FOR THE first time in the nation’s history, the state government will own a stake in Australian businesses and has started in Ebor.
The Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business and Regional NSW John Barilaro announced the government’s first investment in Ebor-based Wagyu beef agribusiness Stone Axe Pastoral on Wednesday.
Mr Barilaro said the $3.3 million government investment was part of its new GO NSW Equity Fund, which will allow the government to take an equity stake in businesses.
“We have partnered with First State Super and together we have set a new approach to how we back businesses in Australia,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The Liberals and Nationals Government is doing business differently in NSW, putting our money where our mouth is, to ensure we continue to create more jobs in this state than any other state in Australia.
“This is a new chapter for the NSW government and it comes with risk but we are prepared to really change the landscape.”
Mr Barilaro added the investment will “give Stone Axe Pastoral the capital it needs to ultimately breed the largest Full-Blood Wagyu cattle herd outside of Japan”.
The co-investment of $3.3 million from the state government and $6.7 million from First State Super will allow Stone Axe Pastoral to create 76 full-time jobs over the next five years.
Stone Axe Pastoral chief exectuive Scott Richardson said the business was delighted by investment from the state government and First State Super.
“The partnership with the NSW Government and First State Super will help the company expand in and around Ebor in regional NSW,” Mr Richardson said.
“Currently we have 1000 full blood breeders and we look to grow that in the next three-years to 10,000.”
“The investment means we will be able to continue to build on our existing Full-Blood Wagyu breeding program in some of the best cattle country in Australia, as well as look at other strategic opportunities to invest further into the supply chain as part of our overall paddock to plate strategy.”
First State Super chief investment officer Damian Graham said the company was delighted to be supporting a rural NSW agricultural business as its first investment through the GO NSW Equity Fund. “It’s a very exciting investment and being able to invest in regional NSW is incredibly important for our fund and membership,” Mr Graham said.