Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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

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