When David Connolly, general manager of the Tipperary Group of Stations, heard earlier this week the Federal Government was mobilsing Defence Force aircraft to deliver fodder to starving, stranded stock in Queensland’s flood Gulf, he immediately made a generous gesture.
With about 1500 tonnes of shedded hay on hand and a RAAF accredited airstrip on Tipperary, he offered the property’s services for RAAF aircraft to fly in and load hay to deliver quickly to needy cattle producers in the Gulf.
That was three days ago.
All he has heard since has been crickets.
Today in frustration he took to Twitter to ask Federal and State political leaders why they were yet to respond while conditions continue to deteriorate for thousands upon thousands of standed, starving cattle:
Well WTF, feeling helpless. On Wednesday through @AgForceQLD we offered our RAAF accredited airstrip to the PM’s office to land planes, load our hay and send to the Gulf flood crisis to help our fellow cattleman. Still waiting to hear back. @troysetter @agintegrity @BoutaNT1976
— David Connolly (@sokitomi) February 8, 2019
AgForce CEO Mike Guerin also took to Twitter to voice his frustration at the ongoing delays:
Premier, we have had B-doubles full of hay waiting to go north since Monday & a military cargo plane waiting on the tarmac at Amberley to take it since Tuesday. Govt of all levels need to ACT NOW before thousands more cattle needlessly die. @qclnews @nqregister @AgForceQLD
— Michael Guerin (@MichaelS_Guerin) February 7, 2019
Speaking to Beef Central this afternoon Mr Connolly said he was still yet to hear from the Federal Government.
“We have got a lot of hay, I am sure we can get it down to where it is needed,” he said.
“We would sell it for cost, what it cost us to get it there
“It is our hay that we need to use for our cattle and our export yard, but we’re prepared to put our needs secondary to others’ needs which is keeping cattle alive.
“We sat on our hay becaue we knew how hard it was to get and we needed it, but we don’t need it as bad as these poor blokes with cattle standing in water.
“You’re not going to be able to save all of them but you’re going to save some of them.”
Despite not hearing back Tipperary still loaded it’s own semi-trailer with square bales and sent it to the Cloncurry clearing yards, where it likely to arrive some time this weekend.
Mr Connolly said a RAAF cargo plane from Darwin or Amberley could land, load hay and take it to Cloncurry in a fraction of the time and continue with round trips to stockpile hay.
“Here we are sitting on 1500 tonnes of hay that we could possibly distribute, we have a big airstip they could send the planes up from Amberley or Darwin, but we still haven’t heard anything.”