'Only generosity and Aussie spirit is getting us through'
WATER is a vital commodity for farmers and without it nothing moves.
This is according to drover Karen Mason who is part of a team of four brining a mob of cattle through the South Burnett for the first time in 28 years.
After not receiving any substantial rain for six months, Karne Mason and her partner Royce Bridges had no option but to leave their hometown of Amby in western Queensland in January, map out a route and hit the road with 1332 head of cattle in tow.
"All we are hoping for is early summer rains because if we get to the end of our route and it hasn't rained, there is going to a be a lot of farmers in a lot of pain," Ms Mason said.
"People can't afford to keep going on an never-ending bank account, they have got to make a decision."
"The drought is very widespread and if it doesn't rain I don't know what people are going to do. It is pretty scary.
"The benefits are that the feed is here, but the water is scarce. It is only the generosity of the farmers and the Aussie spirit that is getting us through."
The team of four has been making their way across the state travelling 10km a day on a route that has taken them through the Western Downs and now to the South Burnett, before moving into the North Burnett.
Ms Mason said that while farmers were struggling across the region, the side of the road provided lush feed for the cattle, compared to that out west.
"The paddocks I am looking into of other farmers' are light, but out west the drought has been there longer and it is dirt," she said.
"I am the first one to come into the South Burnett and with five to six mobs going over the same route out west there is so much activity on the route that there is nothing left."
"I am sure others will come through because they will end up in the same position where you don't have a choice."
Ms Mason, who is a livestock contractor, said they had to learn the art of droving along the way and had discovered it was a 24-7 job.
It's also anything but boring like she first thought it might be.
"We are so grateful to the shires and the department of main roads for supporting it to make our jobs so much easier," she said.