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Blinman/Hawker Bestprac Group Report

Posted by Bestprac on Dec 06 2010

By John Squires, Rural Directions Pty Ltd


The Blinman/Hawker group met at Gum Creek Station on Tuesday 2nd November, Melbourne Cup day, which ensured a “carnival” theme for the day. It was 3 months since the last meeting so there was a good amount of catching up to do – A large focus was on the excellent seasonal conditions and state of livestock.

A guest at the meeting was Mike Galea, a consultant with Environ Arc which specialises in designing eco-friendly buildings, providing disability access and project management. The company has just completed the design and construction of the new Coober Pedy airport terminal which has incorporated a range of energy efficient principles into the design. Mike discussed a number of energy efficient options for pastoral and tourism buildings including:

  • The use of hebel bricks for insulated walls and flooring.
  • The Coolerado solar powered air conditioner.
  • State Government incentive program for installing solar panels.
  • Horizontal rotary wind generators instead of vertical rotary models due to the improved efficiency.
  • Ultralast low allergy, non toxic paint with a 25 year warranty.

new Eco Lodge that the McIntosh family is building on Gum Creek StationThe group inspected the new Eco Lodge that the McIntosh family is building on Gum Creek Station to provide “high end” accommodation for tourists. It is planned that this will open in June 2011.




 The group inspected the McIntosh Dorper sheep flock. The property began to move from Merino to Dorpers in 2008 but needed to destock in 2009 due to the extremely poor feed conditions. A new Dorper flock was purchased in early 2010 and ewes have bred well with the excellent seasonal conditions of 2010. Bill and Jane have been very happy with Dorper lamb sale prices.

McIntosh Dorper sheep flock

Susan Carn was selected as a regional Climate Champion in early 2010 and has been providing climate information to local farmer groups. She ran a session at the meeting to discuss some of the weather features of importance to South Australia including:

  • Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)
  • Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)
  • Southern Annular Mode (SAM)
  • Subtropical Ridge.

Susan also discussed the recently launched Climate Dogs feature that has been developed by the Victorian DPI to assist in understanding these weather patterns.

We ran a $1 sweep and brought along fancy hats – These added to the race feel as the starting gates swung open and the big race was off! Mike Galea cleaned up the pool and promised to invest his winnings with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the FarmReady initiative, part of Australia’s Farming Future.

Last changed: Feb 07 2012



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