Article by Sally Gail courtesy of the North Queensland Register
A thoughtful initiative from people in Queensland’s far south west may not have been able to make up the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s quarter of a million dollar funding shortfall from the region this year but it has resulted in a welcome $17,000.
Thanks to Quilpie’s Nutrien branch, 10 head of donated cattle sold at Roma and Dalby last week, raising $13,457.
Together with a cash donation, Quilpie transport operator RJ Loveday delivered the cattle free of charge to Roma, and the Maranoa Regional Council waived the usual selling fees and charges.
The RFDS would normally benefit significantly from money raised at big name Channel Country events that were cancelled this winter thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Big Red Bash and the Betoota and Birdsville races.
Nutrien Quilpie’s livestock sales manager Chris Allan said they had clients spread from Quilpie to the NT border for whom the aerial medical retrieval service was vital, and they knew how important it was to keep funds rolling in.
“We sent out an invitation for people to participate by donating cattle and they just got in touch,” he said.
The donated cattle came from Peter and Wendy Sheehan, Quilpie; the Brook family, Birdsville; Bill Watts, Quilpie; David and Jennifer Heslin, Julia Creek; S Kidman and Co; and Hancock Agriculture, and Quilpie’s Stephen Blore donated cash.
“We felt we just had to try something,” Mr Allan said.
“I hope it’s raised awareness of how the RFDS has been affected, and maybe it’ll be three times bigger next time.
“We could even make it a regional or national thing.”