Stanbroke Pastoral Co

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Stanbroke Pastoral Co
From: "John Walter" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 16:35:12 +1000
Laurie Knight wrote in part, "Trip Report- atlassing beyond the red stump

 "The drive out to the Birdsville turnoff was rather attractive,
particularly round the Diamantina watershed [quite a bit of interesting
typography].  The same couldn't be said for the drive through the
Stanbroke pastoral holdings - the road through to Palparara was in
fairly good nick, with the main hazard being fairly regular soft
sections.  The section from Palparara to Devenport Downs involved an
extensive soul-stressing "nullarbor" [treeless] section, where the only
birds were richards pipits, magpies and kestrels.  Someone had done a
good job of chopping the road up [ie driving though when wet - the old
"I've got a 4WD so I can get through" mentality].  Interestingly the
road was still a bit spongy [a relative of blacksoil] and somewhat power

>From time to time I have noted various critisims of Stanbroke Pastoral
Company in various Birding circles. I would like to go on record by saying
that 20 years ago Stanbroke was very helpfull and well dissposed towards
Birds Australia. During the tenure of the Atlas Mk.1 I was asked by Margaret
Cameron the then president of RAOU to see if we could get an Atlassing camp
up and running in an area which until that time had had no coverage. Ruth
and I undertook this task with the help and advise of the late Herb Rabig of
Cudapan Stn. Windorah. Herb gave me an introduction to Peter McNevin who was
the Manager of Davenport Downs. Peter and Stanbroke could not have been more
helpfull to us, and bent over backwards with suggestions regards food and
fuel for 60 people which in the 80's was quite isolated [and still is]. At
the time I beleive the late Dr Norman Wettenhall, a great friend and member
of RAOU was on the board of Stanbroke and this may have helped. As a
consequence of the camp on Davenport the range of Yellow Chats was extended
eastwards from adjoining Coorabulka and because of that greater interest was
shown in the area. About the same time National Parks became interested in
the Diamantinna Shire and carried out a complete Fauna survey. From that the
status of the rare and endangered Bilby followed. Subsecquent again to that
Astrebela NP was proclained and then Dimantinna Lakes Stn. was bought from
Janet Holmes a Court and is also now NP.

Without the goodwill and help of Stanbroke Pastoral Company I feel all this
may not have come to pass. I thought some of the younger or newer birders
may be interested to learn this. The relationship between birders and
Stanbroke was later marred somewhat when some people did not do the right
thing while on the property. So It is up to all of us to try and do the
right thing by the land holders and in most cases they will be amenable to
helping preserve what we have left.

John & Ruth Walter
Pittsworth SE Qld
27 43 31S  151 38 03E

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