The group of Tasmanian volunteers with their Central Highlands farm sponsors.
The group of Tasmanian volunteers with their Central Highlands farm sponsors.

Tasmanian visitors roll up sleeves

THEY got stuck in the mud a couple of times and copped a few grazes from the barbed wire, but one thing these Tasmanian volunteers will never forget is the great Queensland spirit.

Central Highlands farmers, devastated by flooding and overwhelmed by the magnitude of repair work left in its wake, gladly welcomed the groups of farmers from Australia’s most southern state as part of the Fence Repair Flood Assistance Project.

Brodie McDougall, 20, from Scottsdale, jumped at the chance to help out a fellow farmer, but said he wasn’t quite prepared for the rugged Queensland bush.

“It’s a lot bloody different to back home, that’s for sure,” Brodie said.

“I come from a town of about 5000 people so Emerald is pretty big.

“The land is so different up here, and I don’t understand why every farm has barbed wire. It hurts.”

Brodie and Robert Bryant, strangers before their involvement in the program, said the time spent helping landowners was among the most rewarding experiences in their lives.

But there was always time for a laugh.

“I was meant to take the ute out to start the excavator, but there was a slight case of miscommunication, so I just kept driving,” Robert said.

“I was waiting at the dam thinking, ‘where is everyone’.”

In the worst case scenario, Brodie and Robert both said they would seize the chance to join the program again.

“Landowners Rex (Kirk) and Vic (Appleton) were really great to us and we want to thank them,” Brodie said.


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