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3 corrections, most recently by linus - Show corrections

PASTORAL RESEARCH    

In 1932, 5,254,000 Sheep ap-       proximately half the State       flock, were carried on the     stations of the northern and goldfields    

pastoral areas. Ten years later there    

were 2,582,000 sheep in the pastoral    

areas, and by the end of the war these     flocks had recovered only to 2,924,000.     Wool production in the pastoral areas     for 1944-45 was approximately 65,000     bales-less than half of what it was 10    

years previously.    

These figures alone are sufficient jus-    

tification for the decision of the State    

Government to purchase Abydos and     Woodstock stations in the Pilbara dis-   trict to establish a pastoral research     station.     In common with primary producers     in other parts of the State the pastoral    

industry received a severe setback by    

the depression of 1931-33. With no     chance to recover, the industry then     had to face the worst drought period     in its history, a drought so severe that     in 1940 a Royal Commission was ap-    

pointed to recommend measures to    

save our stations from ruin.     Since then pastoralists have received       over £l,0O0,000's worth of relief in the     form of debt adjustment and rent re-    

missions. Still the position remains      

serious.  

Amongst the immediate problems  

which research workers will have to    

tackle are infertility, drought feeding,     blowfly control, regeneration of native    

vegetation and vermin control, and the    

advantages of tackling them on the    

spot are obvious. The Department of     Agriculture's research stations in the     agricultural areas have carried out    

work of enormous value to farmers,     and it is surprising that the pastoral  

industry has remained so long without     similar facilities.    

It would appear that the Pilbara pro   ject envisages the very desirable state  

of affairs—a close liaison between the     Council for Scientific and Industrial   Research, the State Department of  

Agriculture and the Institute of    

Agriculture at the University. Such  

a set-up will give it something more     than a State significance, and it is    

to be hoped that after the initial    

problems have been solved, something     will be contributed to that vital  

national question—utilisation of our     empty North.      

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