Riverina and WA sending more hay to Bourke

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed

The successful Burrumbuttock to Bourke Hay Run to aid drought stricken farmers has prompted more donors to come on board

Riverina and WA sending more hay to Bourke
Ready to depart Burrumbuttock for Bourke: Brett Lieschke, Glenn Lieschke and Howard Muller responded to the call for hay, trucks and drivers


The success of the recent Burrumbuttock to Bourke Hay Run in New South Wales has inspired more generous donations of hay, and organiser Brendan Farrell wants to hear from truck drivers who can cart the fodder from the Riverina to Bourke on April 4.

Meanwhile farmers in Western Australia have donated over 700 bales of hay for drought-stricken farmers in NSW and Queensland. Organisers now face the challenging task of finding transport to the east coast.

Farrell organised the initial Burrumbuttock to Bourke Hay Run after learning about the worsening drought in the Bourke region. He phoned Ben Mannix from Gumbooka Station and said, "Mate, you don’t know me from a bar of soap, but I’m going to bring you a load of hay".

The idea snowballed when Farrell invited other farmers and truck drivers to take part. Seventeen trucks rolled into Bourke on February 7 carrying 550 tonnes of donated hay which was distributed among 91 farmers.

Back in the Riverina donation tins were left in country stores and hotels, and school children organised fund-raisers for the hay run. Thousands of dollars were raised. When Rotary clubs, Facebook and the media became involved, the tally quickly grew to tens of thousands.

Farrell is now accepting more donations of hay and fuel, and is keen to hear from truck drivers able to take part in the second Burrumbuttock to Bourke Hay Run on April 4. Phone him on 0467 808 229, or visit the ‘Burrumbuttock to Bourke Hay Run’ Facebook page.

In WA organisers need help to move donated hay to NSW and Queensland during March and April. Volunteer Sam Starcevich urges transport operators returning empty to the east coast to consider backloading with the donated hay. Starcevich can be contacted on 08 9076 0031. To make a financial donation for the WA hay run, visit the ‘Farmers Across Borders. Hay from WA’ Facebook page.

Owner//Driver was in Walbundrie near Burrumbuttock for the start of the hay run on February 7. Read our full report in the March issue of Owner//Driver.

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