Out­back cricket raises funds

Big Rigs - - TRUCKIN’ AROUND OZ - TRUCKIN’ AROUND OZ ALF WIL­SON con­trib­u­tors@bi­grigs.com.au

OUT­BACK road trans­port com­pa­nies and truck­ies of­ten come to the fore when sup­port­ing vi­tal char­i­ties such as the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice and An­gel Flight, which both save many lives.

Up­san Downs Live­stock Trans­port and Trop­ics Pe­tro­leum are two such com­pa­nies.

They sup­port Aus­tralia’s most unique cricket car­ni­val – the Reedy­brook Ashes, from which money raised goes to the RFDS, An­gel Flight and lo­cal clin­ics.

The 36th car­ni­val will be held on Septem­ber 22 and 23 at re­mote Reedy­brook Sta­tion, which is 40km off the Kennedy De­vel­op­ment Road in North Queens­land.

Twelve teams will bat­tle it out on three con­crete pitches at the cow fat­ten­ing sec­tion of the prop­erty and vis­it­ing play­ers and sup­port­ers will camp out near the fresh­wa­ter reaches of the mighty Bur­dekin River.

Teams and play­ers travel from as far away as Weipa, Townsville, Cairns, the Ather­ton Table­lands, Mt Gar­net, Green­vale, and even Bris­bane.

Cow pats and deadly snakes are some of the ob­sta­cles com­peti­tors will face.

Mark Olditch and his wife Raeleen own Up­san Downs Live­stock Trans­port and have a Ken­worth T904 pow­ered by a 550hp C-15 mo­tor and with an 18-speed Road­ranger gear­box.

Raeleen is on the car­ni­val or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee and Mark is a player.

Up­san Downs Live­stock Trans­port will spon­sor a new team called Basalt Ball Tem­per­ers.

“We have only been op­er­at­ing for just un­der two years in the Green­vale area and tech­ni­cally it is the first year our busi­ness has been in­volved, even though I have been on the com­mit­tee for quite a while now,” Raeleen said.

“We are only a very small busi­ness with the one prime mover and six decks.

“An­other truck­ing busi­ness in­volved is Tropic Pe­tro­leum, which has been a ma­jor spon­sor of the auc­tion for many years.”

Last year $25,000 was do­nated be­tween the RFDS, An­gel Flight and lo­cal RFDS clin­ics from the car­ni­val fundrais­ing.

Par­tic­i­pants will sleep in swags and money is raised from a cal­cutta, auc­tions, catch the pig, toad races, a kids fish­ing com­pe­ti­tion, raf­fles, cake stalls and live music at night.

There will also be a li­censed bar op­er­at­ing and many catch-ups with friends not seen since the last car­ni­val.

Kids and adults en­joy great swim­ming and fish­ing in the Bur­dekin, which has seen many sooty grunter and bream caught in past years.

For decades the car­ni­val was run by Reedy­brook Sta­tion own­ers Ge­orge and Joan Har­ri­man.

“They are still in­volved and will be there help­ing out again,” Raeleen said.

Ge­orge has been one of the prime movers be­hind the Gum­flats XI team af­ter which the crick­et­ing ground is named.

An­gel Flight’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mar­jorie Pa­gani said it as­sisted ru­ral fam­i­lies from all over Aus­tralia to ac­cess city-based med­i­cal treat­ment, and more re­cently has as­sisted in trans­port­ing peo­ple to Townsville af­ter the tragic Raven­shoe fire.

“More than 85 per cent of do­nated funds go di­rectly to flight co-or­di­na­tion and air­craft fuel – so the funds raised by the car­ni­val will have a real and sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on our ru­ral friends in need, pro­vid­ing many more free flights to town and home again, for much-needed treat­ment,” she said.

The RFDS em­ploys more than 400 peo­ple in Queens­land with po­si­tions in­clud­ing pi­lots, doc­tors, nurses, en­gi­neers, al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als, and a va­ri­ety of ad­min­is­tra­tion and sup­port ser­vices roles in­clud­ing fi­nance, mar­ket­ing and hu­man re­sources.

With its Queens­land head of­fice lo­cated at the Bris­bane Air­port, the RFDS op­er­ates 19 air­craft from nine op­er­a­tional bases in Bris­bane, Cairns, Townsville, Rock­hamp­ton, Bund­aberg, Charleville, Mount Isa, Lon­greach and Roma.

Next Jan­uary many of the play­ers will travel to Char­ters Tow­ers to com­pete in the Gold­field Ashes Cricket Car­ni­val.

This is re­garded as the big­gest cricket car­ni­val in the south­ern hemi­sphere and will have more than 220 teams.


CAR­NI­VAL OR­GAN­IS­ERS: Mark Olditch and his wife Raeleen near their Ken­worth.

Ac­tion at a pre­vi­ous Reedy­brook Ashes be­tween the Mis­fits XI and Tropical Cow­boys with cat­tle in the back­ground.

Some of the play­ers and sup­port­ers at a pre­vi­ous Reedy­brook Ashes event.

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