When widespread bushfires swept across ‘Culburra Downs’ near Waroona (WA), causing nearly $500,000 in damage to fencing and other infrastructure, owner Mick Muir sought an alternative fencing product to better protect his pastures.
Mr Muir runs Shorthorn-Angus cross cows and a hay-making operation across in the Peel region of south-west WA.
Upon returning to run the family property with his wife Helen in 2013, the 81-year-old livestock producer said he didn’t anticipate having to deal with such a damaging bushfire three years later.
“We lost 300 round bales of hay, two large sheds, two hay balers, a tractor and all our pastures were destroyed,” Mr Muir said.
“Thankfully, we had only minimal stock losses, so after the fire it was important that we got our fences back up and running to keep our cattle numbers secure and exclude feral animals from eating the new pastures.”
Soon after the fire, 18km of steel fencing was installed to ensure the cattle program was not too disrupted by the fires.
“Having the new fence gives me better control over my operation and I’ve implemented a pasture and stock rotation program which has also worked well,” he said.
“Good internal fencing has kept my pasture rates accurate and has given me freedom to sell my cattle in peak condition when the market is good.
“The Waratah products, in particular the Adjusta-stay strainer assemblies, have been really quick and easy to install, which is obviously very important when bouncing back after a bushfire.
“The overall design and structure of the fence was exactly what we wanted.”
Mr Muir also praised the help of volunteers in the aftermath of the bushfires, who he said were instrumental in getting his business back on track.
“We had plenty of support from many volunteer organisations, including Pinjarra Rotary Club who helped us pull down the old ruined fences, and BlazeAid volunteers who helped us install the new fences,” he said.
“We also had support from Waroona Lions Club, Red Cross, numerous local Church groups, and we received donations of hay from a number of farmers, which enabled us to keep our cattle alive.“
The fencing project was supported by the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, which is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
“With the help of Elders Waroona and Waratah this situation has improved immensely,” Mr Muir said.
“The high quality Waratah products gives us a secure long-term fence and we are looking to continue our fencing plan over the next three years.”
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Image: Mick Muir sought an alternative fencing product to better protect his pastures after bushfires caused nearly $500,000 in damage to fencing and other infrastructure.