Brendan Farrell and Jodi Finnegan at Murgon Golf Club.
Brendan Farrell and Jodi Finnegan at Murgon Golf Club. Katherine Morris

Mass support for Hay Run organiser to be Aussie of Year

A CAMPAIGN started three months ago to show recognition for an Australian hero has received significant support online.

Geoff Coman started an online petition to have Burrumbuttock Hay Run organiser Brendan Farrell be recognised for his inspiring efforts to help drought-impacted farmers in Central West Queensland via being awarded Australian of the Year.

More than 250 trucks rolled into Ilfracombe on Friday with $6 million worth of hay. There were 258 trucks, 406 trailer and more than 500 volunteers behind the massive effort. People from across the country have praised the efforts of the truckies behind the hay run and founder Brendan Farrell.

As of 11AM this morning, 9,615 people had signed the petition pushing for Brendan to be named Australian of the Year - Sign the petition here:  Brendan Farrell for Australian of the Year

Do you think the organiser of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, Brendan Farrell, should be the next Australian of the Year?

This poll ended on 08 April 2016.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

AgForce Queensland thanks Brendan Farrell and everyone involved in the weekend's hay run to Ilfracombe on behalf of the struggling producers they have brought hope to.

General President Grant Maudsley said this is an unbelievably self-less act that the Hay Runners have been able to pull off not once, not twice, but eleven times and I take my hat off to them.

"Queensland producers have been doing it tough with this never-ending drought and may well have had our hearts broken but the spirit and generosity of the hay runners have lifted whole communities spirits which is ultimately what will pull people through," Grant Maudsley said.

"The effect on the communities cannot be understated by this generosity of local volunteers and truck drivers from as far away as Tasmania.

"But the reality is that Queensland producer's ability to manage drought and drought preparedness into the future is under serious threat and problematic.

"The Queensland state government has attacked farmer's property rights by introducing draconian vegetation management regulations that will limit producer's ability to be drought resilient in the future.

"The weekend's hay run has brought to light the fact that we need sensible laws to be able to grow our own fodder so that we don't have to rely on the generosity of farmers from two states away.

"I know the producers out there would much rather have sensible laws which enable them to effectively manage the ability to promote productive pastures on their properties.

"These laws need to go beyond the three-year bickering political cycles and not be determined by a few green votes in marginal seats.

"Vegetation management is an integral part of producers businesses and in rangeland production systems it is not often about clearing. Thinning invasive species in grasslands is a valuable tool in preserving productivity and biodiversity, which go hand in hand in Queensland rangelands.

"The cost of producing food and fibre in Queensland will increase under the lock down of farming land, threating to further restrict supply."

AgForce recently released a report that showed tree coverage in Queensland had increased by 437,000 hectares over three years.

"The government is trying to link vegetation management to carbon emissions, when the same data shows that tree coverage is increasing," Mr Maudsley said.

"The fact that the State Government are attacking farmers whilst 86% of this state is drought declared shows how little understanding they have of regional Queensland."


  • This was the 11th convoy of hay to Queensland's drought-stricken farmers that Farrell has organised under the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners banner since 2014.
  • The latest convoy consisted of a record 258 semi-trailers loaded with almost 15,000 bales of hay from his base in southern NSW.
  • In January, 119 trucks and even more trailers the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners convoy to drought stricken Queensland has got to be a record.

Hay was not the only donated goods to arrive via the convoy on Friday night:

Not only do we bring feed for stock we also had Loads of trucks filled with fresh produce, pantry needs, toiletries, dog...

Posted by Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on Sunday, 3 April 2016

Here is some aerial video of the convoy:

We sent Belinda up in the helicopter to get some footage of the convoy coming into town. Due to media restrictions we weren't able to share until now! Check this out 󾟱🇦󾓬󾁉

Posted by Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on Friday, 1 April 2016


Farmers have recorded messages of thanks over the weekend and posted them on the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook page.

Meet Kate who was collecting some fresh produce. Helps understand the flow on effect of the drought to others in the community.
Thanks for sharing Kate.

Meet Kate who was collecting some fresh produce. Helps understand the flow on effect of the drought to others in the community.Thanks for sharing Kate.

Posted by Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on Sunday, 3 April 2016