North buys into arty property

A PROPERTY located inches away from the famous Lake Ballard sculptures has been sold for $280,000 to WA miner and pastoralist Don North.

Riverina station abuts Lake Ballard, a salt-lake that has received a significant profile thanks the to Perth International Arts Festival’s Inside Australia exhibition, situated on a seven kilometre area of Lake Ballard.

British sculptor Anthony Gormley’s stick-like metal figures were originally only a temporary fixture for the 2003 PIAF Festival, however, the exhibit’s success has prompted the local community and the Menzies Shire to lobby for the artworks to stay permanently.

However, while the locality of the Riverina site has obvious tourism potential its new owner said that tourism and the artwork were not reasons for his purchase of the 179,353  hectare property.

“The sculptures are always going to be temporary, whether they are there a year, two years or five years. They are attracting a bit of attention but that will come and go,” Mr North said.

“They are on a salt lake,

they won’t be there forever.

“I’ve got no problems with them staying there [on Lake Ballard] but I want to get this property working well again.”

Mr North said he wanted to fix up the watering holes and make the property a working cattle operation again.

He already has mining interests at Riverina and said he would continue those operations as well as building up the pastoral aspects to the property.

Elders Real Estate pastoral sales manager Bob Hart said the property had received a fair amount of interest from the pastoral community but was surprised there was no tourism bid.

“It received a lot of publicity because of the sculptures and I thought there might have been a group of people who would have wanted to be involved with this sort of thing,” he said.

“He [Don North] might just find he’s bought a place that has other options.”

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