Sydney Water helping farmers suffering drought in Central Queensland

Media release

19 February 2018

Sydney Water has donated two truck-loads of hay to the Burrumbuttock Hay Run to help farmers who are experiencing hardship in the face of severe drought.

The hay came from the 175-hectare Picton Farm, which GHD manages on behalf of Sydney Water. The farm uses recycled water to irrigate crops that are then sold to local dairy and beef farmers as stock fodder. Biosolids from Sydney Water’s Picton Water Recycling Plant are also applied to improve soil quality.

The Burrumbuttock Hay Run was made up of 150 trucks in total that travelled more than 800 kilometres to distribute hay and essential supplies to drought-stricken farmers in the area around Cunnamulla, Queensland. It was the thirteenth convoy in four years.

The two truck-loads of hay from Picton Farm were delivered to two properties - 'Clover Downs', a 300,000-acre sheep grazing property and 'Baroona', a 100,000-acre property, both of which are located near Cunnamulla.

This is the third year that Sydney Water and GHD have supported the Burrumbuttock Hay Run. 

Will Davies, the Picton Farm Manager says, 'It’s inspirational to see people from across the agriculture and transport industries come together and donate their time and resources to help farmers facing tremendous hardship. We are proud to be part of this great cause'.

Truckie Michael Fergusson donated his time and his truck to deliver half of the hay from Picton to a very grateful Adrian and Sally Schmidt who own the property 'Baroona' at Cunnamulla. 

The Schmidts have been relying on cutting Mulga to feed stock. 

The remaining half of the Picton hay, 44 bales, was delivered by truckie Joel Lidgard to 'Clover Downs'. 

Clover Downs runs 14,500 merino ewes and currently there isn’t much out there but ‘rock, dust and a bit of bur as far as the eye can see’ where the stock are watered by open bore drains and fed on cotton seed.

Feral goats seem to be the only thing doing well on the property.

Gavin Landers, Contract Plants Manager at Sydney Water said that 'we are fortunate at the Picton Farm, which has access to recycled water from the Picton Water Recycling Plant, that we aren’t subject to the vagaries of weather that the majority of farmers have to endure.

'It is gratifying to be able to support the farmers facing real hardship in drought stricken areas in other parts of Australia.

'The hay is being transported at no cost to the farmers thanks to the generosity of all owner operator truck drivers who are donating their trucks, their time and fuel to do the run. 

'It’s a mammoth effort by the truckies and a very generous one on their part', said Mr Landers.

More information

Learn more about how recycling & re-use can be used in agribusiness. Read our fact sheet How biosolids are produced to find out why they're beneficial in agriculture.