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A glimpse into succession planning in Australian agriculture

October 31, 2023

In a groundbreaking development that is reverberating through the heart of the Australian rural real estate sector, a recent media report said the formidable McLachlan family, one of the nation's most illustrious rural property dynasties and the country’s third-largest landowner, is undergoing a significant transformation.

According to a recent report in the Australian Financial Review, after an enduring legacy of 135 years, the McLachlans have decided to split their extensive portfolio of livestock stations in what is being called the most significant shake-up of their Jumbuck Pastoral rural empire.

End of an era

The Jumbuck Pastoral empire, spanning 5.2 million hectares and comprising 12 stations, has consistently ranked among the top agricultural producers in the country.

The decision to divide has been set in motion by family members' decisions to step away from the family business. As a result, the 5.2 million-hectare empire, Jumbuck Pastoral, is being divided among the family. Father Hugh McLachlan will retain of a portion, while his two sons, Jock and Callum, will inherit their respective shares.

Succession planning in rural family businesses

This family transformation highlights an issue that is becoming increasingly important in the agricultural sector: succession planning. According to Travis Wentriro, NSW Network Manager, Raine & Horne Rural, the issue of succession planning is not unique to large agricultural concerns like Jumbuck Pastoral. "We have witnessed other significant sales this year in South Australia that were related to succession planning matters, involving properties that had been within the same family for multiple generations.

"Succession issues can apply to much smaller concerns as well. Whether it's a 20,000-hectare property or a holding the size of a small European country, planning is a critical conversation for all rural property owners," Travis explained.

The Raine & Horne Rural perspective

Raine & Horne Rural, has been assisting families in navigating the intricate world of succession planning. “We offer valuable insights and guidance to ensure the smooth transition of rural properties from one generation to the next,” Travis said.

As the McLachlan family's story unfolds, it serves as a reminder that even the most established agricultural dynasties face the inevitability of generational changes.

Travis concluded, “Succession planning is a crucial consideration for the continuity of Australian agriculture, regardless of the property's size. With the support and expertise of agents like Raine & Horne Rural, Australian farming families can embark on this journey with confidence, ensuring that their legacies endure for generations to come.”

If you're thinking about listing a rural property or have a potential sale linked to an estate succession, reach out to your local Raine & Horne Rural real estate agent without delay.