Have a look at this weeks Charleville Regional Report! We’ve covered all the big stories around our Shire including all the Hay Runners action, the Bilby Centre upgrade, Legends of League information, our local kids get forensic and a Polocrosse School for our players.
It may have been April fools, but this is no joke.
390 trailers full of hay passed through our towns on its way to drought stricken farmers. And for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners it’s been a long journey on our nation’s roads.
“We’ve done really well actually. We’re here an hour in front of time. A lot of people now are relaxing, taking it easy. We’ve only blown two tires on the run so I’m pretty happy,” says organiser Brendan Farrell.
Some of our locals got their first glimpse of the enormity of the 11th Hay Run when the convoy pulled over in Wyandra for the night.
There was a band, food and plenty of beer on ice.
The stop over wasn’t just to rest the weary eyes of the truckies, but it was a way of giving back to a small community business that is also feeling the pressure of the drought.
“Well their struggling here as well. The pub here is financially not real flash so we thought we’d stop here and give them a bit of a pump up and then go first thing in the morning. And Russ and Paula have done a great job organising this for us so why not support them,” says Brendan.
For many, it was their first time seeing the Hay Runners.
And no matter what their age, their appreciation for what Brendan Farrell and the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners achieve, was mutual.
“Because we think it’s a good cause. A good cause and just to see what they’ve been doing for each other. Beautiful…bloody beautiful.”
“I’m here this morning supporting them because I want to thank them for helping our Aussie Farmers.”
“It’s really an amazing experience. To think that one man can organise this. And he helps communities as he goes along because wherever they stop well somebody gets something out of it don’t they.”
Behind this record breaking convoy is a serious message – putting the drought on the map.
Pauline Hanson was once again the only familiar political face that joined the Hay Runners.
“It’s been exciting and the best thing about all this is seeing the people come out to the front gates, they might be huge properties, and you see the kids on the side of the street going like this, they want to hear the horn.
“The support from the locals all the way along was fantastic, the truckies are having a fantastic time they feel as though they are doing something for their country mates…and it’s true too.
“What I find very disappointing about this is that there are no politicians here and I’ve got to say to Malcolm, Julie and Barnaby…where the bloody hell are you?” says Pauline, One Nation Leader.
For Brendan, the lack of political recognition is a big issue.
“It’s great to have Pauline on board she’s a very good voice we’ve got. A lot of politicians would like to just sweep this under the table but the drought is a major issue in this country it’s as simple as that,” he says.
We’re no strangers to the drought here in the Murweh Shire so we know this hay and the national coverage it brings with it will be much appreciated.
So to Brendan Farrell and the Hay Runners we say thankyou.
Bilby Centre Upgrade
What was once an unused space is soon to be the new home of some of our region’s cutest animals.
The Charleville Railway Station has had a massive facelift, just in time for the tourist season… and will soon house the much loved bilbies.
“It’s going really well. We will be open this season and we’ll be able to offer shows all day instead of just the night shows which is really exciting.
“We’ve got a beautiful nocturnal house that’s being built as we speak and we’re just really looking forward to having you all come and see what’s been happening down here when it’s all open,” says Project Officer, Alys Haines.
The new show room will be the perfect home away from home for the Bilbys, and the change in location will also mean more tourist traffic through the doors.
Alys says they’re still hoping to give locals a bit of a special preview!
“I think maybe a lot of people have gone a long time ago or it’s seen as a tourist attraction but we definitely hope to offer some shows to the locals before we open up to the tourists anyway just so you can all see what’s happening here and be a part of it,” she says.
The Bilby’s new home is all thanks to a five-year lease agreement between Queensland Rail and Save the Bilby Fund.
The official opening date hasn’t been released yet but it’s expected to happen in the next few days.
Legends of League
It’s going to be a battle of the League Stars come April 23rd.
Local heroes versus national icons.
It’s the Legends of League and the weekend isn’t just about the entertainment factor!
“This year we’re raising money for the netball, also P&C, we’re looking at the dance and also Augathella so we’re trying to spread it because Murweh Council’s in Augathella so we’re trying to help all the different parts of the community,” says Troy Byers, Organiser.
There will be a gala dinner on the Friday night, which gives locals the opportunity to get up close and personal with the big stars, and then the action on the field kicks off Saturday morning at 9:30am.
“They all come out here, to put up their hand, and help the community. So, in a nutshell with the whole lot we’ve got players coming here that have played over 3,300 NRL games between them so out of 14 players that are coming here that’s unbelievable,” says Troy.
On the 23rd we’ll be seeing teams come from all over the region, junior teams and a women’s game.
But the showcase game, the Legends Game, will take place at 7:30pm.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a detective?
Local kids got a taste of just what it takes to be a Sherlock Holmes.
” I liked the knife and the blood…because the knife looks so real and especially the blood on the shirt. We got to investigate a lot of stuff like the cans the shirt, the broken glass which was missing a piece.”
“Because you get to solve lots of things!”
“Because they always find out clues and they always help people.”
The forensic workshop was a part of Blue Light and Charleville Neigbourhood Centre’s school holiday program, aimed at curing that holiday boredom.
“Well it gets them thinking outside of their normal patterns, that’s probably the biggest. Their sitting there and even the simple observation game you can see them ‘how am I going against other kids my age, am I doing quite well, am I working stuff out that others aren’t’.
“And I find that very good because that stimulates them when they leave here, they go home and maybe ‘I was going to follow up on that, or read about that, or watch that,'” says Sergeant Gregory Dwyer.
All they had was a broken glass, a bloody knife and a tee shirt.
The kids followed the clues and using their finely tuned powers of perception, got to the bottom of the crime!
“It’s not just about investigating stuff. You can do other stuff as well like arresting the killer, finding the victims body, searching for other stuff or other clues for the crime,” says one of the kids.
While we won’t ruin the plot line… you can be assured there’s some keen detectives in our midst.
Team sports are hard enough on two feet…let alone four.
Polocrosse isn’t a sport for everyone, but everyone who plays, loves it.
Our local players are gearing up for a better season then last and it all starts with polocrosse school…
“Every year I try to organise a coach to come out to give our club a bit of an edge, for young ones and first timers wanting to learn the game and people with green horses that want to get a bit into the game this year so we look for a coach somewhere and QLD Polocrosse subsidise us so much to do that every year,” says Evan Brassington, President of the Charleville Polocrosse Club.
Scotty Holcombe and Jordan Street were the two coaches for this year’s school and they brought with them a wealth of knowledge.
“Scotty Holcombe he’s been down playing at Quirindi and he’s been with a well known polocrosse player, Hayden Turnbull from NSW and Jordan Street which is his mate, and Jordan used to play for us as a Junior,” says Evan.
The drought has taken its toll on the sport in the past, but this year Charleville Polocrosse club are seeing a slight return to their normal numbers.
“Yeh the drought hasn’t been very good to us so once it breaks I think we’ll be back to full capacity with six teams.
“This year’s a bit of a look up we’ve got a few players, possibly might have three teams but we’ve virtually always got one traveling team that will take us all over the country side,” says Evan.
Our season here in Charleville will kick off on the 28th and 29th of May with over 15 teams expected to be a part of the competition…but our local players are already looking in fine form.