Blake slakes pastoralists’ thirst in northern WA

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant
Anna Plains Station pastoralist David Stoate shows his joy at the plentiful rainfall from cyclone Blake on Monday.
Camera IconAnna Plains Station pastoralist David Stoate shows his joy at the plentiful rainfall from cyclone Blake on Monday. Credit: Supplied

Tropical cyclone Blake’s merciful rainfalls are a welcome relief to many pastoralists in the State’s north.

However, it is a different story for some cattle stations further inland.

The Kimberley town of Broome was hit by 100km/h winds and 146mm of rain on Monday evening, flooding roads in the town, but cyclone Blake was unlikely to bear down as a category two storm.

Speaking to Countryman on Tuesday, Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Jim Richardson said Blake had weakened, but could deliver much-needed rainfall to some pastoralists.

“Blake, which would continue to drop heavy falls along the coastal Kimberley region will move along Eighty Mile Beach Tuesday evening as a category one,” he said.

“Then it is expected to push into the central Pilbara and far north-east Gascoyne with 80mm to 120mm of rain.”

Anna Plains Station owner David Stoate greeted the rains with open arms.

Mr Stoate runs 9000 Santa Gertrudis breeders with his wife Helen Campion and their son John at the station, based 250km south of Broome.

The well-known pastoralist praised the rain’s arrival.

“We had 48mm in the gauge as of Tuesday midday, adding to the 103mm total since the beginning of the new year,” he said.

“We haven’t had a decent season in three years, and have had to reduce our cattle numbers.

“The rain is a confidence builder and we hope it is widespread, but reports are it is hugging the coast.”

Halls Creek pastoralist Lynette “Jim” Craig, of Sophie Downs Station, about 100km from the Northern Territory border, runs 8000 Brahman breeders with her husband Neville Dahl and sons Daral and Michael.

Ms Craig said Blake was not expected to reach her family’s cattle property.

“It is hoped the tropical low off the Northern Territory coast will develop and track inland,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails