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Who are the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners?

Thursday, June 16, 2016 | Comments (0)

Who are the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners?

We get a few interesting requests here at Smartbag, but recently an email from my namesake, Andy (Andrea), piqued my interest. 

She wrote,
‘These bags are to be used for our care packs for drought affected farmers. We make these packs to ensure that our farmers are receiving the basic essentials that most of us take for granted. I am a part of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners who have now successfully done 11 hay runs to these farmers. Our last hay run was on April 1 to Ilfracombe.

We also delivered our care packs and hay to these farmers.’

Being a city slicker I had never heard of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and the name alone had me wondering. Burrumbuttock is actually a small town in the Riverina region of NSW. 

After speaking to Andy I learned story of the hay runners and its founder Brendan Farrell who has paid a substantial amount from his own pocket to make these hay runs to drought affected farmers and graziers happen.

Welcome relief for a drought-stricken far west Queensland

The 11th Burrumbuttock Hay Runners convoy Andy refers to above arrived at Ilfracombe, east of Longreach in Queensland delivering much needed fodder to drought stricken farmers.
About 250 prime movers and 400 trailers completed their 1860km run hauling $6 million worth of hay to the drought-affected area of Queensland.
With this run the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners smashed their own record hay run set in January, this time bringing in 258 trucks pulling 406 trailers, carrying nearly 14,000 bales of hay, which will provide relief to drought-stricken graziers.

The future

Founder Brendan Farrell says there are no plans to stop delivering hay until it rained and the drought finally broke.
Mr Farrell says the next destination will be to Thargomindah in remote south-west Queensland.

"They're in drought [and] I don't think half of Australia knows where it is [so] we'll put them on the map," Mr Farrell said.

"We'll do Thargomindah and then back into New South Wales and then back into Queensland — we'll see how it goes."

For our part, it is sobering to realise that the interior of Australia is so dry that graziers spend any money they have on just keeping their stock alive. There is nothing left over for basic needs such as shampoo or toothpaste – it is not essential to survival. 

They are caught in a catch 22 of having such a large amount of land they are unable to access assistance, but they cannot sell or make a living from it either.
Our bags will be filled with donations from others to try and help out with their basic needs. One colour for gents and one colour for ladies.

We’ll be keeping you up to date with the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners – their next run, who participates and who they help, and what of the future in an arid land?

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