Sultan of Brunei Still Selling NT Cattle Station; To Visit Australia May 1-3

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 30, 2013 1:01 PM EST

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and one of the richest men in the world with an estimated wealth of $20 billion, is coming to Australia on May 1-3 for a three-day state visit. He will also be in town to push the sale of a North Territory cattle station that he owns.

Besides pushing the auction of the farm, the sultan will also meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce as well as attend a state lunch at the Government House during his state visit.

He tried to auction the cattle farm last week for $12 million but the property sale did not push through despite four bidders, although negotiations are still ongoing. The sultan's property is located in Willeroo, 130 kilometres south-west of Katherine.

It covers 170,000 hectares of land where 17,000 cattle heads are housed.

Russell Woldd, the real estate agent handling the sale of the cattle farm, said all four bidders are Australians and they are expecting to close a deal in the next few weeks.

The sultan bought the Willeroo property in 1981, but in the past few years he had been selling his NT cattle stations. However, he still owns another property in Opium Creek, located 100 kilometres east of Darwin.

Besides his farm holdings, the sultan is a known car collector with more than 7,000 expensive vehicles.

Ms Gillard said the visit of Mr Bolkiah will improve Australia's bilateral relations with Brunei, a tiny oil-producing nation that has a population of only 400,000. It is located on the north coast of Borneo.

"Australia was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Brunei and we enjoy a warm and constructive relationship based on strong education, trade, security and people-to-people links," Ms Gillard said in a statement on Monday.

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