Outback News

To all members of our TAT family, readers and contributors, who celebrate Diwali..

We wish you Safety, Good Health, Happiness, Prosperity and Good Fortune.

May they all be with you in the coming year.


A consortium comprising four Australian grazier families represented by Messrs Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield (BBHO or the consortium), today announced its intention to submit a $386 million offer to acquire 100% of the shares of S. Kidman and Co. (Kidman) (the Offer).

Consortium spokesman Sterling Buntine said: “We have developed a compelling and superior proposal to that recently supported by the Kidman Board which will see Kidman 100% Australian owned.

“BBHO’s financing is committed and our proposal does not require Foreign Investment Review Board approval which means greater certainty for the Kidman shareholders.”

“The Kidman story and legacy of Sir Sidney Kidman is in the DNA of our cattle industry. Sir Sidney was a pioneering nation-builder whose values and vision helped build Australia into a respected leader in the global beef industry.”

“The four families comprising the consortium are deeply committed to honouring and preserving the Kidman heritage and brand which will continue under the stewardship of highly regarded and successful Australian graziers,” Mr Buntine said.

The BBHO families have direct, active, inter-generational involvement within the industry, and continue to this day to passionately work within their respective agricultural operations.

Interests of the group span livestock, grain, transport and other industry services.

Mr Buntine said: “As Australian grazing families we share a strong affinity with the Kidman properties. My father carted cattle for Kidman for many years, while several members of the Oldfield family earned their stripes as drovers on Sir Sidney’s properties. More recently the Brinkworth family’s epic 18,000 head cattle drive from central west Queensland to southern New South Wales followed in Sir Sidney’s similar footsteps from earlier this century.”

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Earlier this month, at the grand age of 90, Peter Tripovich has just completed a walk all the way around Australia.
The jubilant Echuca man strode down Melbourne’s Bourke St mall, arms held high in victory at the end of a decade-long quest.
The RAAF veteran and farmer began the walk when he was 79, wanting to raise money for children in poorer countries who were “worse off than ourselves”.
He started on the approximately 20,000 km walk around Australia in Melbourne, choosing to work with the charity, International Children’s Care Australia and aiming to raise $200,000. His anti-clockwise circuit continued for 15,000km when he reached Pemberton, WA. At that time, he needed to return home to tend his wife who had terminal cancer. He spent the next four years caring for her, during which time he flew to the mountainous Thai/Burmese border region to help build shelters for children and villagers. An experience that’s had a lasting effect on him.
Last Australia Day, at the age of 89, he returned to Pemberton for the final 3500 km jaunt to Melbourne. Each day he woke at 3 am and walked between 30-40 km. He was followed all the way by his support staff of three.

Peter is a true “aussie battler that overcame”.
If you would like to help Peter reach his $200,000 goal – visit ICC Australia

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) has strongly welcomed the Federal budget announcement which will provide GP registrars enrolled on the College Independent Pathway with the same access to GP-related Medicare benefits as their other GP registrar colleagues.

 College President, Professor Lucie Walters said the announcement would benefit up to 130 rural GP registrars who were undertaking their training through the ACRRM Independent Pathway, as well as removing a significant impediment for others who were considering enrolling in the program.

 The ACRRM Independent Pathway is a user-funded, fully-accredited general practice training pathway which is specifically designed to deliver long-term rural workforce outcomes.

 “This announcement will enable these doctors to fully access the relevant Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates and remove a significant cost and administrative impost on them, their patients and their practices,” she said.

 “The ultimate beneficiaries will be the rural and remote communities in which our Independent Pathway registrars live and work as skilled rural doctors.”

 While welcoming this announcement, Professor Walters said it was disappointing the Federal Government had not chosen to support general practice through lifting the current freeze on MBS rebates in the budget.

 “The ongoing MBS indexation freeze is threatening the viability of many rural and remote practices and placing unwarranted cost imposts on their patients,” she said.

“If we are to improve health outcomes in rural and remote communities, we need both skilled doctors and sustainable rural practices.”

A second native title determination has been delivered in two days with the finalisation of a claim covering almost 10,000 square kilometres across the west Pilbara.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the court recognised the claim from the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People at an on-country hearing at the House Creek picnic area near Mount Stuart today.

“This area holds great spiritual significance to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People who have lived here since time immemorial,” Minister Scullion said.  

“This determination recognises the connection the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People have with the area which is home to many sacred sites including ancient stone engravings and the permanent pools of the Duck Creek and other waterways,

“The Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People of the Pilbara have lived and worked in the region for many years,

“I hope with native title rights and interests now secured, there will be ongoing cultural, social and economic benefit that can be preserved for future generations.”

The Commonwealth is working with native title holders across Australia to ensure native title delivers the economic benefits that it should, by supporting native title holders better manage their rights and pursue opportunities for commercial activities.

“This determination will ensure the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People can continue their strong relationships with the land and water as well as obtaining the economic benefits that native title should bring.”

Over two hundred farmers and graziers gathered at Charters Towers Golf Course last Monday in order to attend the Rural Crisis Summit.

The Summit, which primarily focused on Drought and banking solutions, saw some of the biggest names in the rural industry attending and speaking.

Of those names, Bill Byrne’s, Minister for Agriculture, created the largest stir.

Farmers and graziers alike fired questions at the Minister in regards to his future plans for the Agriculture industry, specifically, his plans on creating new dams.

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Over the past 16 months Buy a Bale and Frontier Services have been working hard with farmers across NSW, SA and QLD to keep going through one of the worst droughts in history. With some areas now well into their third year without rain organisations such as Buy a Bale and Frontier Services are essential in helping keep these farmers on the land.

In the last 6 months many of the stories from the farmers have changed from “help us keep our stock alive” to “just please help”. Nearly all farmers have reduced their herd sizes to a bare minimum and are struggling with day to day costs of even feeding themselves. Farm equipment and other infrastructure is breaking down or wearing out and farmers are struggling to keep up the maintenance or repairs. This is further minimising their ability to create an income now and also plan for the future when the rains do eventually return.

Enter the Farmy Army and Farm Rescue

In the same way the Brisbane floods galvanized the community, Buy a Bale is putting together a Farmy Army. People across Australia interested in volunteering in rural and remote areas are being asked to register for the Farmy Army. “We’re in need of people with all skill types from cooking to mechanics, builders, plumbers, nurses and more, you name it they’re needed” says Charles Alder, Buy a Bale Campaign Co ordinator.

In the same way TV shows rebuild houses, two coachloads of 65 people will be selected from the Farmy Army and sent out to help the selected farmers repair or replace broken equipment and rebuild infrastructure that will enable them to generate an income and be less reliant on support agencies such as Buy a Bale.

Two weeks of Farmy Army activities are planned; the first leaving from Sydney on November 22nd and heading to the Far North Western region of Goodooga (NSW). The second week, departing from Brisbane on December 6th will support farmers in the South Western region of Mitchell/Dunkeld (QLD).

Each trip will provide volunteers with a unique experience by visiting some of the worst drought areas of Australia and providing help to struggling Aussies. Volunteers will be bussed out to each site and either billeted or camp near the properties in need. The trip itself will not be all work and no play with down time planned to show each of the volunteers what life on the land is like and a huge concert planned for the local communities on the last night of the stay. Country music star Sara Storer has volunteered her time to perform for each of the concerts which will be held in Lightning Ridge (NSW) and Dunkeld (Qld).

Support for the event has already begun with The National Road and Motorists Association, NRMA, coming on board as a major sponsor. NRMA Members and staff proudly joined forces over winter with Buy a Bale to help NSW farming families in drought stricken areas to get the support they need and are committed to furthering their support. In addition restaurant chain Ribs and Burgers will continue their support of Buy a Bale by feeding all the tradies and volunteers at the Goodooga and Mitchell concerts plus all nights at the Mitchell rescue. Frontier Services with 102 years of rural and remote assistance will co ordinate the Farmy Army volunteers matching their skills with farmer requirements through the Outback Links program ensuring that farmers not provided with assistance over the two weeks will receive help in the coming months.


To register as a volunteer or to get behind the rescue as a sponsor go to http://www.farmrescue.com.au


The Australia Times wants passionate writers interested in the Australian Outback who wish to gain some first-hand experience in the world of journalism.

The Australian Times is a free, magazine based, non-aligned, grassroots, national online publication. We are a blend of professional and citizen journalism creating online content for specialist groups and the community at large.

This magazine is intending to reflect the unique character of the everyday people of Australia’s vast outback country.

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