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' THE iSeBT OOUMTEY -\-

? FOR PASTORjAL PURjPOSSS. .. OPINION OF A PIONEE&. A MAGNTFICENT FUTUEE,

Mr. A. J. TdEbot, of MnndraibiSa Station, about 65 miles west of Eucla, is at present on a business , trip to the goldfields, paactiy connect ed with ttbe miarketinig of 2600 siheep. which recently arrived here as fats,

'after a ten weeks trip overland from the statkwa. Theit1 owner, however, did .-tflbie 4?|) miles journey per buggy, with ' tbejiaane pair of noises aE the ,wa,y, in 14 days, whicn must be con'siderel capital going. -As Mi. Talboit^s nesaasest _ neigh bours this side .are in the vicinity of BaUadonda, welltover 200 aniies away, he can fairly be considerad _the pioneer . pastoralist of the Bignt country, and the success 'which has attended his efforts at breediriig old classes of -stock siuould . draw the at teration of ot&iers to whjbt he de scribes as a nua^nificenJt,' tract of 'grazing coutntiry. In the conise of a chat with a refpreseaitefcrve of tne 'cMine3r,' he stated that there was an iminiense areia of laind, extending from BaHadond'a, Which is 300 miles this side of the border, to Ms know ledge 200 miles into South Australia, by fully 100 miles wide, jsrajdically all of which was sninjenitiry suitable tfor pastoral pursuits. T!he pastoral country, in ^aot, begam abowt 150 anile.s from Kolgooriie,. £hotsgh, of co'urse, it was not, all of tihe saane quality. The country. Was a vast plain, well grassed, and practically deviod of timber, except s»eh small varieties as furnished good fodder tor stock. An iabundant sub^antesiain supply of good stock water could be obtained, 'at a depth of about 100 ft., so there was no serious difficulty in that direction. In association . with, Messrs. IL Baker arad D. Foster, Mr. Talbot .was at Coolgardie in its.vesry esarly days, in the butchering brasiaess, and lojlowsed nuost. of the rushes of those -ti/qieS) including Edgxtdiaa, Lake ©l&rlot, oaid Kurnalpi. It was while id search of stock for the gold&elds hxLtdh&pmg 'busineiss thsut he visited iihe Bight country, -aind was so deeply; impressed with its pastoral potentialities, that he decided to settle there. Accordiaigly, about 14 years ago, he took up the large tract pi land which is now known as Madura station, about 50 miles west of MundrabiU'a. A few .years later fee: purchased Mnndrabilia from its original holders, Messrs. Kennedy and. McGill, who took it up some 45 years ago, in the early days of the .colony. The present owner ex rpresses great admiration for those intrepid squattezs who overfanded from Albany the small mob of sheep which formed the nucleus of their [flocks, and who experienced innu merable hardships in those early years. At that time the blacks (were numerous and troublesome, tthough now they are comparatively civilised. The only means of com munication which they bad with the outside world was the vessel which

' ? - . ? ? - ' once a year brought their supplies for the ensuing 12 months, and took away their wool clip.' ? On one oc- 1 ca.sion the natives raided the home- | stead, and got. away with practical ly the whole of their provisions, so that the white men had to ; subsist on mutton and sugarless tea until, the boat arrived three months later. Though there is such % vast tract of fin© country available, Mr. TaXbot considers that Mundrabilla and Ma dura comprise the pick of it all. The feed consists of various _ kinds of good grasses, many varieties of salt bush,, which thrive particularly well,, myall, mulga, sugar- wood and cot ton-bush. There is, therefore, plenty to fall back upon ; and he has never '- known a serious shortage of feed for the stock. Mr, 'Talbdt's: KomV stead is at Mundrabilia, and he de votes that run to the breeding of sheep. ??'Rabbits.- are rarely seen on the station, and they are scarce in1 the country to the north and. west, ' though further east they can be found in ' fair niimbers. The wild dogs are the principal trouble, and, as owing to. their raids it was neces sary to shepherd the sheep, Mr. i Talbot has for years been reducing his flocks, 'Recently, however, the task of erecting a dog and rabbit proof fence round nearly the. whole of Mundrabilla, has been complet ed. This fence, which is 65 miles long, is * about 5 R high, and cost: fully £50 per mile. It is maintained in a thorough state of repair, so that once the vermin with in its boundaries aa*e exterminat ed there will be nothing to fear from that source in future. Already, since the completion of the fence, 83 dogs have been killed inside it in abouit four months. .Mr. Talbot is taking steps' to stock up the run now that 'the stafety of his sheep is ensured by the fence. When the wool clip is a light one it is. carted to Eucla, 65 miles away, for- ship ping, while ; in the case of a heavy clip arrangements are made for a vessel to call at Noonara, which is only about 18 miles from the home stead. / The Madura Station is devoted, mainly to the production of cattle,, while of late years Mr. Talbot has been giving some attention to horse-, breeding there, with considerable, success. He finds a ready demand for medium draughts and delivery horses. He also breeds camels on a smaller scale. At Madura there is an artesian bore, down about 2200 feet, the daily flow from which, is 37,000 gallons. 'About 30 miles due north a good sub-artesian supply has been struck, and, a similar sup ply has also, been obtained about the same distance further north again, on the proposed route of the trans Australian railway, ; so . that the ex istence of good stock' water 'has been proved over a fairly wide .belt of country^ Mr. Talbot states that stock disease's 'are unknown in, this country, while there is also an al most entire ' absence v of poison plants. -He considers that the nor thern areas are' especially suitable for horse-breeding. He markets practically the whole of his stock on the goldfields, and finds the market j a fairly satisfactory one. It is neces- ! sary to land cattle on the fields af ter the north-west season is over,

and -the best time for sheep is from May to- September. In' addition to the two big pro perties, ..Mr. Talbot has a holding depot at Bunerinyea,, about 70_ miles south-east of Kalgoorlie. This run is 80, 000 ..acres. in extent, and a party of men,, with 20 camels, are now en gaged fencing the whole of it and sinking, the necassa-ry dams to pro vide water. At the present time there is -a mob of over 300 bullocks on i% which were brought up re cep^y from Madura. ':; Mr. ..Talbot has great faith in the ; future, of the Bight country. = ^Dur ing recent, months, - with the railway apparently within measurable '?:. dis tance of., a;Ccomplishment, there has been, _a mgyement 'to take up pas torM iajpea'-sj ' aaid he is confident thait, with the completion of the railway^ to facilitate its settlemenst, it will becbbie one of the great grazing localities of Australia. When the line is open for traffic , he expects to ' as it is impossible to overland it and, deliver in good condition, ex cept in good seasons such as the present' one. -'' As has. /stations are also much the nearest to the centre section of the lines he hopes to ob tain the contract for the supply of fresh mWat to th-e construction gangs,: when' that stage is reached. Questioned regarding the agricul tural possibilities, Mr. Talbot ex pressed the opinion that there was a : strip of country near the , coast whicp 'would grow wheat well. He ??stfyfce-i--';1tEa& Mr. Darby, a store keeper 'of Eucla, cropped 70 acres last year e a. f-ew nxiles from that township 'with satasfactory results ; while the 100 acres which he had under wheat this season was looking very well. The average rainfall at Eucla for the last 36 years was 10.19 inches;' while the records which had been kept at Mundrabilla for about 25. years 'gave a very similar aver-: age/ '-v-;--. ? , ' ? Though at present Ms head sta tion, where he resides with his wife arid children, is about a fortnight from civilisation, Mr. Talbot ex pects :to bring it considerably closer later on, by importing a powerful motor Car suitable for the cross-. country work. :

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