30 Oct 2009

Drought beats giant cotton farm

4:04 pm on 30 October 2009

The largest cotton farm in Australia - Cubbie Station in southern Queensland - is to be placed in voluntary administration.

Group chairman Keith De Lacy says Cubbie has been beaten by the drought, which he says, has gone on "two years longer than it should have.

The ABC reports Cubbie was put up for sale in August with a rumoured price tag of $A450 million.

It is believed five bids were made - all too low to match its $A320 million in debts to the National Australia Bank and Suncorp.

Mr De Lacy says now the banks have appointed McGrathNicol as administrators.

Neither the Commonwealth nor the Queensland Government would comment on Cubbie going into administration.

On Murray-Darling system

Cubbie Station is the largest property under irrigation in Australia. It is on the upper reaches of the Murray-Darling river system.

The ABC reports its water storage capacity is equal to that of Sydney Harbour and is often blamed for a lack of water downstream.

New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia all consider it takes too much water from the Murray-Darling system.