Moura truckie joins Hay Run
MOURA truck driver Greg Lang was in the middle of the action with the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners last week as they delivered hay to drought-stricken farmers in Ilfracombe in Central West Queensland.
Ilfracombe is one of the hardest-hit towns in Queensland at the moment, at one point last year having faced estimates that the town only had five or six months of drinking water remaining.
Mr Lang said taking part in the hay run was something he had considered doing for a while.
"When they said it was coming to Queensland I thought that was a good time to put my hand up," he said.
It was the 10th trip completed by the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, a group started in 2013 by fourth-generation farmer Brendan Farrell to deliver emergency relief to farmers (and farm animals) in drought-affected regions of the country.
The Ilfracombe run was the biggest yet, with a convoy of 125 trucks hauling approximately 5000 bales of hay from less-affected areas in the southern states to Queensland farmers.
"It was just such a huge convoy, I've never seen anything like it... To be part of it was pretty special," said Mr Lang.
Mr Lang, who owns local business Lang's Livestock and usually hauls cattle, said he wanted to thank Banana Shire community members for helping him take part in the event.
"When I put up my hand and said I wanted to do it, everyone else volunteered and put their hand in their pocket," he said.
"Will and Tara Hay from Wiltar Haulage in Banana, they gave me the trailers, and Ron Tarry as well, he donated the dolly I needed to make up the road train.
"Rotary were also a huge help, they provided all the food for the trip and travelled with us. And Caltex provided some of the fuel."
Mr Lang's journey started in Wee Waa in north-west New South Wales early last week, where he and four other truckers loaded up hay donated by local graziers.
From there they met up with the main convoy at Burke, before passing through Burrigan, Wyandra and Blackall and finally arriving at Ilfracombe on Friday evening.
"I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was an overwhelming experience," said Mr Lang.
"There were farmers standing along the roads and clapping when we got into town - they had signs made up. Everyone out there is incredibly grateful," he said. "You don't realize just how bad it is till you get there."
Donations to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners can be made through the Rotary Club in Sydney.