Hay diverted to Ilfracombe

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have changed the destination of their January hay run to overcome logistical concerns.

Hay diverted to Ilfracombe
Brendan Farrell says Ilfracombe, Queensland, has been chosen as the new destination for a convoy of 130 trucks.

 

Founder of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, Brendan Farrell, says Ilfracombe, Queensland, has been chosen as the new destination for a convoy of 130 trucks carting donated hay from the Riverina, New South Wales, on January 7, 2016.

Farrell originally planned to cart the hay further north to Aramac but was concerned the road would not handle the large number of trucks, especially if it rained. Aramac is about 100km North-East of Ilfracombe.

A ballot will determine which drought-affected farmers receive the hay. Farmers at Aramac remain eligible to go into the ballot.

Farrell estimates it will cost each prime-mover $2000 in fuel to travel from the Southern Riverina to Ilfracombe and back – it is about 1,700km each way.

The Rotary Club of Sydney is collecting public donations to reimburse truck companies for part of their fuel costs.

So far about $62,000 has been raised for fuel, but Farrell says that won’t go far between 130 trucks. He hopes another $70,000 can be raised.

Visit the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook page for details about how you can donate money for fuel.

Most of the trucks taking part in the hay run belong to owner-drivers or small fleet operators.

The drivers are motivated by compassion for farmers suffering consecutive years of drought.

"I’ve seen the toughest, roughest blokes in central Queensland burst into tears with this drought," Farrell says.

This will be the 10th hay run Farrell has organised. The first nine runs carried a total of about 16,500 big squares and rolls to drought-affected areas.

Our article in the December 2015 issue of Owner//Driver magazine had gone to print before the destination was changed.

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