Dairy. Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam met with councillors from New Zealand’s New Plymouth District Council on Friday, to discuss the future of its investment at Woolnorth.
The New Plymouth council owns the majority of Van Diemen’s Land Company, through parent company Tasman Farms. For about two years now, there have been talks of selling the investment.
Established in 1825, VDL operates 25 dairy farms and runs about 30,000 dairy stock.
Despite being Australia’s biggest dairy farmer, in October, VDL posted a $10.3 million loss for the year.
However, Cr Quilliam said last year’s “obvious bad season” did not deter the visiting councillors, who assured him “they are still looking for investors for expansion”.
“They are extremely hopeful to take on investors who will help them with the finance they need for the dairies they want to put on.”
Cr Quilliam said the New Zealand-based council was keen to “continue ownership of it, or least some of it”, but could not look to expand another 10 farms without further investment.
The visiting mayor, who has been in his role for about six months and had not yet visited Tasmania, was “pleasantly surprised” according to Cr Quilliam.
“Tasmania is a much better place than they’d ever expected; the cattle, the people and the operation here was much better than they expected to find,” Cr Quilliam said.
The group spent four days in Tasmania, and one of those nights was in Circular Head.
Cr Quilliam said he believed whether Woolnorth is partially or fully sold, business will continue as usual.
“Nothing’s going to change, I don’t think our local people will see any change,” he said.