The Pilbara Pastoral Co-Operative

Establishment of a management team for Indigenous owned stations in the Pilbara region.

Download Business Plan 2005-2010 (PDF)

Position Paper

There are many Indigenous owned cattle stations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia that are for various reasons not being used to their full potential. Of the stations identified many have not traded profitably over the last three years and many more have been neglected and now have very few or no cattle.

It has been identified that there are limited managerial skills within the station communities to be able to address the problems identified. This has led to many of the stations being non viable entities.

Of those stations that have undertaken stock mustering, the income received from the sale is used for social purposes and generally no income is provided to be used to maintain the station, further deteriorating the infrastructure required for good management.

Most Indigenous owned stations have poorly maintained fencing and windmills allowing a lot of stock to stray onto other properties causing further loss to cattle numbers.

Due to the limited managerial skill many Indigenous stations and the lack of marketing strategies, causes the lowering of prices due to the poor quality of stock that arrives at the sale yards.

As mining in the Pilbara region pays high wages many of the skilled station hands have left due to the lack of income which is linked to CDEP payments.

Currently there are many Indigenous owned stations that have limited cattle on the stations but have the suitable land to maintain a large herd.

Because most stations have a community based on the station a reliance on government support is required due to the station not being viable.

The issue of poor managerial skills and most of the mentioned problems have already been clearly identified by government agencies. Programs & strategies implemented by those agencies, has done little to rectify the problem.

The work that has been done to help these stations has not succeeded and has further alienated the Indigenous communities.


Key Messages

The key objective of this project is to develop the pastoral leases into a productive and profitable asset which will benefit the Indigenous stations by: