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Pastoralists rejoice as Red Centre rainfall brings relief after a dry summer in the desert

Katrina Beavan, Friday March 9, 2018 - 12:29 EDT
ABC image
Santa Teresa, 80km south-east of Alice Springs, received almost 100mm of rain this week. - ABC

Many pastoralists in the Red Centre are rejoicing today after some much needed rainfall fell in the region overnight and throughout the week.

It follows a dry summer and a year of for the region, according to the Bureau of Meterology.

Jervois Station, north-east of Alice Springs on the Plenty Highway, has received 87 millimetres since Wednesday while further along the highway Argadargada received 101mm on Wednesday night and Ooratippra 63mm.

Paddy Weir at Allambi Station, 100km south-east of Alice Springs, said the property received 47mm this week.

Ms Weir said the rain had brought plenty of relief after a dry 2017 when it didn't rain at Allambi from January until October.

"Last year we only ended up with half our annual average, so the average is 250mm, and we only got about 125mm," Mr Weir said.

"Things were getting a little bit grim so this is just fabulous."

Takes the pressure off

With the temperature dropping by 10-15 degrees in the past week many pastoralists, including Ms Weir, said the cool change was just as welcome as the rain.

"It's hard to believe last Sunday we were pulling a bore and it was stinking hot, because this morning it's just so cold."

The neighbouring community to the station, Santa Teresa, received 97mm this week, meaning both the Yam and Phillipson creeks have flowed and flooded out onto Allambi.

Meanwhile Georgie Hamlyn at Delmore Downs, 200 kilometres north of Alice Springs, said the station received 86 millimetres this week, .

"It was fairly dry, and we had quite a few dams that were starting to dry up and looking like they would like some water," Ms Hamlyn said.

"It just takes a lot of pressure off, especially the bores.

"There's water laying around everywhere which is very, very nice to see, the river started running at about five o'clock last night."

In the south-east corner of the Territory, steady rain has fallen over the last few days with 17mm at Lilla Creek, 39mm at New Crown, and 46mm at Andado.

Rain means change

For Stewart Weir on Ammaroo station, about 350 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, 71mm will mean changing plans for the next few weeks.

Mr Weir said due to the very dry summer, the station had been busy through the hot months offloading cattle, and pumping bores every day.

"We'd been in drought mode for a while, we'd shifted cattle around and had started to offload a few" Mr Weir said.

"We had a buyer here last week looking at a big line of cows that we were going to offload, but I guess that won't be happening now.

"They had a heap of calves on them so we'll probably grow them out now to weaner stage, and see what happens in Queensland.

"If we only get one rain here well then we've got heaps of options now that as well."


© ABC 2018

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