Host: Yougawalla Pastoral Co.
Written by Jane Sale – Manager, Yougawalla Pastoral Co.
The basics out here are the luxuries because too often we have been without them. A house pump breaks or the solar electricity generator hasn’t got enough stored in the batteries to power the homestead and all of a sudden you are reminded of what’s important and plan on what you can do without . . . surprisingly quite a lot.
Satellite phone Unit and Solar Panels and Solar Inverter and Battery Shed.
When your water, power, telephone, or internet sources are compromised (this is not an uncommon occurrence), you are also reminded of what life was like for the pioneers of our country that had none of these luxuries and you feel grateful. This is a totally different attitude to when I lived in Melbourne and it was all managed by someone else. The power went out, so you picked up the phone waited on hold for half an hour, got annoyed, most of the time the power was up and running again before you spoke to anyone from the power company, not a huge price to pay really for the luxury of power.
Water pump and tank, School of the Air satellite dish, UHF Aerial, Satellite Internet, and Television Dishes.
Even if you did waste your time being annoyed with the situation you still have to, as we say, “suck it up and get on with it” because you are essentially the power Company, Water board, IT technician to name a few of the hats the cowboys and girls wear. My father has always said since we started developing Yougawalla that the cattle stations and small businesses we run and work for are essentially small Shire districts and all services need to be maintained. Roads, utilities, housing, health services, communication services, and most importantly water and food for our population, both human and bovine. You live out here because you love it (most of the time) and if you are up for a bit of adventure and unexpected hurdles in your everyday life. It’s tough, it’s beautiful, it’s unique, and the land we live and work on covers a huge part of this country we all call home.
The portable cattle ramps broken tow hitch needed to be fixed to get to the truck and get the cattle off. A roll of gaffa tape did the job that day.
I wanted to tell you a couple of examples of these breakdowns, to demonstrate the urgency of some of the problems such as, cattle or people without water. A huge part of these “Shires” we run sound extravagant but are small businesses with large expenses that if not managed correctly can quickly outweigh your usually once a year income from cattle sales. If you call in the serviceman to fix the breakdowns all the time you pay around $2000 travel fee to get them out here let alone the hourly rate when here. There have been so many of these problems over the years that I have lost track.
Flat tyres happen all too often and that doesn’t just mean changing them, it means back to the workshop to repair the tube and put the tyre back on the rim.
So I opened a can of worms. I sent a Facebook message to 30 of our station crew from over the years to ask them if they would mind jotting down any breakdown or stuff up stories they remember from their time at Yougawalla. Well the thread from this message has been an onslaught of yarns about all sorts of things going wrong, it got stuck for a while just taking the mickey out of me and has been an absolute laugh to read through, I have been in stitches. It has reminded me how resourceful people can be and I certainly don’t think this is something you can learn in a class room, it’s common sense and logic that some just have in their nature and you don’t have to grow up on the land to have it either.
Tune in tomorrow for more stories from our staff like the one below!
Language warning Facebook Thread Yougawalla Crew #1.