Station (Australian agriculture)


Station (Australian agriculture)

Station is the term for a large Australian landholding used for livestock production. It corresponds to the North American term 'ranch'. The owner of a station is called a (which corresponds to the North American term 'rancher').

Overview

Originally 'station' referred to the owner's house and the outbuildings of a pastoral property, but it now generally refers to the whole holding. [cite encyclopedia
title = Chisholm, Alec H.
encyclopedia = The Australian Encyclopaedia
volume = 8
pages = 275
publisher = Halstead Press
location = Sydney
date = 1963
id =
accessdate = 2008-08-08
] Stations in Australia are, in some cases, on pastoral lease, and are known colloquially as 'sheep stations' or 'cattle stations' as most are stock specific, dependent upon the country and rainfall.

Sheep and cattle stations can be thousands of square kilometres in area, with the nearest neighbour being hundreds of kilometres away. Anna Creek station in South Australia, Australia is the world's largest working cattle station [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7443625.stm|title=Cattle farms lure Australian women|last=Mercer|first=Phil|date=2008-06-09|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-06-09] . It is roughly 24 000 km² (6 000 000 acres) which is 8 000 km² larger than Alexandria Station a cattle property spanning more than 1.8 million hectares [ [http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/aahc/index.cfm?64EC6411-C703-3023-6678-FDF4099E48FD] ] in the Northern Territory, Australia and four times the size of America's biggest ranch, which is only 6 000 km².cite web |url=http://www.wrightsair.com.au/anna.htm |title=Anna Creek Station |publisher=Wrightsair |accessdate=2008-02-08]

Because of the vast distances, there is a School of the Air so that children can attend classes from their homes, originally using pedal powered radios to communicate with the teachers. The larger stations have their own school and teacher to educate the children on the station until at least they commence high school. Large isolated stations have their own stores to supply workers with their needs.

Aborigines have played a big part in the northern cattle industry where they were competent stockmen on the cattle stations. Nowadays staff on these stations may work in the homestead and in stock camps, including jackaroos, jillaroos, stockmen (ringers), boremen, managers, mechanics, machinery operators (including grader drivers), station and camp cooks, teachers, overseers and bookkeepers. Veterinary surgeons also fly to some of the more distant cattle and sheep stations.

Medical assistance is given by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, where medical staff such as doctors and nurses can treat patients at their homes, or airlift emergency and seriously ill patients to hospitals at the nearest towns.

It is also interesting to note that some large stations are actually comparable in size to an American state, however may only have a workforce of 100 people.Fact|date=December 2007 They are in some remote areas that are not easy to access too, limiting their population greatly.

References

Collins * cite book |last=Hanks |first= Patrick|authorlink= |coauthors=Urdang, Lawrence (Editorial Director)|editor= |others=G. a. Wilkes (Aust. cnsltnt) |title=Collins Dictionary of the English Language |origdate= |origyear=1979 |origmonth= |edition=2nd ed. |series= |date= |year=1984 |publisher=Wm. Collins |isbn= 0 00 433175-5|quote= An extensive coverage of contemporary international and Australian English

ee also

* Stockman
* Jackeroo and Jilleroo
* Sheep station
* Cattle Station
* List of pastoral leases in Western Australia


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