Minisode RACQ Foundation in Morven Part 3

Local farmer, Peter Bryant, talks to us about his drive to stay motivated during the toughest of times.

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Show notes

RACQ Foundation visit Morven to assist the drought-affected community. Local farmer, Peter Bryant, talks to us about his drive to stay motivated during the toughest of times.


  • Cattle grazier and property owner near Morven, Peter Bryant.
  • RACQ Foundation volunteer Andrew van der Beek.


Anthony Frangi: Hello, and welcome to another podcast from RACQ Living. I'm Anthony Frangi.

Anthony Frangi: As part of RACQ Foundation's continued commitment to helping drought-affected Queensland communities, staff volunteers from RACQ headed to Morven recently in south-west Queensland for the fifth RACQ drought assistance project, and it's here they caught up with many of the locals.

Anthony Frangi: Peter Bryant is a cattle grazier and owns a property called Albury just outside Morven. Peter's family has been farming there for several generations.

Anthony Frangi: In this interview, Peter talks to Andrew van der Beek at his property alongside Peter's family of roosters about the drive to keep going even through the toughest of times and how the RACQ Foundation has made a real difference to the community.

Peter Bryant: We've been on Albury since 1946. My grandfather moved here just after the war from Surrat which is between Roma and St. George, but Albury, at that time, was only half of what it is today. My father added another 30,000 acres to it back in sort of '50,'58.

Peter Bryant: Droughts are a negative thing, as we all know, and have untold sort of consequences to people and their future, so we want the young ones to come back, you know. We want them to, and we have another son, as well, but we want them to come back and prosper and carry Albury on. We don't want to ... Rosie and I don't want to leave here. We want to leave it in good stead for them to carry it on, yeah.

Peter Bryant: The next generation, they've got new ideas, new ways of doing things, and maybe more efficient. The property will benefit from the young ones coming in, and, so, probably, you know, I look at when my father was here and when I took over, and Rosie and I have done some pretty good things on the place, but there's still always a lot more to do, yeah.

Andrew van der Beek: Can you tell people who perhaps don't really understand what drought means, just tell us a little bit about the challenges, and how you respond to them.

Peter Bryant: I think western Queensland is maybe sort of part of our lives. I've always been taught that always be prepared for drought. It can sort of come up very quickly. I think this last five, six years has sort of been ... It's sort of gradually ... The rainfall is not good this summer, it's not good the next summer, then you get a bit of a break, it might be wind or rain or something, but, at the end of the next year, your pasture's not as good as what it should have been, and you're still trying to run, maybe not the same amount of stock, but you've got commitments. You've got to live, you know, you've got to keep the show rolling.

Peter Bryant: And, you know, it's always in the back of your mind that drought affects, not only financially, but you've got a big responsibility to look after stock. You can't let them die. That's what we're here, and we've bred a lot of our own stock, and we like them, and we want to care for them, yeah.

Peter Bryant: You wonder why you're here, but we've lived here all my life. Well, I've lived here all my life, so, I want to keep going, you know.

Andrew van der Beek: I imagine you spend long hours working out here and perhaps don't see a lot of the neighbours, but it must be good when you do have a chance to get together with some of the people working on some of the other properties, as well, and share stories and perhaps commiserate a bit about the challenges that you face, as well.

Peter Bryant: I was saying to someone the other day, when you're busy with drought, that's all you think about. The last thing you probably want to do is talk to your neighbour about the drought. You want to talk to someone about something else, you know. When you come in that back gate there late of an evening, you probably want to go inside and just forget about it for a while. You know, there's the old thing, there's always someone worse off.

Peter Bryant: We were talking last night, having the RACQ fellows here is a great thing, because they're not talking about the drought all the time, they're talking about other stuff. So, it's good for your morale and it's good for your mind, just to laugh about something or find out about someone else's life, you know, so.

Andrew van der Beek: I think people in a city just drive past to and from work and don't think much about it, but these are the tools of the trade for you. If these vehicles aren't working, then you're in strife, aren't you? So, having them be out here and give you confidence now that you've got these vehicles ready to roll for a while longer must be great, as well.

Peter Bryant: Having reliable vehicles on the place is important, because from here to the top bore's 12 miles, Morven eight miles, another 11 miles. Having vehicles breaking down and not being reliable is not only wasting time but, you know, if someone's out there and they get sick or they get bitten by a snake or something, and vehicles aren't operating, it's probably ... You've just got to be a bit on the ball with having reliability, and these fellows have looked over the vehicles and have pointed out things that could be a drama later, so that's been a big help for me, you know, to plan ahead.

Peter Bryant: We don't want to go through ... We always say, we don't want to go through what we went through in the last six or 12 months. We know it is going to happen again, even though, hopefully, we'll get good rain this summer and everything will change, but it's a little bit of a mistake that once all that grass is up and the creeks are all, and the dams, and cattle are fat, that you can sort of put it in the back pocket and not think about it.

Peter Bryant: But, I think we're getting better at it, at preparing for dry times. We've noticed this drought, because it's been so widespread, like, it's been New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, parts of South Australia, all of Australia's been sort of made aware of the situations, you know. I really feel sorry for some in some dry areas. Everyone else has had rain but someone misses out, and I really feel for those people, you know, that sometimes they get forgotten about, and everyone moves on, so, you've just got to be a bit conscious of that.

Peter Bryant: It does have an effect on you, you've got to be honest, you know. You probably think, well, I wish we got it and they and everyone else in the district got it, but it's just the way it is, and you've just got to accept that and march on.

Anthony Frangi: That's Peter Bryant, a cattle grazier just outside Morven in south-west Queensland.

Anthony Frangi: If you would like more information about the RACQ Foundation, visit our RACQ website.

Anthony Frangi: I'm Anthony Frangi. Join me next time for more RACQ Living.