Senator pays tribute to 'one of the NT's finest cattlemen'
UPDATE: COUNTRY Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion says William "Billy Hayes" Hayes was one of the Northern Territory's finest cattlemen.
"Mr Hayes was a fifth generation Territorian and well-respected and loved member of the Central Australian cattle industry," Senator Scullion said via press release this evening.
"The Hayes family has owned Deep Well Station south-east of Alice Springs for many years and Mr Hayes dedicated his life to working the property."
EARLIER: Tracey Hayes posted this message on social media this morning.
"On behalf of the Hayes family Jan , Jenny, Sally, Matthew, Kelly, Luke, Tom, Sam and Harry Hayes, we are devastated at the loss of Billy/Dad.
"The Territory has lost a fifth generation son and for that a poorer place.
"We feel the arms of the NT wrapped around our four boys, his mum Jan, sister Jenny and brother Matt and extended families and friends.
"For that we are truly grateful. His boys were his world. So much loss and heartache for one family.
"WRH 16/09/69 -12/07/16 We will keep you posted as plans to celebrate Billy's life and mourn his loss are worked through."
YESTERDAY: The Northern Territory cattle industry is in mourning following the death of Deep Well Station owner William 'Billy' Hayes in a light-aircraft crash.
A member of the pioneering Central Australian Hayes family, 46-year-old Mr Hayes reportedly died when he crashed his Cessna 150 plane yesterday (Tuesday July 12) while mustering cattle near the South Australian and Northern Territory border.
South Australian Police said they were notified of the accident about 1pm.
It is believed Mr Hayes was the only person onboard the aircraft. Police said the crash happened on New Crown Station about 200 kilometres north east of Marla in the state's north.
Major Crash Investigators have flown to the far north to assist the Australian Transport Safely Bureau in the investigation into the crash.
Mr Hayes is the former husband of NT Cattlemen's Association chief executive officer Tracey Hayes.
He was regarded as one of the Territory's best cattlemen. Mr Hayes' property Deep Well Station is located about 60km south-east of Alice Springs and 60km East of the Stuart Highway.
In 2011, Mr Hayes father, also named Billy, died in a quad bike accident on Deep Well Station.