A truckload of true-blue Aussies will hit the road to deliver hay to drought-stricken farmers on Australia Day.
The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners will set off from Darlington Point with a convoy of 155 prime movers and 200 trailers bound for Cunnamulla in Queensland.
And the fair-dinkum fella driving this 13th hay run north couldn’t think of a better day to help out a fellow Aussie in need.
Brendan Farrell, who has previously dismissed calls for him to be named Australian of the Year, will be doing what he does best on our national day.
He’ll be getting behind the wheel to deliver hay – and hope – to 160 farmers who currently don’t have too many reasons to rejoice in the “golden soil and wealth for toil” lauded in our anthem.
“When you look at the conditions, Mother Nature’s being a real b****,” Mr Farrell said.
“It hasn’t rained and the cockies are pushing scrub all day in their dozers so the stock can eat the mulga.”
However, he said the town of Cunnamulla and the surrounding community were “pumped up” about the arrival of the hay runners.
“I think morale has been bolstered and everyone is offering to help out,” Mr Farrell said.
“It’s a good day to do it and this time I’m taking my young bloke Sam, 6, who’s had bugger all sleep he’s that excited.”
Mr Farrell said he expected the convoy to arrive at Cunnamulla by about 4pm for a quiet night of Australia Day celebratory drinks.
“It’s a great chance for the truck drivers to catch up; a lot of them have been on four or five runs through to all 13.”
But it’s on the Saturday that the real action takes place with the on-farm drop-offs a highlight of the trip, according to Mr Farrell.
“The truckies get the full experience of going out to see these farmers, the chance to share a cup of tea and a scone with them and really see first-hand the difference they are making,” he said.
“It’s why they keep coming back and it helps build relationships.”
The hay run will culminate with a free concert for the town and surrounding community on Saturday night with entertainment from Pixie Jenkins, Kirsty Lee Akers and Warren H Williams (Raining on the Rock).
While many of the country’s citizens will be kicking back enjoying the public holiday with a barbecue and a beer, Mr Farrell and his army of supporters will once again roll up their sleeves to put into action the often-celebrated Aussie spirit.
“It is what Australia does – mates helping mates,” he said in a video update posted to the hay runners Facebook page at the start of January.
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