Cobbora Coal Project land sells for almost $71 million

LAND SOLD: Dunedoo and district is expected to benefit from the sale of land purchased by the former Labor government for the Cobbora Coal Project. Photo: File
LAND SOLD: Dunedoo and district is expected to benefit from the sale of land purchased by the former Labor government for the Cobbora Coal Project. Photo: File

Cobbora land bought by the former Labor government for a proposed coal mine has gone to “proud new owners” at a total cost of almost $71 million.

Cobbora Holding Company (CHC), established in 2011 to develop the Cobbora Coal Project, has announced that the sixth and final round of auctions resulted in the sale of all landholdings on offer, including four agricultural properties and seven rural lifestyle properties.

The auctions have achieved a 100 per cent clearance rate.

CHC launched the series of auctions in late 2016 after the current state government decided to return the mine land to agriculture.

Dunedoo and district suffered social-economic impacts from the purchase of family properties for a mine that would be deemed too costly for NSW taxpayers to build.

CHC chief executive officer Richard Outridge said the final auction on Thursday marked the “end of a chapter” in the region.

“The auctions were an overwhelming success, securing a strong result for the region and for the state,” he said. “In total, 95 properties and 39,006 hectares were sold to keen buyers in what is a positive sign for the future of the local area.

“Ultimately, we’re delighted to see this land in the hands of proud new owners. Whether it be the new owner of a residential property or a piece of agricultural land, I am sure each and every purchaser will bring something new to the local community and help give the area a much-needed economic boost.

“In addition to the auctions providing new homes and businesses for those seeking to live and work in the region, they returned $70.8 million for the state.”

The money will go to Restart NSW, formed by the state government in 2011 to fund high-priority projects recommended by Infrastructure NSW.  

“Importantly, 30 per cent of all funds in Restart NSW must be spent in regional areas,” Mr Outridge said. The final auction raised $10.9 million from the sale of 4015 hectares of land with the transfer of titles to be completed soon.