TRUCKS loaded up with tonnes of hay arrived at the Budget Service Station in North Goulburn on Wednesday morning ready to embark on a heroic mission.
They were on their way to the small town of Burrumbuttock near Albury, which has been made famous in recent months with the formation of the Burrumbuttock Hay Run, an initiative founded by Brendan Farrell to assist farmers in Queensland and Western NSW who have been affected by many years of drought, and are often struggling to survive.
There have so far been 10 successful hay runs up to the outback town of Ilfracombe, with the 11th Hay Run arriving there last Friday.
More than 280 trucks, 410 trailers, as well as mechanics, auto electricians, paramedics, etc were involved in this particular run.
They departed from Burrumbuttock on Wednesday afternoon, stopping at Darlington Point, Cobar, Wyandra (far west QLD), Tambo and arriving in Ilfracombe at 3:30 on Friday afternoon.
Between 10-15 trucks from Southern NSW took part in the convoy, including stock feed suppliers Fife’s Stockfeeds, based in Goulburn, Hayter’s Haulage from Sutton Forest and Sydney Truck Centre.
“We arrived at Ilfracombe at around 3:30pm on Saturday with about 50 tractors that also came on trucks to help unload the hay bales,” Merino Cafe Gunning owner Damien White said.
“Then there was a barbecue and ‘exchange ceremony’ of the money raised for the Queensland farmers on Saturday night.
Myself and my fiancee run the Merino Cafe at Gunning and we had the Australian flag up in the front window of our shop, some information about the Hay Run, and where people could donate to the cause.
We managed to raise an amazing $2920 towards the cause,which is great.”
Goulburn Mulwaree Council and local Southern Tablelands construction firm ARW Multigroup also came to the party, donating 50 bales of hay and a tank of fuel to the mission.
Managing Director of ARW Mutligroup, John Ridley commented that thanks to some substantial rainfall in the Goulburn area in January, they were able to “take a second cut off our crop at the Council farm.”
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Goulburn received 121.2 millimetres of rain throughout January, which was over double the monthly average of just 60.3mm, and said that it was a welcome boost to the region and its agricultural industry at the time.
However the city was not so lucky in February and March, with only 45mm of rain to date.
The average for these two months is normally over 110 mm.
“Overall we have had quite a dry summer and so our region’s farmers are starting to struggle and we are in need of some good rain over the next month before we head into winter,” Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle said.
“However much of western NSW and QLD is in the middle of a crippling drought, and we have the opportunity here to have a positive impact by getting involved in the Burrumbuttock Hay Run.
The donation we are making will be trucked down to Burrumbuttock near Albury, and from there will begin its journey west to help out the farmers struggling with drought.”
If you would like to donate to the hay run, donations can be made to the Rotary Club of Sydney, BSB: 062 438, Account no. 10211156, with the description ‘Drought Assistance’.
You can also keep regularly updated on their Facebook page ‘Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.’