Six generations of the Bonner family have farmed the Liston area with both Tim and father Peter saying the current drought conditions are the worst in both their lifetimes.
Six generations of the Bonner family have farmed the Liston area with both Tim and father Peter saying the current drought conditions are the worst in both their lifetimes.

Villagers upbeat despite ‘worst drought in memory’

A LITTLE to Stanthorpe's east is a village famed for its flowing green pastures.

Residents call it 'God's country'. We know it as Liston.

As the worst drought in living memory continues to plague the region, not even Liston has been spared from the wrath.

Most dams have dwindled to next to nothing, cattle owners have had to destock in record numbers, but there's an optimism among some residents that you won't find in many other places.

The Bonner family go back six generations in the area. They know it like few others and have experienced the best and worst it has thrown at them.

A drought in the early '90s hit them hard, but both Peter and son Tim, agree that this one is the worst yet.

"We don't need much rain to be pretty good here. We've been holding our own for a long time, a lot better than other places. But probably just in the last two months its really hardened up," Tim said.

The further along the Mt Lindesay Rd you go the worse it gets. Another Bonner, Martin, down at Wylie Creek is even worse still.

"We remember the 1965 drought and it wasn't as bad as this," Peter said.

Six generations of the Bonner family have farmed the Liston area with both Tim and father Peter saying the current drought conditions are the worst in both their lifetimes.
Six generations of the Bonner family have farmed the Liston area with both Tim and father Peter saying the current drought conditions are the worst in both their lifetimes.

Without significant rains before Christmas, things could get dire.

"If that happens and we don't get any, then it'll be the worst drought in history I reckon," Tim said.

Typically they'd have 1000 head of cattle, but they've reduced that number by at least half.

"The difference this year is the cattle market has been very strong. Good, prime cattle on the market have been making very good money still," Peter said.

For Tim, he sees the worst of the drought daily. When he's not on the property, he doubles as a water carter across the area.

"I was out at Pozieres the other day and someone said they'd had five inches all year. Here they might have got an inch on Friday - that's 20 per cent of their rain fall fell in a day.

"Ninety per cent of the loads I deliver is to Ballandean and the vineyards."

He said seeing their hardship was hard to stomach. But he's an optimist and believes the region will bounce back.

"As long as we get a bit of rain we'll be okay.

"Hopefully around Christmas we'll get cyclonic monsoonal events. Realistically, it'll rain," Tim said.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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