7["North-West Pastoral News", The Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), Saturday 30 August 1913, page 2]
North-West Pastoral News.
Stock and Station Returns.
The following are the Crop and Live Stock returns for the north and north-western portion of the State for 1912, as reported by the police:--
Owing to the absence of winter rains last year, the wool clip was not so good as in previous years, and the lambing was exceedingly bad owing to the dryness of the country and scarcity of feed. Some of the station owners state that it was the worst season experienced by them for over twenty years. Stock on most of the stations are in very poor condition and some of the owners have had considerable losses. Disease amongst stock is practically unknown in thi district, and dingoes are very scarce in most parts. Very few stock were taken out of this district last season on account of there being no feed to travel them. Most of the station owners are improving their holdings in the way of sinking wells and erecting windmills, etc.
The year 1912 has proved to be the worst that pastoralists and settlers, generally, in this district, have experienced for many years. The continued drought following upon the scanty rainfall of the previous season has caused a severe loss in live stock. Fortunately, during the last six or seven weeks, good rains have fallen over different portions of the district, and have placed the pastoral industry in a much brighter light. The mining industry is at a very low ebb, the drought-stricken condition of the country causing many prospectors as well as others to migrate, which has naturally caused a great reduction in the number of herds in the district. The only industrial establishment which this district possessed has become non-existent through want of demand for the articles manufactured. Much difficulty and delay have been met with this year in obtaining the statistical returns, owing to the condition of the country.
Junction, via Carnarvon.
There is an enormous decrease in the wool and stock returns for the Upper Gascoyne and Lyons River districts, owing to the severe drought which has prevailed during the past two years, and still exists in parts of the district. Fair rains have fallen in the north-eastern portions of the district, which no doubt will relieve stock-owners of a great amount of anxiety. Pioneers of this district say that this is the worst drought ever experienced here; they also say that they have never seen the roads along the Gascoyne and Lyons River in cuch a bad state, being practically mere beds of sand, and in consequence the price for cartage of wool to Carnarvon and the return loading for the stations has cost double what it has in other years.
The Minilya, Lower Gascoyne, and Wooramel portions of the Gascoyne district, and also the town of Carnarvon, experienced an exceptionally dry season, in places the squatters having had little or no rain. The country throughout is looking very dry and bare, the stock having had nothing but scrub to subsist on for the past 12 months. The losses of stock have been very heavy throughout the district, and unless a good fall of rain is registered within the next few months, the future will be disastrous. Thi losses of stock in and around Carnarvon have also been verv heavy, practically all the stock on the Carnarvon Commonage have perished, many of them through the scarcity of water, which has proved a great drawback in Carnarvon for some time past.
Pearling has been in a flourishing condition during the year under review. Recently the price of shell has unfortunately fallen considerably, with the result that the pearling inustry has had a slight set-back. Pearlers also are complaining that pearls are very scarce at the present time. In regard to pastoral pursuits, owing to the very dry season, the year has not been a prosperous one. In some instances, owners have lost a considerable number of sheep and have had a very poor lambing, although stations which have an ample supply of water have not felt the drought to any extent, and have had a good lambing. One squatter who has spent a large sum of money on running the water from the wells to dams all over the
run, is now reaping the benefit of his enterprise, as the drought has not affected his station. A large number of
cattle have died on the commonage during the year through scarcity of feed, and it is probable a few more will perish this coming season, as feed is already becoming scarce.