporation chairman Abdul Aziz Husain (centre) says the new property will complement the SEDC’s other cattle project at Rosewood Station in Western Australia.

KUCHING: The purchase of the Carmor Plains cattle property in Australia’s Northern Territory was done on a willing buyer willing seller basis and had fulfilled all requirements, the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) said.

It chairman Abdul Aziz Husain said approval for the A$20 million (RM58 million) deal was received from the SEDC board, the state financial secretary and the chief minister’s office.

“All the records are available at the Australian government’s office,” he said at a press conference here today.

Aziz said that because properties in Australia were sold by bidding, the SEDC had initially offered A$18 million for the property. However, there was another bid at A$21.5 million.

“The other bidder was not able to transact the property, so the agent came back to us with an offer of A$21.5 million. We told the agent that we had to bargain and we finally agreed on A$20 million,” he said.

Pending DAP assemblyman Violet Yong had earlier demanded SEDC to present the details on its investment in Carmor Plains.

“All this money belongs to the people and it is not their (SEDC) money. So the people have the right to know how they spent it and the returns they will get from the investment,” she said.

Aziz said the decision to purchase Carmor Plains was a strategic one and he believed that they would earn more on top of what they have already achieved from their Rosewood Cattle Station in Western Australia.

He said the Carmor Plains property would become the new feeding and fattening centre for the 32,000 cattle belonging to Rosewood Station.

“Over the last five years, we have been making profits but we are not able to expand the business because Rosewood Station can only take about 30,000 head of cattle,” he said.

Last year, he said, SEDC made a A$2.58 million profit from the Rosewood Station investment.