GOLD AND SHEEP.
A NEW PASTORAL PROVINGE IN THE NORTHERN GOLDFIELDS SOOTH AUSTRALIANS ATTRACTED.
?S -I' r think tho State Government might, give consideration to the dcsiraoili'ty lroin a State point of view oi assisting, the SiMaiicr holders with advances tor vyeli siiiiviug ana lenciiig by way ul loan, re puyabiu m tiv^ or ten yiars, the insial mouts to bejidded to tht, lease rentais.' Thus Mr. T. 3. Heron, JVTL.A. for Leonora, when discussing the metamorphosis pro ceeding in his electorate, which is gradu ally changing its industrial and productive
activities irom goia to enoep. That is. not to say that gold-mining is . being abandoned, or likely to be abandou- ' ed;- but the value from a pastoral point of view of the country north from Meu zies right through to the Murchison is now realised. TE is Mr. Heron's belief that in the future this country will rank amonj?st the best parts of th& State for sheep rais ing. When pastoral pursuits arc mention ed the mind turns to the- North, and vast areas, ruwjuig into millions of acres, stocked V*% cattle are envisaged. It ia -not surpribuifc, therefore, that . the early attempts to stock this country were made with cattle. In recent years, however, at
tention has been directed to sneep, ana ao cording to Mr. Heron, not only x» tlw country practically all taken up under pas toral lease, but there has been welcome evidence of faith in the future of sheep raising in the district by the introduc tion of capital, largely by sheep farmers from South Australia. It is over 20 years ago since Horan Bros., butchers, in a fairly large way in the days when the northern goldfields cen- tres beyond Menzies - Malcolm, Morgans, Murrin, Laverton, etc.— were at their, heyday as gold-producing centres, estab- lished Glenorn as a cattle station chiefly though a few sheep wera also run. Short ly afterwards Mr. Butcher (Butcher and Uhr, Kalgoorlie butchers) acquired Sturt Meadows Station, about 30 miles from Leo nora, on the Lawlers road. Those were the only ambitious attempts at cattle raising, though spasmodic attempts to extend the industry were made in succeeding years.
It was not, however, until after the war that serious attention was given to the district as a sheep-raising proposition, and several returned soldiers took up areas there. It had by this time come to be rea lised that the northern goldflelds are not the inhospitable drought areas they were previously regarded as being. It was known that a vast basin exists over which water can be struck at depth varying from 6ft. to 40ft. Further, it had been shown that sheep thrive on tho indigenous salt bush and mulga, that the average raintall of about nine inches is sufficient to en- sure the permanency of mulga aud salt bush, the value of which as top feed for sheep is now recognised. Mulga and salt bush are heavily charged with moisture, and this and the certainty of water sup- plies by sinking provide a solution of the chief problem facing tbe sheep-raiser, and when (as is the case so far this season) there is an abundant rainfall, the growth . of natural grasses in the northern gold fields country is amazing. A serious dis-. ability is that the country is infested oy dingoes, necessitating dog-proof fencing, which costs about £70 per mile. A lot of fencing has been already done, and more is now in course of erection. Amongst the earliest to recognise the value of this country for sbuep were Messrs. Fawcett and Robinson, sheep rais ers of the North- West. The firm stocked a property at Murrin with sheep, over landed from their North- West property, and despite tho 'road tip,' tho subsequent clip brought 6£d more per lb. tha» the n,» from similar shtop on the North-West pro perty. This was attributed to the higher ' feed value of the goldlields herbage. The Malcolm' Pastoral Co., lessees of the conn try east of the railway right up to Mor gans, obtained 38d per ib. avenge for their
last year s dip. Amongst recent South Australian sheep farmers to . acquire interests in the dis trict is a Mr. McBride, who has taken over the property of the Leoncra Pastor \\ Company. .He. brought across 3,000 sheep from South Australia in February, and on the day bis flock reached Kalgoorlie, 24 inches of rain fell over a great part of the goldflelds areas. A specific instance of the enhanced value of properties was quoted by Mr. Heron. The well-known goldflelds firm, Wilkie,Bros., eighteen months ago, purchased two adjoining properties .it Kookynie, and developed them as sh&ep propositions, and last month the firm sold out the property at ' a profit of £f-.OO0i. The well-known Sturfc Meadows property was acquired last month by a South Aus tralian company. - ? Mr. Heron accompanied the Minister for i Mines and Agriculture (Mr. Troy) in n . tour of this goid-sheep country, from which the Minister veturned la^t we?k.