Future of Cordillo Downs Woolshed?

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 09:00
ThreadID: 137371 Views:4269 Replies:3 FollowUps:11
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The future of the Cordillo Downs Station woolshed is in jeopardy.

ABC News link here.

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 10:37

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 10:37
Allan, I got a laugh out of the opinion by the Uni "heritage expert", claiming that Peter Waite must have employed an architect to design the woolshed!

The chances of acquiring and utilising an architect for building a woolshed in such a remote place would be Buckleys to none.

The builders would have been the architects, and I'll wager they were Scottish stonemasons. These blokes skills are legendary, both in construction and design.

Their trade was recognised as exceptionally highly skilled, and numbers of stonemasons went on to become architects - because they had the grounding in practical building design and construction.

Their skills were so extensive, they were regularly called upon for highway and bridge design and repair.

The Scottish stonemasons have left us some outstanding examples of their work in Australia, and it's rarely lauded.

What annoys, is that the Gubbmint (State or Federal) would happily waste $200,000 on some idiotic scheme, a Dept change of name, or consultants to provide advice that anyone with more than two working brain cells would already know - yet they can't find $200,000 to repair an historical building of National importance.

I think it's time we started lobbying our political representatives to come good with the cash to preserve the Woolshed, such is its uniqueness and importance.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 10:43

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 10:43
Nice idea Ron .. but unfortunately you cannot put brains in statues.
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 19:48

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 19:48
We first visited there in 1996, was in pretty fair condition, was amazed by the number of written off gen sets stored in the building.
Ten years later it was showing signs of deterioration. But now, as to the future, who knows.
Pretty poor when the actual PLH's cant be bothered about its future, but then again it's only the bottom line on their balance sheet that counts.
Of such significance, I would be happy to make a small contribution towards the restoration, its this sort of our history I try to make my grandchildren aware of.
For instance, my 10yr. old grandson is totally fascinated by the book "The Shearers" (Patsy Adam-Smith), when they visit its the first book he wants to look at.
Maybe because his G'father spent some time as a "bait layer".
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 08:59

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 08:59
Allan - thank you for pointing to this item. The Shearing Shed is special and deserves to be retained as part of our heritage.

Ron - I agree with your sentiments regarding architects! That comment must have come from an urban academic who's never been bush, and has no historical perspective!

Mike - "Pretty poor when the actual PLH's can't be bothered about its future, but then again it's only the bottom line on their balance sheet that counts." Bit unkind when we don't know their circumstances Mike. Putting bread on the table must come well ahead of maintaining a free tourist stop. It might be more charitable to compare the $200,000 figure to part of a banker's annual bonus, or the cost of a by-election to replace a politician displaced by his egocentric peers.

I do have a concern with the $200,000. It may be a reasonable estimate but I'd have expected the cost to be far higher in view of the difficulty of attracting expertise and labour to that remote area. The disinterest of the SA heritage people is not encouraging either.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:46

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:46
Mike. In the drought out there I would suggest they are very acutely aware of the bottom line on that balance sheet.

I can’t think of one grazier I know who would spend money like that on something unproductive in these times.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:49

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:49
J & V.
A little bit of research reveals that Cordillo Downs is one property of several that make up the Brook family, Brook Pastoral 3.5mil.ha. of land holdings. The family also own the Birdsville Pub and are major shareholders in OBE Organics, the meat outlet for their 40000 odd head of beef cattle.
The shearing shed is SA Heritage listed and should not be allowed to fall into such condition. The cost of restoration would be small change to these people plus being fully tax deductible.
Lets not forget, the deterioration did not happen overnight.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:57

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:57
Mike. I know of the Brooks family’s holdings. Do you think that they have got where they are by spending money unproductively??

To build such a business and be so successful in such marginal grazing country is an absolute credit to them.

How people love to kick the tall poppies

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 19:31

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 19:31
Agree that the landholders are probably not going to spend money on something unproductive.
Maybe some concerned people could start an organisation similar to the one that works at Farina. But sorry I’m not up to doing that , but I would be very happy to put in time helping.
Just a thought.
Cheers Shane
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 20:05

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 at 20:05
Mike I have to answer your post as it really hit home for me.

I have worked on large wheat and sheep properties when I was a tad younger and have witnessed the effects bad times bring.

I have to ask, how would you feel about planting 50000 acres three years in a row and only getting back enough seed to replant, that is planting day and night when you couldn't even claim flood and spotlights on tax because the atop said you didn't have to work at night. I won't even elaborate on what happens to drought effected sheep.
I am not criticising and I realise there is no malice in your post, but please think about it.
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 08:18

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 08:18
No malice intended Eagle and yes, I do think quite a lot about the large corporate Pastoral Lease Holders and their collective attitude toward the land.

My wife and I were involved for over 15 yrs. in an open cut opal mining venture in W.Qld.
We paid a bond for each lease worked which was not returned until satisfactory rehabilitation was approved. We had to fence open cut pits to prevent damage to livestock, there is a raft of mining regulations to abide by plus frequent inspections by Qld. OH&S topped off by a usually unfriendly attitude from the PLH.

Contrast this with PLH's who forever want gazetted but unmaintained roads closed, official TSR's closed which denies public access, get Govt. funding to maintain and upgrade airstrips....there are subsidies right left and centre but they don't value heritage from a hundred or more years ago

I am not referring to cropping or sheep graziers, but these cattle barons effectively drought proof their operations by sheer size, rapid destocking or moving cattle around the country.
These are not the old generation of farmers, but modern day bean counters interested in one thing only.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 08:32

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 08:32
Mike, I now see where you were coming from, One very large holding is MDH pastoral, they are excellent in every way.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018 at 20:06

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018 at 20:06
Without the cattle graziers in Australia growing beef for you you might as well become a vegetarian now mikee.

Open cut opal mining. How did that work out for you ? You would have been better off breeding cattle !! Sounds like a wasted 15 years to me. Mining of any sort is a very dirty word in the bush.

The brooks are old money graziers. Ever heard that term ? Not like the Janet Holmes a Court style of business you seem to be alluding too.

OBE Organics is a marketing arm to there business. Anyone can breed road train after road train of cattle. It’s the marketing that makes the difference.

Put your money where you mouth is if you disagree.

Simple as that.

Cheers Greg
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Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 14:21

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 at 14:21
I was there on 15 June. Though I was happy to finally visit it, the poor shed was definitely in bad shape. I later learned about the storm damage.

I added some pics to the Cordillo Downs place:

Cordillo Downs

Hopefully it can be restored, or at least the deterioration can be stopped.
AnswerID: 621724

Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 08:07

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 08:07
I find it a bit funny, that my comment on Monday , suggesting some volunteer work be put towards helping the woodshed, hasn’t attracted any reaction at all !
It’s all been bagging the property operators for not spending their money on such a project.
AnswerID: 621753

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