Fraser Coast truckies gear up for the next hay run
THE Fraser Coast division of the Burrumbuttock hay run has announced they will be taking more than 200 bales of hay out to central Queensland next month.
Organiser Andy Hamilton said five trucks, including two road trains, will take thousands of dollars' worth of hay out to Muttaburra and surrounding areas, joining dozens of other trucks from across Australia on the first hay run of the year.
The Fraser Coast team will start their trek out west on February 23 before meeting up with the other hay runners, who are travelling up from Darlington Point in New South Wales.
The trip will take the truck drivers about 200km further north-west than the last run.
Ms Hamilton said for her, it was a bitter-sweet feeling to prepare for another hay run, knowing so many families in central Queensland still needed as much help as they could get.
"We had a look in Muttaburra in July, it's a very small and really quaint country town," Ms Hamilton said.
"But they're struggling out there."
The Fraser Coast hay runners will be taking 200 care packs out west, filled with toiletries for the women living on properties.
Ms Hamilton said the Tiaro Lions club was heading out with the convoy, to cater for the Fraser Coast team and to distribute the care packs.
Although the Fraser Coast team took seven trucks on last year's run, Ms Hamilton said by using road trains this year, it saved thousands on diesel, which meant more money could be spent on hay donations.
"We've purchased more hay this year because we've saved $3000 on diesel," she said.
"We got on to a local grower who donated 60 round bales last year, they're in storage at the Riverside Christian College agricultural studies farm.
"We've got more than 200 bales at the moment, but the more money we get in, the more hay we take out [west], it's as simple as that."
The organiser said the local hay supplier had been struggling to grow enough hay for the bales, as the region faces its own dry spell. "The grass is not growing as much here," she said.
"So he's really going above and beyond."
The hay runners are still accepting donations, which can be made to a trust account managed by the rotary club of Maryborough City.