Hard fenc­ing work pays off

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - CASSANDRA GLOVER Cassandra.glover@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

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.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

Meg Rut­ledge and Don­ald Truss. The ex­clu­sion fence at Moble in Quilpie is 82km long.

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