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Silence on the station

THE new management of two Kimberley cattle stations has refused to identify the investors who have bought the remote properties which are littered with priceless Aboriginal art.

Susan Bradley said she and her husband, David, were acting on behalf of investors who had bought Theda and Doongan stations and that she could not reveal the names of people involved.

Mrs Bradley, who would not say if she was an investor in the pastoral leases, also ruled out tourism as an option, claiming the intention was to revive the stations which had become run down in recent years.

“We are just a group of very private people, we are not interested in any media or any hype,” she said.

When asked if Perth businessman Warren Anderson was one of the investors, Mrs Bradley said “ask him yourself”.

Mr Anderson’s company, Tipperary Developments, has held caveats over the two properties since late last year and sources involved in the deal have told Business News he was involved in recent negotiations. Other media, however, have reported his claims that he is merely close to the mystery buyers.

Mrs Bradley also remained coy about the speculation that the group intended to research the history of the properties’ ancient rock art.

Theda is understood to be home to some of the best examples of art called Bradshaws, which has a distinctive style and whose origin is a subject of conjecture.

“I am very interested in all forms of Australian pre-history,” Mrs Bradley said.

“Rock art has been much under-valued by Australia as a nation. Much of it is older than the pyramids.”

She said that, due mainly to cost, Australia’s scientists had found it difficult to carry out research in isolated areas, but it was too early to say whether Theda or Doongan would provide a base for such efforts.

“The principals of the company are basically interested in the pastoralism,” Mrs Bradley said.

“We will certainly be looking at all sorts of avenues but we are not into tourism.”

Mr and Mrs Bradley owned the Carlton Hill and Ivanhoe stations in the Kimberley until they sold them to Packer family’s interests in 1995.

A former shire president for Wyndham-East Kimberley, Mrs Bradley made a failed bid for a Federal Senate seat as a Labor candidate in the Northern Territory.

She said her husband was set to return soon from Scotland, where he had been working on the foot and mouth program using his specialist knowledge in disease control in large herds.

Agwest said cattle prices had risen about 16 per cent between December last year and May.

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