Long trip to help drought-hit

By Country News

Farmers from across the region lent a hand over the long weekend, delivering hay to drought-affected communities up north.

Run by the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, dozens of trucks and hundreds of bales of hay made their way up north to the remote Queensland towns of Quilpie, Thargomindah and Eulo.

Tallygaroopna’s Frank Fitzpatrick has taken part in his third Burrumbuttock Hay Run, taking his great-grandson Tyron Mustey along for the ride.

The duo transported 39 bales of hay, a mixture of 23 square and 16 round, to Quilpie.

About 180 trucks delivered hay to drought-stricken farmers across an area half the size of Tasmania.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who is a retired truck driver, said he was doing the hay run to give back to farmers.

‘‘I do it for the farmers,’’ he said on Wednesday before his departure.

‘‘They’re struggling and I got a lot of money out of them when I carted their produce.

‘‘Now I’m putting back in to the farming community.’’

It is a 3000km round trip.

The Lions Club Need for Feed Disaster Relief also worked over the long weekend, delivering hay to drought-affected eastern Gippsland and Bourke in NSW.