Western station's pioneer-era pedigree

Western station's pioneer-era pedigree

Property News
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A large-scale pastoral aggregation just listed for sale in the West Darling region has links with the early settlement of the Bourke district.

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A large-scale pastoral aggregation just listed for sale in the West Darling region has links with the early settlement of the Bourke district.

Myroolia and Part Romani are two nearly-adjoining properties comprising 28,019 hectares (69,264ac) situated 125 kilometres north-west of Bourke in the Fords Bridge district.

They are owned by Tim and Sue Davis, who are selling to move closer to children and grandchildren, ending (in the case of Myroolia) just over 70 years of one-family ownership.

The two properties have been listed for separate, non-contingent sale with Greg Seiler of Landmark Walsh Hughes and will go to auction in Bourke on August 29.

Myroolia, the larger of the two properties at 18,522ha (45,796ac), has a Davis family history extending well beyond the present owners' two-generation tenure.

It originally formed part of the south-western portion of the vast Kerribree Station of William Walter ('Baldy') Davis, onetime MLA for Bourke and the present owner's great, great grandfather.

W.W. Davis took over the leasehold of Kerribree (then a run of 330,000 acres) in 1874 and in 1888 the station made national news as the site of the first successful bore to tap artesian water.

By the late 1890s, trading then as Davis, Dale and Company, Kerribree was shearing 65,000 sheep, but blocks were carved off it for soldier settlement after the First World War.

One of two blocks balloted in 1920 was Myroolia, which was taken up by George Curran, only to revert to Davis ownership in 1948 when it was bought by Tim's father, Keith, helped by Keith's father Lonnie, who held the adjoining Tringadee Station.

In 1971 an opportunity arose for Keith Davis and his wife Clare to buy the nearby Part Romani property of 9497ha (23,468ac), thus completing the aggregation now for sale.

Tim joined his parents in a stock partnership in the late 1980s which operated until 2000, when both properties were taken over by Tim and his wife Sue.

Managed initially as a wool growing enterprise, shearing between 6000 and 8000 Merinos in conjunction with some cattle, the properties have had more of a cattle focus.

Partly in response to the dry conditions but also in readiness for the impending sale, numbers were reduced last year and the properties are now lightly stocked with 126 head of cattle and 1300 sheep.

The properties have a history of conservative stocking with rotational grazing, and sheep and cattle earnings have been augmented by annual goat harvesting and income from a carbon project.

Myroolia/Part Romani comprises a useful mix of soil types, timber and vegetation, with predominantly red soils tending to black in low-level floodout areas.

Average rainfall is 310mm, and Myroolia is abundantly watered by four bores and five dams while Part Romani has five dams.

Myroolia is subdivided into 20 main paddocks and Part Romani into 10, with more than 80km of fencing renewed on each property.

Structural improvements include the four-bedroom Myroolia homestead and five-stand timber woolshed, both dating from the 1950s, steel sheep and cattle yards and a new steel shed.

By PETER AUSTIN.

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