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Beyond the Bale : December 2018
68 ON FARM AWI-FUNDED SHEARER TRAINING AT TAMBO, QUEENSLAND An AWI-funded shearing and wool handling school held at Tambo in Central West Queensland in August proved very popular, which is a reflection of the optimism that is returning to the state’s wool industry. With buoyant wool prices and a growing network of cluster fences, there is a confidence is the Queensland wool industry not seen for many years, despite the drought. To help increase the capacity of the industry to rebuild, AWI funds training for novice shearers and wool handlers to attract and retain new entrants into the state’s wool harvesting industry. The training school at Tambo was initiated when Blackall woolgrower Alison Krieg contacted AWI’s shearing industry development coordinator Jim Murray seeking support to get a local shearing school up and running. AWI was glad to get on board and provided funding for the participation of gun WA shearer trainer Dwayne Black and fellow trainer Boogie Ferguson from Surat, along with Longreach wool handler trainer Tanya King. Alison and Tanya organised the school, with the generosity of woolgrowers Andrew and Louise Martin of ‘Macfarlane’ at Tambo who provided their shed, sheep and shearing quarters for the week-long school. Alison said the shearing school was fully booked out, despite the remoteness, and the 18 very enthusiastic youngsters contributed to the great atmosphere throughout the event. “We advertised the school in the Longreach Leader and word soon got around by word of mouth and Facebook. After we filled the quota for the school we were still getting enquiries,” Alison said. “We were very pleased by the response as we really need youngsters to join the shearing industry. The current local shearers are nearing retirement and woolgrowers are always asking ‘where are we going to get ourselves some shearers?’ “It was fantastic to see the smiles on the faces of the students at the shearing school Shearer trainer Dwayne Black shows the students at Tambo how to balance a sheep properly which makes shearing easier. PHOTOS: Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life. Tambo shearing school participants came from Thargomindah, Charleville, Tambo, Blackall, Aramac and Longreach to learn the tricks of the trade. Louise and Andrew Martin, ‘Macfarlane’, Tambo, supplied their weaner wethers, shearing shed and quarters for the AWI shearing school. – I had many of the young fellows there eagerly asking when the next school will happen. “Despite the lack of rain, there is a lot of positive feeling in the wool industry around these parts. There is a belief that the current high wool prices will hold up for at least a few years and producers are keen to rebuild their flock numbers.” These sentiments were echoed by Louise Martin who said the whole district was encouraged by the good turnout at the shearing school. “It was the first shearing school at Tambo for quite a while and it was a very well supported initiative – we need more of them. It was excellent to see the enthusiasm of the young team willing to have a crack,” Louise said. “With many older shearers retiring, it’s important that we have youngsters entering the industry because I can see more sheep heading up north – if we ever get rain – as graziers rebuild the industry to take advantage of good prices and confidence returns with the introduction of cluster fencing.”
In the Shops - March 2019