Monks selling farm to meet historical abuse liabilities

The New Norcia property in Western Australia (New Norcia Benedictine Community website)

Benedictine monks are selling a significant parcel of farmland at New Norcia in Western Australia, with the sale price expected to reach as high as $40 million. Source: The West Australian.

The townsite, including the monastery, would be retained by the monks, but 8000ha of land, including a working farm, is set to be listed for sale.

The move comes as recently released financial records for Monochorum Ltd — the religious community’s charity registered business arm — revealed it paid $2.3 million in “legal and compensation expenses” in the year ending February 2021, and $1.85 million in the year ending February 2020.

In a separate statement on its website, the Benedictine Community at New Norcia said that due to its liabilities relating to redress for historical abuse, it had made the difficult decision to sell the majority of its farm.

The statement said the sale excludes the heritage precinct on which the monastery and town site sits, and the adjacent land containing the service infrastructure for this precinct.

The monks said it was anticipated that the sale would generate sufficient capital to meet their commitment to redress, and enough capital injection into the organisation to sustain New Norcia well into the future.

The New Norcia Benedictine community took the opportunity to acknowledge the countless people – monks, staff, Aboriginal and European farm workers (including ticket-of-leave men), former students, tenants, consultants and volunteers – involved in operating the farm for the past 174 years.

FULL STORY

Benedictine monks to sell $40 million worth of New Norcia farmland (By Jenne Brammer, The West Australian)

New Norcia farm sale (New Norcia Benedictine Community)

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