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PHOTOS: ROGER VOLZ

MARCH 2019 EDITION NO.15

Support through the drought Hay Run turns strangers into family ® PAGE 12 AND 13


westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Editors Welcome WELCOME to the first edition of Grazier for 2019 where we shine a spotlight on innovation in the cattle and beef industries, the people and characters working in the paddock and the latest issues facing landowners. In this edition you will read the wise words of WWF global livestock expert Ian McConnel who gave an impassioned talk to Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise members about the need for graziers to stand up for their industry. Beef producers know the practices better than anyone and they should stand proud with the work they do. Although we’re only a few months into 2019, we have witnessed graziers and landowners under attack from social justice warriors on Facebook. Armed with misinformation, these so-called activists have taken aim at genuine people making a living in industries that have sustained their families for generations. It’s worth noting the only time these ignorant activists have stood in a paddock is when they’re trying to put graziers under the microscope, making ridiculous demands. Thankfully we have seen the likes of Maranoa MP David Littleproud and Warrego MP Ann Leahy stand up for the industry and demand the removal of addresses from the national map released by a vegan organisation. Western Downs cattle producer Bryce Camm put it best in one of the articles in this issue, the best way to get answers and see what’s going on is to pick up a phone and talk to a primary producer. We also take a look at the ever-evolving practices in the industry to adapt to changes in the market. This has seen feedlots dropping entry weights to accommodate seasonal conditions to get cattle into the market and keep the supply of meat up. The beef industry has weathered much harsher climates and difficult opponents. There’s no doubt this year in the pages of Grazier you will read about the resilient, salt-of-the-earth producers who keep pushing to innovate the industry. Jordan Philp

Contact Us... EDITOR Jordan Philp, Phone: 07 4120 1017 Email: editorial@suratbasin.com.au ADVERTISING Greg Latta, Stephanie Stonehouse and Jessica Townsend Western Star Phone 07 4672 9927 Email greg.latta@westernstarnews.com GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw Email: Erika.brayshaw@apn.com.au 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.

Best Mates: Johnny Murray with one of his beloved horses

PHOTO: JANE CORNISH

Johnny’s Place: A memorial to remember two Mitchell icons Mitchell hasn’t felt the same since iconic duo Johnny Murray and his horse Minnie stopped walking the town’s streets. James Liveris IN MEMORY of Johnny, who died late last year, the Booringa Action Group plans to build a memorial so the legend and his horse will always have a place in Mitchell hearts. After an overwhelming amount of community support a GoFundMe page was created to raise money for a statue of the duo that will be placed in a public space named Johnny’s Place. Booringa Action Group said on the GoFundMe page that they shared this sentiment and had been working with members of the community to make the dream a reality. “We have now reached the point with the co-operation and support of the Mitchell Bakery and FoodWorks Mitchell where the vision can begin to become a reality,” the group said. “The area between the Mitchell Bakery and FoodWorks will be opened as public space and named Johnny’s Place, with the rear wall incorporating a cut-metal silhouette of Johnny leading Minnie. “This area was chosen as it was one of Johnny and Minnie’s favourite places to visit daily.” Booringa Action Group needs to raise $5000 in donations to make the memorial possible.

“The area between the Mitchell Bakery and FoodWorks will be opened as public space and named Johnny’s Place.”

Johnny Murray and Minnie.

PHOTO: JANE CORNISH


GRAZIER & FARMER 5

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

Farming is who we are, industry meeting told In an age of social media justice, the need for graziers and producers to put the pride they have in their industry on display has never been more important

LEFT: Bruce McConnel. RIGHT: Ian McConnel. Shannon Hardy WWF livestock expert Ian McConnel spoke to Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise members at the Intensive Animal Industry Conference about animal welfare, the importance of environmental sustainability and what it means for food producers. Mr McConnel said one of agriculture’s challenges was

that their product and impact were closely related to people a long, long way from them. “Food is a very intrinsic personal attachment,” Mr McConnel said. “It’s why so often there are beliefs attached to food. “Here in rural Queensland, as in rural areas everywhere, we have a physiological identification with meat production.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY “Animals and animal farming is who we are, it’s what we grew up doing, it’s what we see every time we go for a drive. “That is very different from the largest number of consumers, voters, politicians; we need to be aware of that.” Discussing social media use in the animal industry sphere, Mr McConnel said the intensive animal industry

was being told that everyone was against them because of what they saw on their Facebook feed. “You’re being told that everybody is against you because someone was against you. “When an activist says something, two groups listen: his Facebook friends and the person he’s attacking. “The person he’s attacking amplifies his message within

his peers; it’s why we tend to over-exaggerate the impact. “Farmers are one of the most trusted professions in the world, the only profession that rates above us are professions with your life in their hands.” Education is a big part of helping the wider public understand what goes on inside intensive animal industries and Bruce McConnel, the general

manager of TSBE Food Leaders Australia, encouraged producers to be open with those who show an interest. “If we’re proud of what we do, why shut it up?” he said. “If you are comfortable walking around a feedlot and you are comfortable in how you’re treating your animals then why should you be shy of showing that to anyone else? Absolute open door.”

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cluster fencing could revive ‘decimated’ towns Govt promises $6m to help protect sheep from wild dogs Jorja McDonnell MASSIVE declines in sheep numbers could become a thing of the past following the promise of a $6 million cash injection for wild dog exclusion fencing in Western Queensland. Agriculture Minister Mark Furner announced the news at an AgForce industry function and told members he had just signed off on the latest round of funding. AgForce sheep and wool president Alan Rae said exclusion fencing was critical to the resurgence of

Queensland’s sheep and wool industry. “Exclusion fencing is a wise and effective investment in the future of Queensland’s animal agriculture and the many rural communities who rely on it,” Mr Rae said. “Each year millions of dollars worth of livestock are killed or maimed by wild dogs and Western Queensland has seen a 75 per cent drop in sheep numbers. The economic, employment and social impacts of these stock losses extend well beyond the farm gate.”

A simple fence has been proven to make a marked difference for producers in the west and it is something that wool producer, agent and AgForce southern inland Queensland president Bruce McLeish has seen first-hand. “I’ve worked with Elders on their wool side and we had numerous clients in Western Queensland who have had exclusion fences up for several years and their return has gone up from 20 per cent to 80 per cent, even in the dry conditions,” he said.

Mr McLeish said claims that were investment could revive the wool industry were “an understatement”. “When I first started in the wool industry in Blackall there were literally millions of sheep, now the town is just decimated,” he said. “One of the things we have seen so far is for every dollar

spent on the cluster fence, there is a return of $3.28 back into the local community. “Apart from the shearers, it also brings teachers, shops, service stations, transport companies and agents, so the flow-on from the sheep industry is across the board. “The cluster fences are a game-changer and a lot of

areas already have them, so it is a continuation in places like Blackall, Quilpie, St George and Cunnamulla. “But there is still a lot of fencing to do, so that is where we need to put the pressure on the state and federal governments to keep funding them.”

There is still a lot of fencing to do, so that is where we need to put the pressure on the state and federal governments to keep funding them.

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PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Map doesn’t worry farmer Cattle producer says he hasn’t asked to have details removed because he’s got nothing to hide

NOT WORRIED: All of the information that Aussie Farms has pulled together is already publicly available, Beef Australia chairman Bryce Camm says.

MANY people have questions when it comes to farming practices and Western Downs cattle producer Bryce Camm said the best way to get answers is pick up the phone and ask a primary producer yourself rather than relying on the Aussie Farms map published online in January. Mr Camm, the chairman of Beef Australia, said the biggest concern for agricultural operators was the public promotion of addresses and locations of their homes and workplaces on the internet by

an organisation that does not have a good reputation of being a good corporate citizen. “Aussie Farmers and its founder has been challenged around illegal entry and trespass on private property on farms in the past and I guess from our perspective we don’t feel like a group like that promoting where people’s private homes and their families live is a good thing on the wider internet and social media.” Mr Camm said a number of parts of his enterprise were marked and identified on that map but he had not

requested Aussie Farms to remove his property details from their map. “It’s got to be understood that all of that information that Aussie Farms has pulled together is already publicly available. “Google Maps is a very helpful tool in showing what the lay of the land is across all industries and parts of the world and a number of details around specific operations are already collated through federal government and state government departments such as the national pollutants inventory which a number of intensive animal

facilities are already identified on.” Mr Camm said Aussie Farms had taken what was accessible information and made it very public through an interactive map that was promoted through social media. When speaking about not having their details removed

from the map Mr Camm said there were two views in his family. “Do we want to interact with that organisation that doesn’t have a good track record in being an awful corporate citizen? “It’s also to note that there’s nothing to hide in our

operation. “If a member of the public calls me up or calls up our office and requested to have a look at our site they’d be more than welcome; we do that regularly with community groups, with school groups, with people outside of our industry.”

The best way to get answers is pick up the phone and ask a primary producer yourself rather than relying on the Aussie Farms map published online in January.

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PHOTO: SHANNON HARDY


GRAZIER & FARMER 9

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

Digging out the best choice After 20 years of buying skid steer loaders, Owen Thomas has finally secured one from a local business, all thanks to Black Truck and Ag HIS purchase last month of a Kubota was a first for Mr Thomas, who for the first time did not have to travel to Toowoomba or Brisbane. “I like to be able to shop locally,” Mr Thomas said. “Black Truck and Ag were able to get it out here for me from Toowoomba in a few days, saved me having to go there myself.” With an earthworks business, his latest addition will enable him to use it for footpath and backyard jobs. “I’ve been in this business for 20 years, over that time I’ve used a couple of different brands, but this is my first Kubota and so far I’m happy with it.” David Mason, manager of Black Truck and Ag Roma, said since they had started selling the Kubota model of

Kubota has a really good name, they are made and built in Japan the skid steer loaders earlier this year, they had sold six. “We’ve been selling Kubota products for a number of years, but only ever their agricultural equipment, such as tractors and mowers,” Mr Mason said. “But this is classified as a skid steer loader, so it falls under their construction site. “We had to send our technicians away for special training before we could start selling these. “There are eight different

EARTHWORKS: Owen Thomas loves his new Kubota, from Black Truck and Ag. models, but all very competitively priced for the market. “So far we’ve sold four to farmers and two to commercial businesses.” Mr Mason said there were three big drawcards to purchasing Kubota equipment through Black

Truck and Ag. “Kubota has a really good name, they are made and built in Japan,” he said. “Also, they are available to purchase locally. We have branches in Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Moree and Dalby as well as our store here, so I was able to locate the

machine to sell Owen and have that out for him in a matter of days.” The last drawcard is the 24/7 breakdown service on offer. “We are able to service those machines on site,” Mr Mason said. Black Truck and Ag, which

PHOTO: GREG LATTA

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10 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Bulls bring in the bucks Couple’s move into the rodeo industry pays off Shannon Hardy RODEO bulls may not be everyone’s idea of a family pet but for Peter and Jaz Wallace the big bovines are a huge part of their lives. Peter Wallace has been involved in the industry his whole life. “My father used to have stock when I was a young fella, I rode bulls for 20-odd years and had a pretty keen interest in them,” Mr Wallace said. With a few practice bulls at home and some stock they picked up from saleyards Peter and Jaz got into the business themselves. “Probably about eight years ago we decided to get pretty serious about it.” After a good yarn between the husband and wife team they decided if they were going to get into rodeo bull breeding they were going to do it right.

“We invested very heavily in some genetics from the US and some good females, we were lucky enough to get hold of a couple of really good cows and then it’s just skyrocketed from there.” Wallace Bucking Bulls have lines that track heavily back to some high quality PBR bulls in the US. “Their bulls have been that good for so long over there and their lines and their genetics have been strong for a lot of years,” Mr Wallace said. It’s not just the male side of a breeding pair that needs to be strong. “We’ve got a very heavy female line from the US. “We’ve got a lot of females on the ground that go back to world champion bucking bulls. “Genetics is key, and you’ve got to have a really good female that produces not just one but multiple calves.” With family lines from the

likes of rodeo champions Little Yellow Jacket and Voodoo Child it’s certain Wallace Bucking Bulls are going to have some kick. In the 2019 Australian PBR season Wallace Bucking Bulls will have five Wallace bulls sired by Little Yellow Jacket in rotation. When selecting bulls Mr Wallace looks for athleticism and kick from a young age. “We just watch them and we try them all obviously with a remote control dummy when they’re about 14 or 15 months old. “We give them their first buck out with a little six-kilogram machine on

them.” Wallace bulls start in the rodeo arena at about four years old. “It varies a little bit because they’re a bit like humans actually, some mature quicker than others,” Mr Wallace said. Throughout the PBR bulls are scored and ranked just like the riders and the top PBR bull is named Bull of the Year. “There’s a lot more awards for the bulls probably now than there ever used to be,” Mr Wallace said. “Which is good for the contractors, it’s a big incentive for them as well to

Their bulls have been that good for so long over there and their lines and their genetics have been strong for a lot of years.

FAMILY BUSINESS: Pete and Jazz Wallace, from Wallace Bucking Bulls.

PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

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GRAZIER & FARMER 11

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

Wallace Bucking Bulls in action. try and bring the better bulls. “If you can show up with three bulls in your team and win that bonus on the night it’s a pretty big help.” With the amount of time and effort that goes into the bulls they really are an important part of the Wallace family. “They’re all valued pretty highly to us,” Mr Wallace said. “We think the world of all of them really.” The bulls are handled from

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

a young age so for the most part they are gentle giants. “There’s a couple there they’ll stand perfect while the vet or chiropractor is working on them and then when the ropes go around them they’re ready to do their job; they get excited and they’re ready to go,’’ Mr Wallace said. “You can hand-feed most of them actually, they’re just big pets really.” The Wallaces’ four-year-old daughter Mac

is already in love with the bulls. “I don’t know whether she’ll take it over eventually or what she’ll do, it’ll be her choice, but it’ll be there for her if she wants it. “She loves to feed them and mix the grain up now so we’ll see what happens in years to come. “Hopefully it’ll continue down the track and Wallace Bucking Bulls will be on the map for a long time.”

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The hay runners become a family A friendship was forged in the heat and dust of the Burrumbuttock hay run when a father and daughter met a like-minded driver Jorja McDonnell IT WAS the first stop on a hay run to Quilpie in Queensland, and a chance meeting between Alan Hardinge and Warwick Baker and his daughter Jess was the start of something special. The Bakers were travelling from Sydney in Jess’s 1981 Kenworth K100, and Alan, who normally drives freezer freight on a Melbourne to Adelaide route, had hit the road alone before his arrival at Burrumbuttock. “I met these two only three days before we made the deliveries in Quilpie,” he told The Western Times. Hailing from Sydney, the Bakers are a close-knit family both off the road and on, and

it made sense for them to welcome Alan into the fold. “When we met at the farm we were loading dog food together, and I said let’s hook up, because it’s better if you know someone. Al came over and pumped up the tyres for us and away we went,” Warwick said. Like many others who have become fast friends on the run, he suspects those bonds will last far beyond the drive back home. “I don’t do Facebook, but Jess does, so when Al’s going across to Adelaide, Jess will be saying ‘how ya going Al? You want me to steer it for you?’” he joked. The Bakers, who drive freight around Sydney and greater NSW, have made a

The 2019 Burrumbuttock hay run to Quilpie.

habit of welcoming others on their hay runs. “I turned 50 last year and took out two loads on the hay run to Cunnamulla, and after my first delivery I went back and asked if I could have another one,” Warwick said. “Jess and I set out to do that one when we came across another bloke from another truck. “His was overheating, so I just told him ‘you’ll be coming with us – you’re not doing all this run and missing out at the end’.” Repeating history on this run, the Bakers teamed up with Alan and put their trailer on his Volvo to take a delivery together. “Meeting new friends was definitely a highlight of this

trip,” Alan said. “That mateship and camaraderie out here is something else. “Everyone works together; if somebody has a breakdown or does a tyre, we all stop to help. “The friendships are reviving the lost art of trucking.” Together, the trio took 20 bales of hay and a palette of dog food to Giberoo Station, around an hour’s drive south of Quilpie. Home to a mob of sheep, a herd of cattle, three dogs, two horses, two budgies and John Kerr and his wife Margaret, there are plenty of mouths to feed across the now-barren 55,000 acres. The delivery was enough to

make three grown men cry. It was twice as much as John had asked for, and they unloaded with tears in their eyes, Alan said. “The looks on their faces were just wonderful, and Margaret looked like she was having trouble trying to keep it together, you could see the tears welling. “John was the same; when he saw that dog food the tears in his eyes were just ‘oh my God’. I think we all did a good job of keeping it together,” Alan said. “I’m a big softie at the best of times. “Before I left, my wife and kids were laughing at me, saying ‘Dad, you’re going to be a sook up there’.” Meeting the farmers truly

PHOTO: JORJA MCDONNELL


Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

GRAZIER & FARMER 13

FORMING BONDS: The 2018 Burrumbuttock hay run to Quilpie. PHOTOS: JORJA MCDONNELL left an impression on the city-based drivers and sharing life experiences over a homemade lunch struck a chord with the truckies. “I’ll definitely be doing it again,” Warwick said. “This is my second run back-to-back, so we’ll see about making it a trifecta. “Jess has been on five different hay runs now, so she’ll be back again for sure. Just try and stop her.” As for Alan, he’s become a Burrumbuttock regular, and said there’s almost no chance of him missing the next trip. “I’ve got to convince the boss, but I reckon I can do that; he’s pretty happy to have me out here.” Despite the many logistical hurdles of co-ordinating a convoy of 180 trucks dispensing fodder – and for the first time, toys for the children – over an area half the size of Tasmania, organiser Brendan “Bumpa’’ Farrell declared the run a resounding success. “Overall I was very overwhelmed; the Quilpie community and the

surrounding areas were bending over backwards – whatever we wanted they were there for us, even when the mercury hit 51 on Australia Day,” Brendan said. On an Australia Day weekend of many highlights, Brendan shared one story that left him choked up with emotion. A husband and wife had volunteered as drivers to honour the memory of their 12-year-old son who had died just a few months earlier in a tragic farming accident. He’d always wanted to join Brendan and the convoy to help “keep the dream alive” for the drought-stricken farmers. “All the boys did a 20-second horn salute with fireworks just to appreciate those two coming on the hay run,” Brendan said. “As the husband and wife said to me, the hay runners are just one great big family now... and that’s what it’s all about, building the bond between truck drivers and farmers, and the friendships that will never be forgotten.”

Overall I was very overwhelmed; the Quilpie community and the surrounding areas were bending over backwards – whatever we wanted they were there for us, even when the mercury hit 51 on Australia Day.

— Brendan


14 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Bryce Dooley learning the trade.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Augathella bull riding school

Brazillian Adriano Moraes is coming to Western Queensland to share his bull riding skills UP AND coming bull riders have recently learnt from two of the best in the business, Brazil’s Adriano Moraes and Mackay’s Shane Simpson. On March 2-3, former three-time PBR world champion Moraes made his debut appearance in the outback thanks to Adrian Roots at Lane Frost Brand Australia and the Augathella Diggers Rodeo Association. The two-day event attracted 25 bull enthusiasts and five aspiring bull fighters, ranging

from juvenile through to open and travelling from Brunette Downs to the Atherton Tableland to Toowoomba and everywhere in between. Augathella Diggers Rodeo Association president Paul Jones said thanks to Adrian Roots’ connections they were able organise a school for international rider Moraes to come to. “The participants received lots of drills for muscle memory, mental attitude and body stretches,” Mr Jones said. “The bull fighters learnt

plenty of bull control, position and cowboy protection. “Most of these schools are held at the coast, but I think Augathella was chosen because it had the best venue in the west to host an event like this.” Two Roma cowboys, Harry Brand and Bradley Brown, received the junior and senior most improved buckles following the completion of the event. “We wanted to be able to give the bush people a bit of a go at a good bull riding and

fighting school like this in the outback,” Mr Jones said. Due to the success of the bull riding school, organisers are already looking to host another in the near future. “We hope to run another one in the next year and both the instructors expressed an

interest in coming back to do the event,” Mr Jones said. However, Mr Jones said the weekend would not have been possible without the time and effort of all those who helped. “We need to thank our contractors including Dan

“The participants received lots of drills for muscle memory, mental attitude and body stretches.”

— Mr Jones

Joliffe from Joliffe Bucking Bulls, Ahern Livestock Contracting, Roots’ Mini Bulls, Len Joliffe Bulls, Duncan and Jamie Jukes from Jamaco Haulage who transported the bulls free of charge,” he said. “A big thank you also to the Diggers Rodeo Committee for all their time and effort leading up to the event and during the weekend, especially the secretary Bronwyn Hansen and the treasurer Felicity Rodd.”

PJH Livestock and Property continuing to achieve outstanding results for commercial and stud clients. Steven Goodhew | 0428 305 810 Admin | 07 4622 2622 116 McDowall St, Roma 4455 PO BOX 1107 admin@pjhlivestock.com.au www.facebook.com/pjhlivestock/ www.pjhlivestock.com.au

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GRAZIER & FARMER 15

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

Passengers get their caffiene fix Airport cafe makes a hit after its long-awaited opening A COFFEE shop in the airport has been a long time coming for Charleville, and two years after initial upgrades were completed, it has finally opened. Cafe in the Mulga is set up inside the terminal and is run by the Murweh Shire Council tourism arm. Tourism manager Monique Johnson told Grazier and Farmer that the cafe was always part of the plan for Charleville airport. “As far as I know, Cafe in the Mulga was in the works when they designed the airport a couple of years ago and that was all coming to fruition,’’ Ms Johnson said. “Once the airport was opened, which was the main priority, the cafe was priority number two and now it has been officially open for a full two weeks.” While it is still early days, Ms Johnson can report the venture is successful in supporting two jobs for locals as well as other Charleville businesses. “At the moment we have two girls there, working together and learning the ropes, and eventually it will be one person in at a time, maybe two depending on what day of the week it is. “They are finding Monday to Friday is really quite busy, while Saturday and Sunday are quiet enough that they can cope with just one staff member there. “The girls up there are making beautiful coffees and are supplied by other local

businesses around town; everything is sourced locally,” Ms Johnson e said. The new opening hasn’t gone unnoticed by Charleville locals, but Ms Johnson said the airport cafe is good news for those who have travelled even further to the airport. “A lot of locals already know that it is now open, but quite often we get people from Quilpie, Cunnamulla and those surrounding towns who are flying out of here as well. “It is great for them, because otherwise they come to town and then just sit at the airport for up to an hour before their flight leaves. “Now they can actually get a coffee, a sandwich, or whatever they like before they fly,” she said.

The girls up there are making beautiful coffees and are supplied by other local businesses around town; everything is sourced locally. BUSY: Cafe in the Mulga.

All food is made fresh on premise daily

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Open one hour before flights

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16 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Paroo Shire sports facilities and roads receive $1m of Federal Govt funding Maranoa MP David Littleproud has secured $1 million worth of funding for projects in the Paroo Shire through the Drought Communities Programme – Federal Government funding specifically designated to support communities in the most drought-affected regions of Australia. “The Cunnamulla region is facing ongoing drought and this Federal Government funding is designed to provide communities with cash for shovel-ready projects to help stimulate the local economy,” Mr Littleproud said. Under the funding, the Jobs Gate, Bundaleer and Munda Munda unsealed roads will be returned to a usable standard and the work will be carried out by local contractors. “One of the great things about the Drought Communities Programme is that funds are driven down into local groups who have a say in which local is contracted to make the upgrades,” Mr Littleproud said.

Within Cunnamulla, the John Kerr Park upgrade involves construction of new change room and public toilet facilities, a rejuvenated turf field with irrigation and perimeter fencing. “You can ask any rural community in Maranoa and they will tell you how important top-notch sports facilities are because sport brings locals together,” Mr Littleproud said. “Social connection is important in any town, especially during drought.” A total of 667 metres of new concrete pathways and kerbing will also be laid out around the town. “It is the Year of the Outback and I want visitors to feel welcomed and impressed by the spirit of Cunnamulla and support local businesses,” he said. Projects include: Cunnamulla Pathways: $100,000 John Kerr Park Upgrade: $250,000 Cunnamulla Roads Upgrade Project: $650,000

FUNDING NEEDED: One of the greatest issues facing the people of Cunnamulla is the quality of the road. PHOTO: CHRIS ISON

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GRAZIER & FARMER 17

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

CHANGE: The cattle industry is not at risk, it’s just operating a little differently.

PHOTO: MADELINE GRACE

Feedlots helping the changing cattle industry Entry weights lowered to take pressure off rain-starved paddocks earlier to get the pressure off the paddocks and keep supply up,” Mr Kelly said. Without feedlots doing their part we would be in a cattle slump without the supply chain to the meatworks and the markets would be feeling the strain. Mr Kelly said feedlots provided a market for producers and processors.

“From New South Wales to the Northern Territory, it’s pretty much the same story everywhere,” Mr Kelly said. “It’s dry, it’s getting to the pointy end now and we just need rain very quickly. “If we can get some good seasonal conditions to go with the strength of the market there’d be very, very happy days.”

The demand for Australian beef has never been stronger and if we can get some good seasonal conditions to go with the strength of the market there’d be very, very happy days.— Brendon Kelly

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LIVESTOCK agent Brendon Kelly hasn’t done a grazier to grazier transaction in over six months. While this may have been a cause for concern, the existence of the feedlot industry means that the cattle industry is not at risk, it’s just operating a little differently.

Thanks to a lack of feed, many graziers are struggling to get their cattle to what would normally be considered a viable entry weight for feedlots. To balance this, feedlots have been lowering entry weights to bring more cattle through their gates. “A lot of feedlots are aware of the seasonal conditions so they drop the entry weights so they can get the cattle in

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18 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How to choose the perfect flooring for your kitchen If you are planning on renovating your kitchen, you’re probably dreaming of a new four-burner oven, maybe you’re looking forward to more storage space, or perhaps you can’t wait to pick out the perfect colour palette

TILE KITCHEN FLOORS

Tile is a popular choice when it comes to the modern kitchen. What attracts people to tile kitchen floors is that they are very low maintenance. If you are someone who loves to get messy in the kitchen, tile flooring could be an excellent

choice. Tile flooring is available in a range of colours and styles so it is easy to find something that suits your vision. Ceramic tiles are particularly durable in high traffic areas which makes them great for busy family kitchens or if you like to wear your muddy boots around the house. The one downside to ceramic tiles is that they are often on the higher end of the price range.

CORK KITCHEN FLOORS

Cork might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking about flooring for your kitchen but hear us out. Cork is a highly durable material. It is also versatile and available in a surprising variety of colours and styles. If you tend to make a bit of a racket in the

kitchen, cork reduces impact and noise. Maybe one of the best things about cork is that it is environmentally friendly. This is because a tree does not need to be cut down to create cork. If you spend a lot of time standing up in the kitchen, cork is a great flooring option as it offers cushion underfoot after a long day at work.

TIMBER KITCHEN FLOORS

Timber is a classic choice for almost any room of the house. Timber will never look dated and it feels great underfoot. However, if you do settle on wooden flooring for your home you might want to consider choosing an engineered timber. Engineered timber is better for kitchens as it is less susceptible to movement

caused by changes in humidity and temperature. Timber is susceptible to water damage so be sure to keep your kitchen floor as dry as possible.

VINYL KITCHEN FLOORS

If you love the look of wood but new timber floors are not within your budget, you’re in luck. Vinyl floors now come in a range of colours and styles that look and even feel like real timber floors. Vinyl is also durable and easy to clean, making it perfect for family kitchens. Vinyl also works well in hot and humid environments, as opposed to genuine wood.

BAMBOO KITCHEN FLOOR

Another timber alternative is bamboo flooring. Bamboo is

technically a hardwood. However, it is often overlooked when it comes to choosing a floor for the home. Bamboo is surprisingly durable and comes in a variety of shades that look very similar to traditional timber floors. Like cork, bamboo is also a great flooring option for the environmentally conscious household. Bamboo grows much faster than most timbers and therefore can be

cut down without causing too much of a negative impact on the environment.

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ONE thing that should be considered before anything else when it comes to renovating your kitchen is the flooring. Flooring can make or break how your kitchen functions and there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration before you choose the flooring that will work best for your home. This article will take you through the pros and cons of some popular kitchen flooring options.


GRAZIER & FARMER 19

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

AERIAL VIEW: Cubbie Station and its water storage dams after approval of the Chinese purchase of the property west of Dirranbandi in Queensland.

PHOTO: MECHIELSEN LYNDON

Labor’s call on Cubbie Station A LABOR federal government would make Chinese textile giant Ruyi Shandong comply with the law and wind down its 80 per cent stake in Australia’s largest irrigated cotton property, Cubbie Station. Labor treasury spokesman Chris Bowen’s office told the Rural

Weekly’s sister paper The Weekly Times that Ruyi Shandong should comply with the original sale condition to wind down its stake to 51 per cent. “They should be complying with the law,” a spokesman for Mr Bowen said. Ruyi Shandong was originally meant to wind

down its stake to 51 per cent within three years of purchasing the Queensland cotton property for $240 million in 2012, under conditions imposed by then Labor treasurer Wayne Swan. But in 2016, then-treasurer Scott Morrison extended the deadline by three years.

The Weekly Times understands the new deadline is July 1 this year but has been unable to obtain the date from the Federal Government. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has refused to say whether the Coalition would hold Ruyi Shandong to the original condition of sale.

When asked what action he was taking, Mr Frydenberg said: “It is a long-standing practice that the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Treasurer do not comment on the details of foreign investment screening and subsequent processes as they apply or could apply to particular cases.”

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20 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

TSBE – Tech for intensive animal industries

Technological innovations have been making their way on to farms for years and they continue to change and grow as new technology is made available or as people in the agriculture industry find new ways to apply it in their day to day work LAUREN McNally has been implementing smartphonebased systems for Mort & Co in her role as HR and WHS manager to enable their staff. McNally posed the notion to attendees at the TSBE Intensive Animal Industry Conference earlier this month of spending their conference day with no smart phones, no access to the day’s program and no visual prompts, just the speakers. “You might feel great, you might feel carefree, you might feel uninhibited being in this room without technology. “However, chances are you might not. “In fact, 70 per cent of us feel even more stressed when technology is removed, not very engaged and are really not motivated.” McNally said she knew that people needed their technology in the agriculture industry and that it was likely they needed it more on days like the conference when they are away from the workplace. Connectivity was one of the major points she touched on and its importance in rural workplaces. “We’re going to be accessible to a lot more global teams so we’re going to be working a lot more remotely.” Connectivity on a smaller scale was also an important point in favour of technology. McNally said the outcomes Mort and Co wanted with their technology integration was transparency and quick access to information. “So wherever you are, in a feedlot or in head office, or

wherever you are on the road, anyone in our business can log in and get access to the information. “We really wanted to make people’s lives easier; we wanted to enable correct allocation of responsibilities. “What that means is often in a work situation an administration person becomes the sole knowledge base for a company because they simply have the computer or the technological application to receive that information. “That’s going to change dramatically in years to come. We want the

responsibility of the actual job including the technology to go to the supervisor. “So if you’re in a cattle pen you’ll have access to all the information you need.” McNally also said that because the system they implemented was so transparent they needed to be integral to that data. “We would like our information to be fluid, to be dynamic, to be constantly evolving as it’s happening.” Mort and Co started with two store-brought systems to work on employee management and have

since started on a third custom product to ensure their stakeholders have access to what they need when they need it.

We’re going to be accessible to a lot more global teams so we’re going to be working a lot more remotely.

TOP RIGHT: Lauren McNally talks Tech at Ag Intensive. BOTTOM: WDRC Mayor Paul McVeigh addresses the Intensive Ag Conference

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GRAZIER & FARMER 21

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

Improved access: mental wellbeing programs for Maranoa residents MP David Littleproud has secured an additional $187,000 worth of drought-relief funding through the Empowering our Communities initiative to enhance mental wellbeing for people dealing with drought “FAMILIIES farmers and business owners are put under immense mental strain because of drought,” Mr Littleproud said. “One of the best steps we can take is to learn how to manage the mental strain of drought and persevere with an optimistic mind through tough times.” The programs aim to

build lasting resilience in the face of adversity. A total of 25 community-led programs and events, administered by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, will encourage conversation and best practice regarding mental health challenges, suicide prevention and social and emotional wellbeing.

ENHANCED: Mental wellbeing programs for Maranoa. “In order to get on top of mental illness we need to be proactive and engage with mental health professionals and participate in wellbeing sessions – there is no judgement in that,” Mr

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Littleproud said. “With the addition of these wellbeing initiatives, I hope people feel some relief from the drought.” Because of concerns that people are not reaching out

PHOTO: ROB WILLIAMS when they need help, Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland will also receive additional funding to upskill locals so that they too can support those affected by mental illness.

The program, called Community Connections, will teach locals how to recognise people dealing with mental stress and provide guidance about professional support choices. “During drought we really need to be actively listening and watching what is going on with loved ones, colleagues or friends,” Mr Littleproud said. “When we listen and learn from one another and utilise the services available in these trying times, we are in a better position to sustain ourselves, families, homes and businesses. “Nobody needs to go through drought without a listening ear.” Areas in Maranoa to receive funding include Goondiwindi, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Toowoomba region, South Burnett and South-West Queensland.

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22 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Anabell and Tom Curtain.

OUT AND ABOUT: Ben and Cheneya Vetter. PHOTOS: CARLY EVERITT

Tom Curtain’s Speak Up Tour Tom Curtain’s Speak Up Tour was held in conjunction with the annual Welcome to Charleville at the Charleville racecourse. Almost 800 people registered, the crowd consisted of families from town and surrounding properties and it was estimated the attendance was far greater.

Halle getting her face painted.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019 westernstarnews.com.au

GRAZIER & FARMER 23

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