Page 1



Brumpton changing the industry with genetics PAGES 4-5

GPS trackers assist fight against feral pigs PAGES 10-11

Backrow from left, Zhang Qiang Qiang, Wayne Little, Aaron Smith, Greg Denny. Front from left, Hu Xue Jian, Grant Gurney, Victor Hu (owner). PHOTO: ALEXIA AUSTIN

TIMBER KINGS ARRIVE Brisbane company makes move to Roma and opens region to the international market STORY: PAGE 13 |

2 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Welcome WELCOME to the first edition of Grazier and Farmer for the year. We ended 2017 in tough and trying conditions but as primary producers have shown time and again, their resilience and fortitude pays off. Widespread rain across parched areas of western Queensland has recently breathed new life and hope into the region. To inspire just that kind of hope, residents of Cunnamulla are hosting their inaugural Longyard Dinner this week. The Paroo Progress Association is hoping to lift spirits and kickstart the tourist season. For many of us, regardless of our age or location, we enjoy living in rural communities because of these kinds of opportunities to spend time with family and develop strong relationships with our neighbours and friends. It’s that community spirit that defies drought and creates unbreakable bonds out west. It’s the friends and family that jump on their push bikes and ride from Cunnamulla to Cooper’s Creek for the sake of it. It’s the Drought Angels raising much needed funds for the friends still doing it tough. It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up. In this edition, Jac Cummins takes a look at research into feral pigs and rural firearms. Alexia Austin delves into the supply chain of timber at the Kings-Wood International Sawmill. Once again, these stories, and the many more contained in 2018’s first edition of Grazier and Farmer, prove time and again the resilience of the people in our region, the diversity of the economy, and hope for the year ahead. In signing off, the team and I would like to wish you every success for the year ahead. – Marguerite Cuddihy

contact us EDITOR Marguerite Cuddihy Phone: 07 4578 4119 Email: ADVERTISING Greg Latta, Henny Cash, Stephanie Stonehouse Western Star Phone 07 4672 9927 Email GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw Email: All material published in Grazier and Farmer is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission for the publisher. DISCLAIMER: The information contained within Grazier and Farmer is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. The Western Star will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herein.

ON THE MARKET: Australian prices could begin a downward trend this year.


Cattle prices, production and predictions for the year ahead Australia under pressure from increased competition TWO key stakeholders have released reports on what the beef industry can expect, both at home and on the global stage, in 2018. The Industry Projections 2018 report from Meat and Livestock Australia says cattle producers will be focused on rebuilding their herds if the season allows for it. Australian cattle herd numbers fell to record lows in 2015 and the rebuild continues this year. Decreased numbers combined with below average rainfall in 2017 across many regions means cattle supplies will remain short into 2018. The impact of the season on cattle prices moving forward is also mentioned. The MLA’s report states that due to the unrelenting 2017 winter and spring seasons where many producers received below average rainfall, scores of cattle were directed to feedlots. Rather than seeing those cattle being finished in the paddocks around the southwest now, this is instead causing decreased slaughter numbers to be expected rather than what was previously forecast for 2018. Likewise, agribusiness bank Rabobank recently released its 2018 Outlook for Australian Agriculture report. In relation to cattle prices the report predicts that in the coming year Australian prices could begin a downward trend. This will mainly be due to increased competition from foreign exporters, such as the US.

Concerns grow over the country's cattle market.


■ Tighter cattle supplies in Queensland and strong restocking demand depending on seasons. ■ Small rise in adult slaughter to 7.4 million head predicted. ■ Cattle on feed down from 1 million in


2017 to 850,000 in 2018. ■ Increase in beef production and exports from US and Brazil means Australian prices under pressure and beef exports challenged. Source: Rabobank Outlook 2018 – Animal Protein, MLA Industry Pojections 2018 Report


Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Establishing your own style Contributed RENOVATING your home can be very exciting and deciding on a style for your interiors is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the process. Read on for advice on how you can develop a unique style for your own renovation.


The first step is to look at the architectural style of your home. This can help you steer your styling direction.


Colour is highly evocative and can have a dramatic effect on how your home feels. If you’re struggling to define your colour palette, begin by looking at the existing colours in your home and then pick out complementary colours to integrate your renovation with the rest of your home. Picking colours that work together can be a challenge. There are interior design tools available online that you can use to generate ideas for colour palettes, but to judge colour more accurately, it’s best to compare swatch cards and material samples in your home so you can see how they interact with the existing design features and lighting.


As with choosing colour palettes, selecting furnishings that match your existing decor will yield the most harmonious design result. However, if you like a mish-mash of styles, you can go for an eclectic look that blends them all together. Of course, mixing design styles can be more of a balancing act, so consult an interior designer for the most harmonious results.


Splurging a bit on additional design details or statement pieces can really elevate your style from humdrum to “Who’d you hire to do this?!”. It shows you’ve put careful thought into your design and gives the eye something to focus on. With considered design choices, your home can become a shining reflection of your personality. Have fun renovating and remember if you run into roadblocks, you can always ask for help. For more design tips and the video on Establishing Your Style, visit the Andersens website.

SIMPLE: Choose colours that work together. PHOTO: I-STOCK







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4 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018


The new wools have the properties of elasticity and plasticity...

Merinos can stand heat Jacinta Cummins

ERROL Brumpton’s nearly lifelong quest to develop a Merino sheep that could withstand western Queensland’s extreme heat and humidity and be resistant to fleece rot began when he was testing wool in the laboratory at Longreach Pastoral College in the early 1970s. “I was fortunate to study at LPC when the classing system for wool transitioned from the Bradford Count to the micron system (Objective Clip Preparation) so my instructors were able to give us the best of both systems,” he said. “When I was testing wool, I noticed that low micron doesn’t necessarily mean softness, despite many people thinking this is the case. “A woman doesn’t look at a dress and describe it as 18 micron. She picks it up and feels how soft it is and says ‘Oh look at how elegant that is’.” “She couldn’t care if it was 18 micron or 100 micron, it’s

— Errol Brumpton

the 1980s, not least of this being the practise of mulesing. “We knew from skin biology that there would be an answer to this practice even in a sub-tropical environment so we bred our Merino wrinkle free to avoid mulesing and to be hardy enough for the western Queensland environment.” In the post Cold War era, there wasn’t the demand for the heavy wool (that great coats were made out of) which had been used for years; they and the woollen military uniform were destined for the history books. “Since the invention of recycled cullulose (manmade fibres like rayon, nylon and Velcro) and the emergence of other fibres such as bamboo, wool needs to position itself at the high end of fashion to command a premium price to cover cost of production,” Errol said. “This meant wool needed to be soft next to skin, lightweight and able to accept pastel dyes as opposed to the dark greys and green of

about softness, drape and style. This led me to look at the biological pathways of sheep breeding to produce a softer, more lustrous white wool.” Errol saw the industry risked getting left behind if it failed to adapt to new consumer demands. “Today’s consumer is more conscious of eco-friendly and ethically produced natural fibres like wool,” he said. “With the introduction and growth of social media, people are becoming more aware of production practices. “There are also environmental concerns: with scouring, we can’t just dump the effluent as had been done for so long and if you use large amounts of chemicals to counteract undesirable breeding traits you need more staff to do this, but there aren’t the staff available to tend to these high maintenance animals. “I had identified them (high maitenance animals) as unprofitable long ago. “Animal welfare issues were starting to come to the fore in

BREEDING PROGRAM: Science and genetics are at the forefront of Errol Brumpton's work. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED traditional wool products. “The new wools have the properties of elasticity and plasticity for a finished garment to maintain its shape and desire drape.” Errol and his wife Candy’s wool met these requirements and it was used to make Well Gully wool cloth which weighed just 150 grams per lineal metre. This cloth was used to make the world’s lightest wool shirts in 1996. Errol predicts that the growing global demand for

food security and peak oil will see more arable land used for food and oilseed production, pushing animal protein production to more marginal land. This means sheep will need to be able to survive in some of the toughest conditions they’ve ever faced. The sheep that he and Candy developed at Well Gully Poll Merino Stud near Mitchell to meet these conditions are what he describes as an all-purpose Merino. They are plain bodied, quick

maturing, environmentally fit and mules-free with an 18 micron wool clip and perform in extreme summer heat, humidity and cold. Over the last 20 years, much emphasis has been placed on the selection of superior females in the breeding enterprise. “The mitochrondrial gene (fitness) is emphasised in the offspring from the dam (female) in all mammals,” Errol said. “In some respects, the Merino was down bred with most selection emphasis placed on wool cut at the expense of other traits such as maternal and nurturing instincts.” In an industry defined by tradition, bloodlines and set ideas about what wool does and doesn’t look or feel like, Errol’s willingness to learn, to adapt to changing market and environment conditions and to adopt new technology and science in order to produce a product that the modern consumer wants and is prepared to pay a premium for is summed up by his personal motto. “Every day’s a school day in agriculture.”





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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Right stock can make the job easy for farmers Producers say Well Gully sheep have not let them down during past 20 years Jacinta Cummins WHEN farmers John and Kate Lees were establishing their sheep flock 20 years ago, they were chasing four things: ease of management, fertility, early growth rates and good stylish wool. “The Well Gully sheep just really ticked those boxes and we were lucky enough to get some of Errol’s excess females and we’ve joined his rams to them and they haven’t let us down once,” John said. John and Kate run their flock of 4000 ewes over 5000 hectares of grazing country and also crop 3500 hectares on Middleridge, Tottenham in

HIGH QUALITY: Well Gully is focused on producing next of skin fibre, which is beautiful to touch. central western NSW. Their annual average rainfall is 425 millimetres. Fly strike is prevalent in the area so the mules-free Well Gully sheep fit in with their operations well.

“They keep the water out and can dry themselves, so we don’t need to treat for fly strike and not having to mules is one less week of work and one less thing to worry about,” John said.

The Lees sold three and four-year-old ewes that had scanned dry through Forbes to make $170 on March 12. “They’d just been shorn, we run at about 19 micron so we shear twice a year, so they

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED also give us about $35 of wool every six months,” John said. “If you look at a pregnant ewe, then she’s giving you those returns plus a lamb.” John said the sheep had

adapted well to different management practices to fit in with their operations. “We do things a little differently like joining in bigger mobs of 800 in December/ January, which is out of season compared to most. “But February is usually our wettest month, which kicks the lucerne off, so the ewes have got good feed while they’re pregnant and there’s enough to give the lambs a good start. “Errol’s sheep lamb well; if you drive past when one is giving birth and come back again in 30 minutes, the ewe and the lamb are both up and walking, which is incredible. “People always say there’s so much work in sheep but if you’ve got the right sheep, then there’s not. “I’ve got a man who looks after them and he’s managed sheep all over the place. “It was only last year he said ‘John, these are the easiest sheep to look after’ and it blew me away. That’s one of the best things you can hear in a farming business.”

Brumpton’s use of science pushed industry into the future BY HIS own admission, Errol Brumpton is a renegade. Many industry bluebloods shunned him when he led the charge to develop a low micron wool for producers in semi-arid and sub-tropical Queensland between the 1970s and the 1990s, following biological pathways rather than set bloodlines or established studs. But the work has paid off, with Well Gully Poll Merino Stud now selling about 650 rams annually plus artificial insemination packages to every state in Australia. Errol was also awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the sheep industry

in 2011. John Enderby was a stalwart of the wool broking industry back in those early days, who established Wool Auctions of Australia, which sold star lots (1, 2 and 3 bales of wool) under growers’ own brand, which the bigger brokers were reluctant to sell. John’s first memory of Errol was of “him coming along with this beautiful fine wool, which he had produced in Queensland, which was just lovely”. “What Errol created was a super fine wool for tropical areas at about an 18, 19 micron (when most growers were producing 22-23 micron wool) and it often made double the price of the broader micron

wool,” he said. “These higher prices for their finer wool kept a lot of producers who were using Errol’s sheep and getting him to class for them in the industry at a time when many others just dropped out and switched to cattle. “He really kept many growers going by helping them to produce a finer wool at a time when that was all the market would stand. “The fact that these growers are still here is a testament to Errol’s knowledge and dedication.” Chantel McAlister is a wool masterclasser and Meandarra-based photographer who is well known for her Truth About Wool

Tour, which shares the stories and pictures of the Australian wool industry with people across Australia. She cut her teeth in Well Gully’s woolshed and agrees with John Enderby’s assessment of Errol. “The first thing that struck me about Errol is his passion,” she said. “A lot of growers concentrate on one thing: ‘We want 18 micron wool or we want heavy cutting wool’, but Errol is looking for an overall parcel. “He’s focussed on the consumer and his wool is almost like a niche because it’s meeting that non-mules market. “Errol’s wool is like nothing I’d ever seen or touched before

going to Well Gully, it is so silky and not unlike cashmere. When you look at a piece of really fine woollen fabric it just drapes and follows the body and that’s what Errol’s wool is like.” Chantel credits Errol and Candy with inspiring a new generation of people to be in the wool industry and said Errol is free in sharing his knowledge while getting the best out of those he works with. “It’s not like the shearer just comes there and gets the wool off and goes home, we all work together as a team to get what he’s looking for,” she said. “A lot of cockies are in and out of the shed a bit over

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shearing, but Errol is in there the whole time and he’s got his hands in nearly every fleece. “When I went to Well Gully, I was still fairly green and they really built me up and gave me so much confidence. “I don’t think I really took my classing career very seriously when I first went out to Well Gully but they made me feel like what I was doing was extraordinary and encouraged me to pursue it as a career. “He and Candy are changing wool. “He’s not just a nobody in the industry but they are both so humble. “There is a softness to Errol that not everyone sees; I’ve seen him hug a sheep and thank it for its wool.


Jacinta Cummins

6 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Doubts about water in Balonne

Towns worried as allocation could be cut

There’s going to be some pretty significant decisions made...

Marguerite Donaldson GROWERS and business owners in south-west Queensland are waiting anxiously this week for the Senate to decide the fate of their water supply, and the fate of their communities. St George and Dirranbandi residents are concerned they could be stripped of 70GL of the precious resource if senators vote to increase the amount of water returned to the Northern Murray-Darling Basin. St George business owner and Balonne Shire Council Mayor Richard Marsh said it was disconcerting from both a community and a personal point of view. “A level of uncertainty is coming back. You tend to get on with your daily job until something reminds you, hang on there’s a problem here… And that’s certainly happened in the last couple of weeks,” Cr Marsh said. He said many St George businesses had shown up to

— Cr Richard Marsh

RESOURCE CONCERN: The amount of water to be returned to the Northern Murray Darling Basin could be increased from 320GL to 390GL. PHOTO: FILE a 25 per cent decrease in turnover in the past three to four years. Elsewhere around the region, school enrolments had

dropped and farming contractors had left the district due to a downturn in work, a direct result of a lack of water for irrigation, he said.

“Dirranbandi is more significantly impacted than St George. Dirranbandi relies largely on the farming areas around it,” Cr Marsh said.

Last year, the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s scientific review recommended that returning 320GL to the Northern

Murray-Darling Basin would strike a balance between achieving environmental outcomes and supporting local communities. In November last year, the Government passed the MDBA’s recommendation into law. Now the Greens in the Senate have voted to disallow it. They want the amount of water returned to the Northern Basin increased from 320GL to 390GL. “There’s going to be some pretty significant decisions made in the next couple of days,” Cr Marsh said. “Undoubtedly what we want is a decision that is hopefully the right one so that people can get on with their lives. “If it’s 390GL (people will be thinking) where do I go from here? Have I got a job? Have I got a business? “I’ll either be smiling or crying... one or the other.”

Turning over a new leaf on vegetation management LANDHOLDERS and lobby groups in the south-west are concerned the Palaszczuk government won’t be turning over a new leaf when it comes to vegetation management laws this year. As parliament resumes for 2018, agriculture lobby group AgForce is preparing for the Labor-majority government to put vegetation management back on the political agenda. AgForce’s Southern Inland Queensland Regional Director and President Robyn Bryant said AgForce was taking a consultative approach towards the government’s legislative agenda. “AgForce wants to be able to sit down with any political party that wants to sit at the table and have a really good, clear discussion about what vegetation management looks

like going forward,” Mrs Bryant said. The majority of vegetation management in the south-west is conducted through self-assessable codes, including mulga harvesting for fodder and thinning in thickened areas. As it currently stands, the self-assessable codes require landholders to fill in an online form, which many find a relatively straightforward and simple experience. However, Mrs Bryant, a cattle producer whose family operation is based between Mitchell and St George, said that producers were concerned the current government would unnecessarily change this process. “Producers are a bit worried that it is going to go back to

multiple pages that need to be filled in with significant application fees, then having to wait a significant amount of time for that application to be approved,” said Mrs Bryant. Mrs Bryant, a National Farmers’ Federation Board Director, said that providing certainty to producers for their land management practices was vital, especially during dry times. “A lot of [landholders] that are mulga harvesting in drought, for them being able to feed mulga is a life saver really for their cattle and for their businesses so there’s a lot of nervous producers around with any changes that may happen with the structure [of the legislation] that is currently in place,” Mrs Bryant said. Mrs Bryant said that

CHANGE?:Landholders and lobby groups are concerned the Palaszczuk government won't change vegetation management laws this year. PHOTO: FILE landholders in the south-west demonstrated some fantastic, on the ground examples of

their approach to managing their land. “AgForce has got a pretty



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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TPP ‘creates opportunities’ TPP AGREEMENT

Trade deal to bolster market: Littleproud PRODUCE from Maranoa was world-renowned for being clean and green, so it made sense to harness this quality and market it on the world stage – through significant international trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – to grow regional economies, Maranoa MP David Littleproud said. "On March 8, Australia and the other 10 nations signed the TPP. This agreement is one of the most comprehensive trade deals concluded and will eliminate more than 98% of tariffs in a trade zone worth $13.7 trillion," he said. "In Maranoa, this agreement means our agricultural and horticultural industries are set to be the biggest winners from tariff reductions on more than $4.3 billion of Australia’s agricultural export products, with preferential access or tariff reductions on a further $2.1 billion of our agricultural exports including beef, dairy, cereals and wine. "This Coalition Government took a leadership role to deliver the TPP-11 because it will drive demand for our clean and green produce, because

On March 8, Australia and the other 10 nations signed the TPP.

— MP David Littleproud

the more Maranoa products and services sold to the world, the more local jobs will be created." The TPP-11 creates Australia’s first trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, giving Maranoa exporters preferential access to two of the world’s top 20 economies. In 2016-17, nearly one quarter of Australia’s total exports – worth almost $88 billion – went to TPP-11 countries. "This year has already kicked off major tariff reductions into China and January 15 marked two years since the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement came into force, which is delivering competitive advantages for our local businesses as Japan is our

SUPPORTING THE REGION: Maranoa MP and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud in Charleville.

second-largest export market," Mr Littleproud said. "The Asia-Pacific region is home to a growing middle-class who demands clean and green products –

qualities synonymous with my electorate – as other nations have battled food-quality scandals that have scarred their product reputation with consumers.

"One in five jobs in Australia is linked to trade so this is not only good news for our nation but also a positive step forward to bolstering opportunities and jobs here in

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement: The TPP is a 12-country trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada. TPP outcome highlights for Maranoa include: Beef: New reductions in Japan’s tariffs on beef, (Australian exports worth AUD2 billion in 2016-17). Cereals and grains: Tariff reductions, and new access for our cereals and grains exporters into Japan. Sheep products: Elimination of all tariffs on sheepmeat, cotton and wool. Industry: Elimination of all tariffs on industrial products (manufactured goods). Services: Guaranteed levels of access for services.

Maranoa." For more TPP information, check out: trade/agreements/tpp/ outcomes-documents/Pages /outcomes- at-a-glance.aspx


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8 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Locally run business enjoys great success

Taylor’s at the forefront of local trade in Roma region Contributed

BUSINESS is booming for Taylor’s Septic Tank and Grease Trap Cleaning. With over 15 years of experience, owners Tania and Robbie Taylor are one of the southwest’s leading service providers. The company, which specialises in cleaning septic tanks, grease traps and ambulation blocks, has been operating in Roma and the surrounds since last year. Prior to this, the Taylor's owned the RJ and TG Grease Trap and Septic Tank Cleaning. “There was a call for the septic and grease trap cleaning business, so we decided to start it up again,” Ms Taylor said. “We are here to help the farmers and other locals, especially local businesses, with their cleaning needs.” Ms Taylor said the company offered a wide range of services that were cost effective. “We do septic tanks, port-a-loos, and clean the grease traps in the local businesses around town. “Next to that we also do hirings for tilt truck and trailer, skid steer bobcat with attachments, a 9.5 tonne excavator, a tractor and a slasher. “We service Roma and the surrounds, all the local blokes, and no job is too small or too far away – we will travel. “Our business is important, we want to help maintain the environment, and we are EPA licensed.” Taylor’s Septic Tank and Grease Trap Cleaning is based at 78 Hartley Lane, Roma and bookings can be made through Tania or Robbie on 0407 740 252.

BOOMING BUSINESS: Taylor's Tilt Truck Hire servicing Roma and surrounding areas. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

We are here to help the farmers and other locals, especially local businesses, with their cleaning needs.

— Tania Taylor

Taylor's Septic and Grease Trap Cleaning. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Warning about gun laws

Unsecured firearms are easy picking for thieves Jacinta Cummins

DESPITE an emotive advertising campaign showing the often tragic and unintended consequences of failing to secure firearms, police are frustrated that some firearm owners and landholders still aren’t getting the message about locking up their guns. Detective Sergeant Scott Jackson of the Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) at Roma said his team had been focussing on firearms audits since the start of the year because firearm theft was increasing. Police are finding that offenders are targeting unsecured firearms. More often than not, these firearms are unattended in vehicles and in unlocked vehicles on farms. “Because it’s on the rise we are really concentrating on audits and checking things are as they should be,” Det Sgt Jackson said. These audits ensure that firearms are being stored in appropriate facilities which in

turn makes it more difficult for offenders to steal and target firearms. “People might go and do a bore run and leave a firearm in the car or the ute which is always an easy target because it’s usually unlocked. “We do have people driving the roads day and night, keeping an eye out for firearms whether they are locked up or not. “Three people were arrested for stealing nine rifles from a locked gun safe at a St George property on January 26 and it turns out that they knew the previous property owners so they had a pretty good idea of the layout and where they might be stored. “Other people are just opportunistic – if they see a gun that’s easy to grab, they’ll take it. The maximum penalty for failing to secure a firearm in Queensland is a fine of $12,600 or two years imprisonment. Det Sgt Jackson said it only took a couple of minutes to lock a firearm up and make

sure it was safe. “Slide the bolt back, take the round out and take it inside with you. “Don’t get me wrong, I understand why some blokes think it’s a bit of a pain in the neck because we’re all busy, but for the extra two minutes it takes, it’s locked up.” While unsecured firearms are easy targets for thieves, children who have no intention of doing the wrong thing are often the unintended victims of firearms accidents. A five-year-old boy was rushed to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in a critical condition in January after his 11-year-old cousin accidentally shot him with a rifle on a property near Stanthorpe. Four children were accidentally shot during August and September, with two of them dying. One was a three-year-old girl who was killed when she and her three brothers were playing with a sawn off shotgun. Det Sgt Jackson warned the repercussions of accidents lasted much longer than a fine or time in gaol.

NOT GOOD: Police charged a man near Glenmorgan after finding these firearms "stored on the bed". PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

一䔀堀吀 䜀䔀一 䠀䄀唀䰀伀唀吀 䈀䤀一匀Ⰰ 䴀伀䈀䤀䰀䔀 䘀䤀䔀䰀䐀 匀吀伀刀䄀䜀䔀 䈀䤀一匀Ⰰ 䌀䔀一吀刀䔀 䰀䤀䘀吀 䘀䤀䔀䰀䐀 匀吀伀刀䄀䜀䔀Ⰰ 䜀刀䄀䤀一 䄀唀䜀䔀刀匀 伀䘀 䄀䰀䰀 匀䤀娀䔀匀⸀⸀⸀

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10 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

GPS assists in fight

Revolutionary trackers to help farmers Jacinta Cummins

KEEPING TRACK: QMDC Pest Animal Contractor Brenden Latimer and QMDC's Darren Marshall with a 188kg boar trapped and collared. PHOTO: QMDC Pennsylvania State leadership model to use the data to motivate people to work together to control the impacts feral pigs have on agriculture and the environment. Although much of it is yet to be analysed, he said it was engaging landholders and other agencies like national parks managers in an often lively debate. “It’s not just one person getting up in front of the community and their opinion, you can present data however you like, but you can’t change it,” he said.

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“Some people think a bounty system works while others think it just encourages shooters to be selective when hunting, but the beauty of data is that it doesn’t lie. “This information is dispelling a lot of long-held myths about pig behaviour.” It’s proven that if pigs have food, water and shelter, then they are often not travelling the distances that were previously thought, but that pigs weren’t confined to property boundaries. “There’s a problem on nearly everyone’s

property. “They don’t all live in the national park or on the mining companies’ property. It’s a shared problem and we need to work together to keep on top of it. “The reality is that if you’re not knocking out at least 70 per cent of the local feral pig populations, then you’re not having an impact. “These animals are the most prolific breeding large mammal on earth, so control takes co-ordination between hunters, baiting, trapping and aerial shooting to ensure the

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FERAL pigs damage livestock, crops and fencing. Landholders have been baiting, trapping and aerial shooting the pests but because of their prolific breeding rates, it’s an ongoing problem. Some have resorted to putting up fences to keep the pigs out in the same way that exclusion fencing is used out west to keep dogs out. But with a price tag of $10,000 a kilometre, it’s an expensive solution. Queensland Murray-Darling’s Regional Coordinator for Feral Animals Darren Marshall said the problem was black and white: pigs were the farmer’s enemy. After battling pigs and other pest animals for 14 years and feeling like he wasn’t having enough of an impact, he decided to adopt a revolutionary approach to fighting them. He’s started catching them and fitting them with GPS tracking collars, then re-releasing them so he can get information to help landholders come up with better ways to fight them. “It definitely goes against my grain and the grain of most landholders to let a pig go, but we simply need more information to help come up with better solutions to deal with them,” he said. The collars register where the pig is located every 30 minutes, with the data transmitted back to a computer every six hours, allowing researchers to get a real time pattern of pig movements and behaviours. “It really is a battle out there – feral pigs are the enemy and the information we are getting will help us work out the best way to fight them. “Most landholders can see that the data we’re collecting is of more benefit than the damage that these pigs would do if we just shot them straight away. “If they end up shooting them or a pig shooter does, then I’m happy with that because it’s giving us more real time information than we’ve ever had. I’d just like them to return the collars to me so I can put them on other pigs.” The project, which is funded by QMDC, has been run at seven sites across southern Queensland and the top of NSW since March last year as part of Darren’s Phd in Innovation he is studying through the University of New England. The Queensland sites include Miles, Guluguba and the Arcadia Valley. More than 60 pigs have been collared so far, with properties near St George and Stanthorpe earmarked as potential sites for tracking in the future. Darren is following a University of


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

against feral pigs

population isn’t out of control. “Only rabbits breed more than feral pigs.” Another finding has also been some of the strains of leptospirosis and brucellosis across the sites, with Darren saying it was a reminder to people to follow guidelines on how to avoid contracting the potentially fatal diseases. Pigs are transmitters of both diseases, which can be contracted by cattle and people. “I don’t want to scare people unnecessarily but the preliminary work in the southern part of the project has shown a very high prevalence of leptospirosis and some limited brucellosis incidents,” he said. “Every site you got to there’s someone who’s either had lepto or knows someone who’s had it. “People need to take the appropriate steps when they’re dealing with feral pigs, whether it’s trapping, shooting or slaughtering them.” Queensland Health data shows that the majority of brucellosis cases in Australia occur in Queensland, with between 10 and 50 cases reported annually since 1991. According to Darling Downs Hospital and Health Public Director Dr Penny Hutchinson, there are usually two to three cases of leptospirosis and brucellosis in the Darling Downs annually. There was one case of brucellosis at Guluguba at the end of last year. Feral pigs are the main source of infection for brucellosis and pig hunters are advised to wear protective clothing when butchering them. It is also recommended to keep pig hunting dogs away from pet dogs and young children and women of childbearing age to reduce their risk of contracting the disease.

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12 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Drought still biting despite recent rainfall

Wet weather welcome but more still needed QUEENSLAND farmers are rejoicing after recent widespread rain but have warned that a few days of good falls are not enough to break a drought. AgForce North Queensland regional president Russell Lethbridge said many regional and rural communities were still doing it very tough. “The prolonged drought has taken an enormous financial,

environmental and emotional toll on farming families right throughout Queensland, with more than two-thirds of the state still drought-declared,” he said. “The recent rain has certainly brought a smile to many faces in rural and regional Queensland, but it has been very patchy and it should not be forgotten that many regions in the west were


WAITING FOR MORE: Queensland farmers are rejoicing after widespread rain. first drought-declared back in early to mid-2013, so it’s a long road to recovery.” Tricia and Jeffery Agar from Barbara Plains, 26km west of Wyandra, said the recent rainfall was welcomed, but more was needed. “In the last lot of rainfall, we had 67mm and before that we were teetering on the brink of having to sell a lot of cows











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and calves because we wouldn’t have been able to feed them through the winter,” Ms Agar said. “We were sitting on the edge of sliding back into a really bad situation and the rain has really saved us for the short-term.” Ms Agar said the need for ongoing rain was still in order to get the grasslands back into production. “After going











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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Roma welcomes timber company Brisbane business undergoes relocation

THE relocation of the international timber trading and exporting company King’s Wood International from Brisbane to its new Roma address will boost timber trading in rural Queensland. The company, that has recently acquired the Cypress Supplies sawmill in Roma as its business base, sources, packs and exports quality hard wood from across the southwest. King's Wood International is the first facility in the region packing timber logs for export. King’s Wood International general manager Grant Gurney said the company’s new location would accelerate the trading process for wood suppliers. "We source and purchase the wood from various property owners within a 500km radius of Roma. "For a farmer or landowner wanting to sell their wood, the transport time to the port in Brisbane can be a 14-hour or more round trip. "However, with us (located

in Roma), they can greatly improve the timeframe from property to packing facility. “The property owner will therefore get their royalties quicker and also clear their land quicker." Once loaded into containers at Roma, the hard wood is transported by truck to the

Brisbane port for international shipping. The company oversees the process from property to shipping. Mr Gurney said the company’s relocation had been well received. "We have been operational in Roma since November, when we received our export

facility licence. We’ve employed locally and we have been using the services of a lot of local companies," Mr Gurney said. "We’re really pleased to be part of the community and we know that so far we have managed to garner a pretty good reputation for quick

turn-around. Word of mouth is a great thing," Mr Gurney said. "We are certainly here for the long haul. It’s not a two or three-year business. We are thinking of the future and ways we can expand in the region.” King’s Wood is currently searching for timber species

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14 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Calling all cyclists Cunnamulla’s Higgins family set to ride again in outback event Jacinta Cummins EVER heard the one about the bloke who rode a unicycle from Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla? He really does exist. But 45 other possibly more sane riders are opting for two-wheeled bikes to hit the road for the first Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride in a decade from April 21–25. The route is about 475 kilometres and takes in the real outback, with organiser Karen Ticehurst saying the landscape is the main reason most people do it. “It’s just like you’re on the moon, there’s not a tree to be seen,” she said.

“You can almost see the curve of the earth out at Noccundra. “It’s real Australia. You don’t see that in a lot of other places and you certainly don’t see it from the same perspective behind the wheel or the windscreen. “Despite the pedalling, it’s relaxing, and riders can actually look at the outback and take it in instead of just going from point A to point B like you do if you’re in a car.” Forty-five riders and a support team of 10 are signed up for the event, with riders coming from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Mackay and Warwick, as well as the local area. Riders have previously travelled from New

Zealand and France for the event, which was born after the Master Games stopped in the region. Cunnamulla’s Higgins family use the ride as a family catch-up, with sisters Julie, Kylie, Leigh and Merry coming back to town in 2009 to ride with brothers Perry and Timmy. This year, Julie, Kylie, Leigh and Perry will again hit the road, but Perry admitted he’s “more of a pull the bike out once a year for the ride” type of person rather than someone who trains for it. According to Julie, the ride is always a laugh considering none of the six siblings rode pushbikes as kids.

“We support whatever is on in Cunnamulla if we can and whenever any of our family does anything, you don’t just get one of us, you get all six,” she said. “We have our own Team Higgins uniform in Timmy’s (horse) racing colours and with our father’s horse brand, which Timmy’s now got on it as well. “We’re not out the front, but it’s a lot of fun. We’re the social side of it – we sing songs, we tell riddles. It’s a fun time and we use it as a family get-together.” Leigh adds that despite living in Cunnamulla for much of her life, she had only been to Thargomindah so she really loved seeing the country out west.

ON THE ROAD: Leigh Hobson and Merry Higgins stop for a breather.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Lifting community spirits First Longyard Dinner will kick start Cunnamulla’s tourism season IT’S been a long and unrelenting summer for the Cunnamulla area with residents and stock alike feeling the strain of intense heat and little rain. So a few women decided to give locals something to look forward to and came up with the first Longyard Dinner which is being held in Cunnamulla on Saturday. Organiser Judy Roberts said the Paroo Progress Association was running the event to lift community spirits and help kick start the tourism season because everyone was a bit flat at the end of the summer. “I thought it would be a great thing to add value for our town and to create a lovely local strength between those who want to see Cunnamulla go forward and to also tap into the grey nomads and travellers because everywhere you go now, people are travelling to events rather than just travelling,” Mrs Roberts said. "We are particularly encouraging the business operators to come along to hear our guest speaker, Peter

I thought it would be a great thing to add value for our town.

— Judy Roberts

Homan, who is General Manager of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association. “He will be speaking about tourism, what it means to outback Queensland and how we can promote it. “A lot of our towns rely on tourism now because the rural industries are doing it really tough so we need to find a way to encourage tourism and bring people in to boost our economies during the drought.” Local musician Chris Overton will perform during the dinner which will be held on the lawns behind the art gallery with the organisers hoping it will eventually grow big enough to stretch all the way down to the park by the

TOURIST SEASON: Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride is one of the tourist attractions of outback Queensland. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED bridge. Local meat and bread will be showcased on the menu so that locals get an idea of what the region produces. “A lot of people in many of our little towns don’t really

know what the bloke down the road produces or what his business is, so we are trying to showcase our own produce in a formal setting,” Mrs Roberts said. “We’re encouraging our

businesses and property owners to bring along their signs to help let other locals and our visitors know what we’ve got in our backyard.” The event has been well received with more than 100

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16 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Calendar entries still open Drought Angels’ inaugural competition puts the challenges of living on the land in focus Jacinta Cummins DROUGHT Angels has been flooded with entries for its inaugural calendar competition, but there are only days left to submit your best shots and raise money for the charity that helps those battling drought. Nicki Blackwell and Tash Johnston established Drought Angels in Chinchilla in 2014. Originally, they were just two women who heard about some hungry cows and took some feed out in their ute to

help out and it just grew from there. Drought Angels became a registered charity, with both Nicki and Tash working full-time while a team of volunteers help with admin, publicity and running the secondhand shop, the proceeds of which are used to help farmers. Nicki is living proof that no good deed goes unrewarded – she found love out at Winton on one of the runs and moved out there. Next year will be the first time that Drought Angels

LIFE ON THE LAND: One of the entries for Drought Angels' 2019 calendar competition, Trucking the goats east of Charleville. releases a fundraising calendar and the theme is broad. With the subject just being rural, it takes in landscapes, dancing in the rain, shearing, mustering, kids and animals and anything else on the land. Drought Angels director Jenny Gailey, of Chinchilla, said they put the call out on social media for photos in late February and had a massive response from

followers. "It’s been fantastic," she said. "People are sending in two and three photos from right across the country and some of them are just exquisite. "It’s not all gloom and doom and dead sheep in the dam, these photos really capture the beauty of the outback. But of course, some of them do reflect the harsh realities of making your livelihood on the land."

Jenny said the calendar was inspired by someone who made a small calendar off his own bat to fundraise for Drought Angels last year and received good feedback. "So it got us thinking and now we are doing a big glossy one, which we will launch in April," she said. "It’s a very exciting project for us as we are getting 5000 calendars made from the photos which come from our supporters. We are hoping to

have sponsors come on board and be ready to start presales in October." Submissions close March 31. The photos will be shortlisted to 25 and uploaded to Drought Angels’ social media pages, where the public can vote for the 12 photos that will feature in the calendar. For more information, go to the Drought Angels page on Facebook or Instagram.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LNP fights Labor’s change to state’s vegetation laws

Member for Warrego Ann Leahy defends rights of farmers COMMENT THE State Labor Government’s Vegetation Management Laws are offensive, ill-informed and will tie farmers up in red tape and threaten food and fibre security. Landholders in southwest Queensland have every reason to be outraged by these laws thrust upon them by a Labor Government, who came to power on preferences from the Greens, Katter Party and One Nation. The LNP and I are taking up the fight to defend farmers and their property rights again and we will fight Labor at every turn. These shocking laws are a direct result of what happens when political parties like Katter and One Nation preference Labor ahead of the LNP. Katter and One Nation parties have masqueraded as conservative to voters – only to deliver, through their preference decisions, a devastating outcome on vegetation management to landholders in southwest Queensland from a green-leaning Labor State

Government. The Katter and One Nation Party leaders have to take responsibility for misleading the voters of Queensland – their preference decisions at the last State Election, to preference Labor candidates ahead of LNP candidates (even in seats like Warrego), have given Queenslanders a majority Labor Government with a green ideological agenda that is not based on science or fact. These preference deals resulted in the LNP losing seats like Redlands, Aspley, Mansfield and up to five others, and helped Labor gain majority government. Labor’s vegetation laws will devastate landholders’ ability to sustainably manage their properties, hurt small businesses in local towns, and rip away millions of dollars worth of future growth in the agricultural sector. The LNP is fighting tooth and nail to defend farmers against Labor’s unprovoked attack and anti-agriculture stance – join the fight by signing the petition at www.fightfor farmers. — Member for Warrego Ann Leahy

Labor’s vegetation laws will devastate landholders’ ability to sustainably manage their properties, hurt small businesses in local towns, and rip away millions of dollars worth of future growth in the agricultural sector.


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18 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Taroom glams up for B&S night

Amy Howe, of Theodore, and Lara Nobbs, of Bauhinia Downs.

LOOKING GOOD: Aisling Mulcahy, of Brisbane, and Damian Hatfield

, of Taroom.


Caity Kelly, Taroom; Shelby Merrit, Rockhampton and Jo Geddes, Rockhampton.

Imogen Kalan, Gold Coast; Natasha Garner, Manchester, United Kingdom; Nat Kelly, Taroom and Alicia Hawkins, Taroom.

Kaitlyn Hodges, Laidley; Louise Wilson, Mitchell; Caitlyn Bucknell, Tambo; Kristen Bucknell, Hobart and Amy Wilson, Mitchell.

B&S blokes Steve Mason, Theodore; Jake Sawyer, Isis; Richard Avery, Toogoolawah; Rhylee Bayles, Mount Larcom; Travis Collins, Rockhampton; Reece Hancock, Rockhampton.

Jack Gordes and Tom Smith, of Rolleston.

Anna Talbot, of Surat, Beth Thompson, of Injune, Ruth Milton, of Injune, and Mikaela Greenslade, of Roma.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Peter Lord and Mitch Oakes, of Rolleston.

DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Michael Buchannan, Hervey Bay; Kirsty Hay, Taroom; Kelsey Woods, Monto; Zoe White, Monto and Lachlan Smeed, Monto. PHOTOS: JACINTA CUMMINS

Maddy and John Angus, of Moranbah.

Linsie Dawes and Ashleigh Rodiere, of Kilcoy.

Melissa Speed, Karla Hicks, Alexandria Galea, Sarah Wells and Katie Kirby all travelled from Emerald for the ball.

Sheridan Larsen, Gladstone; Emily Pelling, Theodore; Bailey Grimes, Meandarra; Hailey Keene, Theodore and Kate Morley, Moura.

Nick Van Bakel, of Dalby, and Jane Ziesemer, of Taroom.

Ryan Llewy, of Stanthorpe, Scott McCallum, of Springsure, and Jack Colley, of Texas.

20 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Shock land valuations show market optimism Increases in land value across the southwest Alexia Austin RESIDENTS in Murweh and the Maranoa woke up to a surprise on Wednesday morning, with the new land valuation release detailing large increases in the value of land across the southwest. Maranoa boasted a 59.6 per cent increase in the value of rural primary production land, with Murweh following suit with a 52.9 per cent rise. The sharp increase to economic activity and a “continued level of optimism that surrounded rural land markets during 2017” are the reasons given for the sharp increases by state valuer-general Neil Bray. “Land values are generally static since the last valuation in the urban centres, with significant increases in the rural property market,” he said. “The median residential land value within the town of Roma remained unchanged at $66,000. “The continuing effects of strengthened beef commodity prices and low interest rates have generally resulted in significant increases in rural property markets throughout the regional councils.” The figures were less staggering when it came to residential values. Maranoa recorded a slight 5.8 per cent increase and residential value in Murweh dropped 57.9 per cent. Maranoa Deputy Mayor and portfolio chair for finance Jan Chambers said the council would be discussing

VALUE ADDED: A 2018 annual land valuation program snapshot from across the southwest. rate changes in the wake of increased valuations. “We were surprised by the extent of the rise,” Cr Chambers said. “We knew it would go up some but didn’t realise to this extent. “In relation to the valuations, they have increased significantly in the Maranoa and, therefore, as part of our next budget

We were surprised by the extent of the rise. We knew it would go up some but didn’t realise to this extent.

discussions, we will have to look into it.” Murweh chief executive

— Cr Jan Chambers

Neil Polglase said the valuation rise was positive in the current climate.

“While the region is in drought, I think it’s obvious that cattle prices are holding their own and maintaining current (land) value,” he said. “Murweh Council understands that there is a reduction in the residential valuations for the shire, so we will be determining our grading policies (for rates) based on the new valuations.”

The Balonne region, which was excluded from this year’s report, was valued in 2017. In that report, Balonne Shire Council land values had an overall increase of 17 per cent, with the value of rural production land rising 32.6 per cent and residential land falling 35.4 per cent in comparison to 2015 values. The 2018 valuations will take effect on June 30.








Tuesday, March 27, 2018

China sets high ‘baa’

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Felicity Brumpton returned home with a wealth of wool knowledge after a recent tour to China. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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“I definitely hope to stay in the industry once I graduate.” Ms Brumpton said the highlight of the trip was visiting the Nanshan Mill, where the students witnessed the conversion of raw wool into suits. “We got to see the raw product go in one end and the suits come out the other side,” she said.

The trip taught us about a side of wool we don’t usually see.

— Felicity Brumpton

“They were making a pair of trousers every 83 seconds. “It was a great group of people on the tour, Queensland was well represented. “We got to know each other’s backgrounds – it was good to hear everyone’s view on the industry and what they did back at home. “It was a big learning experience, it was a great opportunity to see that side of the industry and I would highly recommend the trip to others.”

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MITCHELL merino stud breeder Felicity Brumpton has returned from a tour of China with a wealth of wool knowledge. Ms Brumpton was one of 12 young wool growers selected from across Australia to attend AWI’s international tour, focused on educating the students on the journey wool takes once exported. The group visited the country’s biggest manufacturers of raw wool, including processing operation Red Sun, circular knitting mill Mengdi and well-known fabric processing operation Nanshan. Ms Brumpton, who is studying a Bachelor of Animal Science at Armidale, said the trip had opened her eyes to future opportunities. “Close to 80 per cent of Australia’s raw wool production is exported to China for processing, so it’s important to understand this market,” Ms Brumpton said. “The trip taught us about a side of wool we don’t usually see. “It was two-way learning, we also got a chance to share what we do at home with the primary production. “After hearing what the Chinese manufacturers had to say, it’s an exciting future ahead for wool production.

22 GRAZIER & FARMER Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Toyota’s top seller

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Toyota introduces more advanced safety features to Australia's best-selling large SUV pre-collision safety system (PCS) with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, active cruise control (ACC), lane departure alert and auto high beam. Towing capacity for all automatic models has been increased by 500kg to 3000kg and a rear differential lock has been added to auto

GXL and VX grades. Relying on a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror and a radar in the grille, LandCruiser Prado can operate its brakes autonomously to reduce the vehicle's speed. Lane departure alert monitors lane markings and helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions caused by

a vehicle leaving or changing lanes. If the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane without the indicators being used, the system alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings. Automatic high beam can detect the headlights or tail lights of vehicles ahead and automatically switch between high and low beams to avoid

dazzling other drivers. Drive Mode Select offers five modes which, at the turn of a dial, can provide the driver with the ability to set their preferred powertrain, chassis and air-conditioning settings. LandCruiser Prado's high-torque turbocharged diesel engine is equipped with an electronically controlled

common-rail direct-injection system. LandCruiser Prado is Australia's best-selling large SUV, with its nearest rival another Toyota, the petrol-powered Kluger. You can test drive the all new Prado at your nearest Black Toyota Dealership at Warwick, Oakey, Dalby, Chinchilla or Roma.

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Grazier & Farmer March 2018  
Grazier & Farmer March 2018