Thackaringa Station expands across 66,000 hectares of desert loam country near Broken Hill in western New South Wales.
Owned and operated by David Lord and his family, the property has been in the family for five generations, dating back to the 1870s before the ore body was discovered near Broken Hill.
In that time they’ve suffered all manner of weather extremes, including the 20 year drought of the 1990s and early 2000s. And in more recent times they’ve battled significant weed and animal pests – mainly rabbits.
A major control program from 1989 saw the Lord’s embark on the removal of nearly 6,000 rabbit warrens. Then with the help of significant government funding, from 2002-2003 the family managed to rid 28,000 rabbit warrens from the property; all of which included a reliance on GPS technology.
“I have 28,000 warren points logged already, but I have not had user-friendly mapping software available to me to put data on to, or support our information,” David Lord said.
It’s this understanding of how mapping tools can assist property managers that has motivated David Lord to be part of the NRM Spatial Hub project.
“We want to use modern tools to be the best land stewards we can be,” Mr Lord said.
“We will use the spatial hub technology to accurately record infrastructure, as well as weed infestations and pest locations for reference now and in to the future.”
Mr Lord says also forsees that the mapping tools will help create efficiencies in management, especially when employing inexperienced staff.
“For example, if a new staff member needs to find a particular pipeline for maintenance, the information will be available,” he said.
“We will be recording everything we can put on it aside from our financials,” Mr Lord said.
“It will give us a central point of information.”
And that growing, living and interactive hub of information about Thackaringa will help to ensure David Lord’s greatest aspirations for the future.
“My biggest motivation behind improving and protecting our natural resources is having my son take over the property in the future, with his passion, energy and commitment for what we have and what we do,” Mr Lord said.