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Mardie Station facts for kids

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Coordinates: 21°11′20.30″S 115°58′45.14″E / 21.188972°S 115.9792056°E / -21.188972; 115.9792056 Mardie Station is a pastoral lease and sheep then cattle station that was established in 1866 in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia near the mouth of the Fortescue River. The leasee in 2012 was Fourseasons Corporation; Mardie is operating under the Crown Lease number CL453-1984 and has the Land Act number LA3114/1027.

History

The original pastoral lease was taken by Simpson and MacIntoch who worked for the Denison Plains Pastoral Company. The company equipped the barque Warrier in Melbourne and had intended to sail to Roebuck Bay to settle in another area but following a succession of calms the ship had to land at Cossack when the stock started to die of dehydration. Upon landing the group decided to trek south west and eventually squatted at Mardie Springs. The station was established and by 1883 three paddocks were fenced, several wells had been dug and the flock was about 18,000 head of sheep.

The Murray Squatting Company, composed of Cornish, Richardson and the Paterson brothers, sold Yeeda Station in the Kimberley in 1883 and acquired Mardie shortly afterward paying a handsome price for the Fortescue River Station. Richardson maintained an interest in Mardie over the next 30 years and invested in other nearby properties including Oakabella, Tallering and Boodarrie Stations.

The station was owned at one time by members of the Withnell family who had also established or owned many other stations in the North West including Sherlock, Mount Welcome, Mallina, Karratha, Chirritta and Edjudina.

The station covers an area of about 225,000 hectares (560,000 acres) and has over 8,000 head of specially bred cattle.

The station was hard hit by flooding in 1894 when the Fortescue River, usually about 10 miles (16 km) away from the homestead, rose to within metres of the front door. The stockyards were destroyed and hundreds of sheep were washed away.

James Withnell, the owner of Dirk Hartog Station acquired Mardie in 1913 from the Mardie Pastoral Company. At this stage the property occupied an area of 397,500 acres (160,863 ha) and was carrying a flock of 19,000 sheep.

The station was sold by Withnell to B. H. Sharpe who owned Wooleen Station, along with 30,000 head of sheep and 100 cattle in 1923 for £50,000.

It switched from sheep to cattle in 1998. It is owned by CITIC-Pacific, a Hong Kong-based company, who bought the station in 2007.

Home to the largest infestation of mesquite in the state, following the introduction of two trees as shade trees around the homestead and shearing shed in the 1930s, it is estimated that around 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) of the station now contain the plant. About 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of the infestation is described as dense. Stock must be quarantined in paddocks free of Mesquite so the seeds can pass through their guts before they can be moved on to prevent the pest from spreading further.

The station experienced heavy rains followed by flooding during Cyclone Monty in 2004 then again in 2009. Fences were swept away, roads were cut and cattle were stranded when 150 millimetres (6 in) of rain fell in a few hours.

The property is also home to one of the largest holes ever dug in the earth. Sino Iron, a Chinese iron producer, is mining magnetite at Mardie and planning an open cut mine of 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) long, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide and hundreds of metres deep. The company has a 25-year lease obtained in a deal with billionaire Clive Palmer.

Climate

The station has an arid climate with very hot summers and mild to warm winters. Rainfall is generally low but highly variable; 364 millimetres (14.3 in) of rain fell in the 24 hours to 9:00AM on 10 February 1995, and the station received 8.7 millimetres (0.34 in) of rain in 1936. On 19 February 1998, Mardie recorded a daily maximum temperature of 50.5 °C (122.9 °F), the all-time highest on record for anywhere in Western Australia. This temperature was recorded during a heatwave that affected the Pilbara region in February 1998, which also saw several other centres (such as Roebourne) record temperatures above 49 °C (120 °F). On 19 February 1975, during Cyclone Trixie, it recorded several wind gusts of at least 259 kilometres per hour (161 mph), the highest wind gust in Australia at that time; the figure given was the limit of the anemometer, so the actual gusts may have been higher.

Climate data for Mardie
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.0
(120.2)
50.5
(122.9)
47.2
(117)
43.7
(110.7)
40.5
(104.9)
35.4
(95.7)
34.3
(93.7)
38.1
(100.6)
41.0
(105.8)
46.0
(114.8)
47.0
(116.6)
48.8
(119.8)
50.5
(122.9)
Average high °C (°F) 38.0
(100.4)
37.5
(99.5)
37.6
(99.7)
35.8
(96.4)
31.5
(88.7)
28.1
(82.6)
27.7
(81.9)
29.5
(85.1)
32.2
(90)
34.9
(94.8)
36.4
(97.5)
37.6
(99.7)
33.9
(93)
Average low °C (°F) 25.0
(77)
25.3
(77.5)
24.1
(75.4)
21.0
(69.8)
16.9
(62.4)
13.8
(56.8)
11.7
(53.1)
12.4
(54.3)
14.3
(57.7)
17.3
(63.1)
20.0
(68)
22.9
(73.2)
18.7
(65.7)
Record low °C (°F) 16.1
(61)
17.3
(63.1)
13.3
(55.9)
10.0
(50)
7.8
(46)
3.9
(39)
2.9
(37.2)
4.4
(39.9)
6.0
(42.8)
7.6
(45.7)
12.8
(55)
14.8
(58.6)
2.9
(37.2)
Rainfall mm (inches) 38.3
(1.508)
62.5
(2.461)
49.7
(1.957)
19.8
(0.78)
36.6
(1.441)
38.2
(1.504)
13.2
(0.52)
7.3
(0.287)
1.4
(0.055)
0.9
(0.035)
1.5
(0.059)
9.0
(0.354)
277.8
(10.937)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
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