A grazier with cattle on the stock route in north-west Queensland is using ABC Radio to keep her mob of 800 weaners settled at night.
Belinda Keats, from Gleeson station, north of Cloncurry, was forced to go on the road with her cattle in search of pastures to keep them alive.
She secured a permit to graze cattle on a section of the Burke Developmental Road and has now been camping out for almost four months.
“I kept looking at the grass on the side of the road and we were desperate. Our weaner heifers weren’t worth anything, and they’re our future,” she said.
“It’s been fantastic and the fact that I was able to get the permit was wonderful. We’re having to cart water, which has been a bit of a big deal, but the cattle have done really well. They’ve grown.”
Keeping the animals calm while on the stock route is paramount in allowing them to gain weight and stay out of harm’s way.
Mrs Keats explains her method of keeping the herd relaxed.
“They get the ABC at night. It just keeps them settled, so make it a good show!
“It’s just so they don’t get spooked by any loud noises.”
The Queensland Government is trying to make life a little easier for people with stock on the road.
Following changes to eligibility criteria of the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme, rebates are now available for the cost of trucking water to cattle on stock routes.
Mrs Keats says it all helps to ensure they have a future when the drought breaks.
“Drought is a terrible thing, it really draws on human resources, financial resources, mental resources.
“But if we can retain even the core of our heifers, then we’ve got something to keep working on.
“And I know, for a lot of people, they haven’t been able to do that, so I feel very lucky.”