Thousands of donated hay bales on the way to drought-stricken Queensland farmers

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: The Burumbuttock Hay Runners charity drive to Queensland began on Thursday and is due to arrive in Ilfracome on Friday afternoon. Picture: STEPHEN MUDD

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: The Burumbuttock Hay Runners charity drive to Queensland began on Thursday and is due to arrive in Ilfracome on Friday afternoon. Picture: STEPHEN MUDD

THE Burrumbuttock Hay Runners began their 1860km journey to central Queensland at 6.30am Thursday, when they pulled out of Darlington Point, bound for Ilfracombe.

About 7am the convoy, headed by Oakland truck driver John Doyle, rolled through Griffith.

Well-wishers lined Kookora Street to wave at the drivers and take photos.

The roar of the engines could be heard long before the trucks rolled into sight, with the beeps of distant car horns being met by the loud honks from the trucks.

Griffith driver Ross Duggan said he loved being part of the hay run.

“I’ve done it about six or seven times now,” Mr Duggan said.

“It’s good to help the farmers out, they’re doing it pretty hard up there.

“We’re going to cover about 1860 kilometres and arrive Friday night before unloading on Saturday.”

BIG RIGS: The hay carting convoy makes its way through Griffith.

BIG RIGS: The hay carting convoy makes its way through Griffith.

Ilfracombe is about 30 kilometres east of Longreach and is a region devastated by drought.

Mr Duggan said this was the first time they’d done the hay run to Queensland, but their farmers were suffering just as much as those in northern NSW.

According to Mr Duggan, about 120 trucks will carry 4500 square bales and rolls of hay on 138 trailers. On Saturday, they’ll unload the hay for the 265 drought-stricken properties.

The road trains will each haul about 40 tonnes of hay.

“It’s a hell of a lot of hay,” Mr Duggan said.

One thing’s for sure. After the two-day journey, Mr Duggan and his mates will probably be looking for a cold beer at the Ilfracombe pub on Friday night.

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