Commonwealth Hill

MANAGER: James Barry
LOCATION: Coober Pedy region, SA
LAND SIZE: 1,00,000ha
STOCK: 30,000 Merino sheep

Commonwealth Hill is managed by James Barry who began is career with Jumbuck as a station hand. James’ first appointment to manager was on Mulgathing and he moved next door to Commonwealth Hill in 2014. James runs Commonwealth Hill with around 8 staff but can increase numbers during busy periods.

Commonwealth Hill is a big run comprising just on 1,000,000ha. It is located about 110km west of the Stuart Highway, midway between Glendambo and Coober Pedy.

In a low 175mm rainfall area, it is made up of soft sandy loam soils with some dunes. There are areas of Mulga, Bullock Bush and Sandalwood scrub, together with Saltbush, Bluebush and annual native grasses.

The station is well developed with 28 bores, 9 dams and several long pipelines watering 75 paddocks. It also has an 8 stand wool shed at the homestead.

The station depastures an average of 30,000 medium wooled Merinos, lambing down 12,000 ewes. A Cessna 172 aircraft is used to facilitate mustering efficiency, with air-to-ground UHF communication with motorcycle musterers. An average of 8,000 sale sheep are turned off each year, mostly at auction in Jamestown or alternatively on C.A.L.M. The 850 bale clip is transported to Adelaide and usually sold by separation in Melbourne.

Daily temperatures are high in the summer and mild (19°C) in the winter. Social activities attended by staff throughout the year locally at Glendambo and Coober Pedy and with the neighbouring properties.