Follow up miracle

Longreach sign flooded. Picture: Chris Mogg.

Michael R Williams

“It’s God’s work.”

A jubilant Richard Kinnon, Longreach grazier and Outback Pioneers founder, tells the Leader about his reaction upon witnessing this weekend’s rain.

“That’s the best fall of rain we’ve had in ten years,” he said.

“This morning to wake up to that beautiful clean air – where the clouds had left and giving us all a chance to dry out and warm up again – that’s how the sheep and cattle feel anyhow.

“This will set us up like you would not believe for winter.

“We won’t have the heat to suck up the moisture.”

Unlike the rain had over Christmas which many farmers had described as patchy – this weekend’s rain was even.

Mr Kinnon said both his properties had received equal rain and its soft spread had been well received in the soil.

“With that kind of rain you’ll see all the herbages such as the lamb’s tail and western clovers return,” he said.

“It’s a miracle, to be honest.

“We’ve gone so long without it; you just start to believe it’s never going to happen.

“And, all of a sudden, it’s happened.”

In a previous story for the Leader, Mr Kinnon stated follow up to January rains had to occur by the end of March – the traditional end to the west season – lest graziers lose hope for another dry season.

And, Mr Kinnon had already booked his livestock for another year of agistment.

“We had given up on follow-up,” he said.

“She’s just going to be like every other year, we’re going to go into a drier winter.

“But, we’ve learned to live every season at a time, I think what this follow-up has done – we’re in for an absolute brilliant winter.”

Mr Kinnon said this would be enough rain to create enough sub moisture to get the region through the winter and into the next the next year.

He has cancelled this year’s agistment plans.

“100 per cent had given up on this year,” he said.

“The trucks have been ordered; they’re bringing them home.

“Agistment costs you so much money, so this is brilliant.”

The only bittersweet side of the late Autumn timing of the storms is for the tourists, who had sought refuge from the rain in the southeast corner of the state.

“There were a few long faces,” Mr Kinnon said.

“They see the funny side after I’ve talked to them for a bit – that’s the beautiful thing without here.

“Three or four days, and we’ll be in God’s own land then, it will be absolutely beautiful.”

Mr Kinnon has been urging tourists to take advantage of the rain telling them to “put their four-wheel-drive to work” and that rain will give them a unique perspective.

“Its ‘whet’ their appetite,” he said.

“Go for a drive and come back in a couple of weeks, and you’ll see a different world.

“We’re going to see the wild flowers as you’ve never seen them before.

“The purples and the yellows and all the wonderful colours.”