Foreign investors tour region

POTENTIAL INVESTORS: A delegation of 12 investors from China and Malaysia toured the historic Oatmill Complex yesterday. The group visited the property during a two-day Limestone Coast showcase to search for investment opportunities. Pictures: BRITTANY DENTON

A DELEGATION of 12 Asian investors toured the historic Oatmill Complex yesterday – a heritage site that could fetch a multi-million dollar price tag if a potential buyer was among the group.

The delegation of Chinese and Malaysian investors visited the property during a two-day Limestone Coast showcase to investigate ways to value-add to local primary produce.

The group of investors spent time in Mount Gambier and Coonawarra yesterday and will travel to Millicent, Blue Lake Dairy and Mayura Station today in search of opportunities to invest in local tourism, horticulture, agriculture, seafood and wine industries.

Mount Gambier City Council investment manager Bruce Rodda and David Herbert of Herbert Real Estate guided the group through the complex, which encompasses the Oatmill Cinema, Caffe Belgiorno and MJ Dance Studio.

The buildings – originally a flour and oatmeal mill – have been on the market since March.

“Given the prominent location and the influx of James Morrison Academy students during the year, we see the potential for the empty buildings in the complex to be transformed into apartments or boutique accommodation,” Mr Herbert said.

“The buildings are heritage listed – renovations would need to be internal and any external changes would need to be approved.”

Mr Rodda said it was vital to attract foreign investment to grow the regional economy.

“It is widely recognised Australian agriculture will need to find innovative ways to attract domestic and foreign investment to the level of $600b between now and 2050 to play in the Asian market,” he said.

“To grow our regional economy we need to attract more investment into agriculture to enable the value-add we so desperately need to gain maximum returns from exporting our premium products.”

He said several of the investors on the tour were familiar with the Limestone Coast and keen to inject capital into the region.

“Many of the investors we are hosting on this visit have already invested millions of dollars into the South Australian economy,” Mr Rodda said.

“Others have exported many thousands of dollars of high quality woollen products and lobsters from the Limestone Coast.”

The Limestone Coast Investment Showcase is a collaboration between Immigration SA, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Mount Gambier City Council, Wattle Range Council, Robe District Council, Limestone Coast Local Government Association and Regional Development Australia.