Ute convoy hits the hay

HAY RUN: Helping the drought-savaged cattle are Gene Anderson and Brad Peacock.
HAY RUN: Helping the drought-savaged cattle are Gene Anderson and Brad Peacock. Paul Braven GLADROUGHT

THE convoy of utes headed west from Gladstone at the weekend loaded with more than 500 round bales of hay and seven tonnes of feed made a detour to Barcaldine.

Instead of ending the journey at Longreach, the convoy stopped at Barcaldine and unloaded at the showgrounds, dropping off donated trauma teddies to hospitals along the way.

The change was decided on Monday after organisers, who have been collecting donations since October, couldn't find anywhere available to unload in Longreach.

Organiser Gene Anderson said it was disappointing given Longreach was their main target.

"We couldn't do it unless we used someone's private block and that wouldn't make it easy for others to come collect it," Mr Anderson said.

"But the people of Barcaldine are deserving and suffering just as much as the people of Long- reach."

Barcaldine Mayor Rob Chandler said they would ensure the goods were distributed fairly by the drought committee.

He said it was a wonderful contribution from Gladstone and the surrounding areas, but admitted by the time the 520 bales of hay were divided between the struggling graziers - it wasn't a huge amount.

"It's special that a group has come from far and wide to support the community," Mayor Chandler said.

"That's why I love being an Aussie.

"People give knowing they will never get anything back."

Topics:  drought graziers hay weather

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