The 2017 Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival will once again be a jam packed long weekend of fun, mateship and top class events.
For many decades, the shearing industry has suffered a significant decline due to prolonged droughts and sustained attacks on the sheep by the ever-increasing number of wild dogs. With much consultation between graziers, communities and Government, the financial assistance given to rural Western Queensland to rebuild the dog barrier fence, has created much excitement for the long awaited return of the sheep.
The central west of Queensland has seen the demise of the proud sheep and wool industry attributed to commodity prices, drought and wild dogs over the last two decades. Producers had turned to cattle instead of sheep as their primary income source.
Now that the seasons have returned to more normal rainfall and demand has increased for wool and sheep meat products, landholders have changed their focus to bringing back the sheep. Producers, with the assistance of the State and Federal Governments are now fencing out the dogs with incredible success.
Bringing back the sheep will be a huge economic boost to our region with more shearers, shed hands, classers, pressers and yard labourers needed to shear the increasing number of sheep in our region.
Barcaldine has a proud history. The place where shearers and pastoralists clashed over better working conditions and pay in 1891. Where the Nations political system, that we all enjoy today, was born and where today those same shearers and landholders work together in unison to rebuild this important industry that will go a long way towards the sustainability of our communities.
I do hope you support this traditional festival. Have a great long weekend.