Pastoral land


Edwinstowe sheep after shearing, 1911.

The search for pastoral land first drew European settlers to this part of central western Queensland. Suitable grazing areas in surrounding districts had already been licensed when Arthur Hunter Palmer applied for twelve runs totalling over 800 square miles (2072 square kilometres) in June 1863.  Other pastoralists soon followed to take up land along the Belyando River and its tributaries.

A decade later the first land on the west of the Great Dividing Range along Jordan Creek was successfully licensed by John Richard Skuthorp and James Vincent Nevill in July 1875. Almost all of the land in this, the Jericho district, had been licensed by 1884.

Broad changes in land management occurring since the 1880s have been determined in significant part by government legislation. Under an Act in 1884, neighbouring runs could by consolidated under one ownership on the condition of surrendering a portion of the land to be made available for the selection of smaller grazing properties. This process continued into the 1960s.

Following the construction of the railway line across the district an attempt was made, under legislation, to establish agricultural farms near the three rural towns. Rainfall variability and distance from markets doomed the venture and land was gradually reabsorbed into pastoral properties.

  • Listing of landholders will be grouped according to the legislation under which the landholding was established:
  •      The original holders of pastoral runs
  •      The lease holders of consolidated runs