Long paddock, long haul

Long paddock, long haul


Dan Irwin and his dogs Rex and HeShe keeping an eye on cattle from Jumba Station at Charters Towers slowly making their way along the long paddock to less drought-stricken country at Clermont.

Dan Irwin and his dogs Rex and HeShe keeping an eye on cattle from Jumba Station at Charters Towers slowly making their way along the long paddock to less drought-stricken country at Clermont.

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RECENT rain wasn't enough to turn around a 1000-head mob of cattle belonging to Stirling and Gail O'Sullivan, currently grazing the long paddock between Charters Towers and Clermont.

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RECENT rain wasn't enough to turn around a 1000-head mob of cattle belonging to Stirling and Gail O'Sullivan, currently grazing the long paddock between Charters Towers and Clermont.

After two very dry years and a bank account haemorrhaging from feeding cattle, the couple decided to put their breeders in charge of a drover and head south from their Charters Towers base at Jumba station three months ago.

Thankfully there has been enough rain - 47mm at their Clermont property - so that there will be grass for them when they get there.

"It's very bare here at Jumba. We had enough rain a month ago just to grow green pick to feed kangaroos, and even when it does rain properly, it's going to take a fair bit for the country to recover," Gail said.

The droving has been an expensive exercise. As well as three men on the road with the stock and one driving a water truck, they had to provide lick for the mob at the start of the trip when they were a lot weaker, and hay to get them through a stage without feed.

Gail said they had been able to vary between slow droving and grazing permits depending on feed availability, and both Charters Towers and Isaac regional councils and graziers along the way had been extremely helpful.

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