Hard fencing work pays off
AFTER driving in 10,000 posts, Meg Rutledge is relieved the new exclusion fence on her family’s Quilpie property, Moble, is finally finished.
Originally named after the Mobile region in Alabama in the United States, the 48,562ha property has been owned by the Rutledge family since 1923.
“My father, Brian Rutledge, is a third-generation Moble grazier and runs the property together with my mother Kylie Rutledge and my grandparents, Barney and Helen Rutledge,” Ms Rutledge said.
“Our primary production is merino wool.
“We also have shorthorn beef cattle, and in the past decade have become more involved in marketing feral goats.”
Ms Rutledge said her family decided to build the fence to help protect their stock from wild dogs, and reduce ewe and lamb losses.
“The fence is about 82km long, 165cm high plus a single barbed wire, and consists of 10,000 posts I had the joy of driving in,” she said.
“It’s difficult to say how much time exactly was spent constructing the fence, given we were concurrently lamb marking, shearing, branding and dealing with the ongoing demands of being in drought.
“We started clearing the fence line in September 2017 and started driving in posts January 2018.
“The last coil of netting was rolled out Wednesday, October 10, 2018.”
Ms Rutledge said they needed one person to clear the fence line, two people to drive in posts, and two people to run the netting out.
“A contractor did most clearing of the fence line, so did various neighbours,” she said.
“Most of the posts were driven in by myself and Dad, and the netting was run out and strained up by a contract fencer, Donald Truss.
“Mum was a frequent attendee running out barbed wire and straightening any posts that required attention,
“And my little sister, Betsy, was also forcefully commissioned into assisting whenever she was home for uni holidays.”
Ms Rutledge said the fence was partly funded by a government grant, with the remainder being privately funded by the cluster.
The Rutledge family has also recently started a farm stay business, Moble Homestead.
Meg Rutledge and Donald Truss. The exclusion fence at Moble in Quilpie is 82km long.