Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 19 November 2017

Canny Aussie Tom steers his 18,000 cattle on a 2,500km old-style drove

'Eccentric' millionaire's mass transport plan

Tom Brinkworth purchased 18,000 heifers in drought stricken northern Queensland
Tom Brinkworth purchased 18,000 heifers in drought stricken northern Queensland

John Shirley

Finally a story from Australia. Last June Tom Brinkworth, described as an eccentric self-made millionaire owner of the 35,000ha Uardry Station in South Australia, purchased 18,000 heifers in drought stricken northern Queensland.

The job lot was bought for a mere Aus $8m. Transporting these animals across the 2,500km journey using 150 'road train' cattle trucks would have cost about Aus $1m.

Instead, Mr Brinkworth decided to re-activate the cattle trail routes and walk the mob of cattle for the 2,500km. The cattle are currently on route.

They are divided into nine groups each of about 2,000hd and are travelling at about 10km a day, each mob with its own drovers.

A major factor in Brinkworth opting for the walking trail is that the cattle can get their grub on route.

The cattle are not expected to arrive until after Christmas and by then his station should have accumulated a large reserve of summer grazing.

Trucking

Costs are expected to be about the same as for the trucking option.

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One group not impressed by Brinkworth's epic journey are the farmers along the ancient trail. In past times these farmers have used the trail area as reserve fodder in times of drought. Doesn't this give a whole new meaning to the term 'the long acre'...

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