CLEAR SKIES SAP HOPES
DROUGHT IS A BYWORD FOR THE AUSTRALIAN BUSH BUT THIS PARTICULAR DRY SPELL IS TESTING THE PATIENCE OF EVEN LONG- TIME GRAZIERS. BY REGIONAL EDITOR dawn when they get up they look out at that bleached sky and one of them will say “no rain today, but it’s coming”.
It’s those last two words keep them going. “It’s coming.”
They are the words that keep everyone going who is waiting for rain. “It’s coming.” The rain is coming. They are the sort of words Ala- that
stair and Lyn have been using to ‘ gee’ each other along now for nearly 1930 days.
“It’s as dry as anyone has seen this county. The wilga trees and the vine trees are dying. No one’s ever seen that before,” Alistair, 76, says.
I have visited Ballater twice before over this long drought. Each time I’ve finished the story with words along the lines that perhaps this wet season, this Christmas, will bring the rain that ends the drought on Ballater.
It’s trite and you don’t want to say it again. You can hope for their sake that it will happen, but will it?
We’ve had a similar forecast for cyclones that we had in 2016- 17. Debbie came in, but she dumped all her rain from Collinsville down to the New South Wales border.
There was nothing in it for the Andersons or anyone else out in this part of the west. Even Townsville didn’t get a sniff of the rain that followed Debbie.
Alastair and Lyn have sold most of their cattle. They had 500 breeders away on agistment. That was