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18,000 Cattle to Be Moved in Record Drive

18 June 2013

AUSTRALIA – Farmers have embarked on a treacherous drive through bare northern grasslands after the Australian Agricultural Company purchased 18,000 cattle from several Northern Territory farms.

Nine teams are being organised by boss drover, Bill Little who will walk the record number of cattle, to Longreach in New South Wales, reports ABC Rural.

"Eighteen thousand, predominantly heifers from AACo properties mostly from the Northern Territory, they're going to Uardry station near Hay and we're hoping to walk them all the way," Mr Little told ABC.

"The season's a bit up and down in places, but they'll be going direct, so I think we'll have a fair chance of getting through."

Cattle drivers are not expecting an easy time. Faced with limited grazing, low water supplies and other mobs of cattle on stock routes, it is decision time for many local councils as to whether the herd is to be allowed to pass through their district.

Winton Shire Council has refused the herd access, but the decision was later overturned by the Queensland Government.

In a written statement, the Department of Natural Resources says "following inspections of sections of the route, the department determined that adequate feed and water was available along the route and revoked the Council’s refusal of the application.

"This decision was in accordance with section 145 of the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.

"This provides an applicant with a natural justice opportunity to have a decision that they feel is unfair or unreasonable independently reviewed.

"The Act does not discriminate between stock from interstate or Queensland, or from stock within or outside a Council area.

"As a result of the department’s review, Winton Shire Council issued the required permits to the applicant."

Another mob part of the 18,000 is to be dropped in the Barcaldine district this weekend.

Blackall-Tambo regional council, in western Queensland, has only just learned of the droving plans and has organised inspectors along routes and closed its other stock routes.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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