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One too many droughts for western QLD grazier

Chrissy Arthur and Lydia Burton, Thursday July 24, 2014 - 16:09 EST
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An aerial view of the Channel Country during drought. - ABC

After 35 years on the land one western Queensland grazier has decided to sell up because of the drought.

Bob Morrish lives at 'Springfield' station south east of Windorah and is most well known for his work protecting wild river systems in the west of the state.

Mr Morrish is the Chairman of the Cooper Creek Protection Group, which was formed in the 1990's.

Mr Morrish says the Channel Country's known around the world for its natural values and he hopes to continue his involvement in the group.

"The Lake Eyre Basin and the Channel Country are regarded internationally as one of the last great relatively untouched desert river systems in the world.

"Most of the rest of such systems have already been tampered with.



"I will be passionately involved in protecting these rivers and the natural environments out here while I still have breath."

The retiring cattleman says he is trying to prepare himself mentally for the change.

"This final drought was the straw that broke the camel's back," he said.

"Springfield hasn't had a run of good seasons, I think out of 35 years I've counted about 23 or 24 drought years."

Mr Morrish has recently completed his final muster and sold the majority of his cattle.

"Considering the prices today, I am happy I am getting out of it, a lot of prices less than $1 per kilogram, so it wasn't all that flash."

During the mid 1990's until 2002 Mr Morrish owned another property north west of Windorah.

"When seasons were good, the cattle between the two properties bred up to 4,000 head," he said.

"That was probably the highlight of my cattle career."

Mr Morrish plans to leave his property during August.

"I'm not being pushed to leave or in any particular hurry.

"It will take a lot of packing up odds and ends and bits and pieces of one's life."

He says he is heading south towards Inglewood, where he grew up.

"I am hoping to buy a little paddock fairly close to Inglewood just to run my token little herd of Braford heifers and couple of bulls."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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