Sunday, October 26, 2008

New movie saviour of the Long Paddock?

I doubt it.

Reading this article there's a lot of guff out there about "the Long Paddock".

Firstly, the author says she's in Sydney. Fine. Someone should tell her that Australian farms are called properties, and if they're big they're called stations. Not ranches. Their owners are usually referred to as graziers (livestock properties), not ranchers.

The long paddock was used to drive (herd) the cattle to market (by drovers) and in times of drought they were also used to feed the livestock which were kept on the move, or agisted. The most economical way to move the cattle was to drive them on foot, this also gave the benefit of grazing along the way.

In years gone by drovers moved cattle from far reaching properties to the nearest railhead and/or market stockyards.

Perhaps the article was written for the US market (in a UK paper?), but the correct Aussie terminology should be used.

Basically it's flogging Baz's new movie.


Boy on a bike said...

I was driving from Goulburn to Bathurst (via the back way) a few years back when I started seeing cow poo on the road. I slowed right down, for right around the next corner was a herd of cattle filling the road from side to side. I stopped and had a chat with the stockman, and said he had been droving his cattle for months up and down the back roads looking for feed. His only company was a dog, and the two of them looked mighty sick of each other.

kae said...

Sometimes it's the only way a person can keep his breeding stock alive.

Skeeter said...

There's a good article on Australia's TSRs (Travelling Stock Routes) at Wiki .

To get more water into the Coorong lakes, last week Penny Wrong spent $27.3M of our money buying a privately-owned (UK) cattle property. The grazing will cease, but not a drop more water will enter the Darling, let alone get down to the Murray and South Australia's Coorong system.

This economic vandalism by environmentalists grieves me, but at least their inane policies might help save the already publicly-owned TSRs. This para from the Wiki article explains why:

Travelling stock routes also provide crucial habitat and connectivity for many endangered species and ecosystems. Their length and density mean that they provide a comprehensive sample of the landscape and biodiversity of eastern Australia. [6] Most predate the late Victorian gazetting of conservation reserves, and thus provide substantial protection to highly-cleared ecosystems that were targeted for agricultural clearing in the preceding colonial period[7], and are therefore under-represented in the national park system (e.g., the flat land west of the Great Dividing Range). The entire network is publicly owned, and therefore represents the best remaining opportunity for conservationists to protect large amounts of threatened biodiversity. Further, the Travelling Stock Routes provide a serendipitous solution to the problem of biodiversity connectivity in the face of climate change. [8] As temperature and rainfall patterns begin to change, the stock routes represent a set of corridors that organisms can safely transverse to reach appropriate climatic conditions.

bruce said...


"As temperature and rainfall patterns begin to change.."

*Begin* to change.

They never changed before.


bruce said...

Caught a good piece last week on ABC TV, profile of an 8 tr old 'Shiralee' who rides up the corridors herding with her 40 yr's-a-stockman father - tough guy, nice story.

kae said...

Hi Bruce
Do you remember the name of the programme?
I'll see if I can find it on the web.

bruce said...

7.30 Report:

HOLLY GROTH: It's really fun 'cause I get to ride my horse all day; I get to be with my animals. And I really like chasing cows, and that.

A real modern Shiralee.

Firsrt 7.30 Report item I've watched right thru for, decades.