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Remembering Rain -

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(generated from captions) I don't want to be the guy, no. a bit more worrying dying Yeah, it'd be and the rest of the crew if I thought I'd have to tell Dad that little message.

DRUMS BEAT SOLEMNLY

KISHANDA: 5p. BEEPING

6p we've found so far, tax free. You found 5p already? So, that's There must be stuff under here.

Ooh! BEEP! Oh, God. That's my spade. when I put my ring under it. You watch. It's so funny DETECTOR BEEPS as a 1-cent piece. (Laughs) It comes up it came up as scrap. And the time before, on the road, darling. There's no point in doing that

We're not digging it up. DETECTOR BEEPS Yeah. Bollocks to it. Shall we give up? SONG: # Bless this house # Oh, Lord, we pray # Make it safe

# By night and day # Bless these walls

# So firm and stout # Keeping want and trouble out... # Shall I turn it off? Yeah, bollocks to it. fucking thing off now. OK, let's turn that

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This program is captioned live. fingerprints have confirmed Indonesia's police chief says Good evening. in court tomorrow A 25-year-old man is expected of a terrorist organisation. charged with being a member when the car he was travelling in The man was arrested late today the Sydney suburb of Merrylands. was pulled over by police in

fingerprints have confirmed Indonesia's police chief says suspects blew himself up that one of Asia's top terror in East Java. during a police shoot-out Azahari Husin had links to al-Qaeda militant network and the Jemaah Islamiyah

of the two recent Bali bombings. and was one of the masterminds had warned recently Terrorism experts Malaysian radical that Azahari and another from Jemaah Islamiyah appeared to be splitting to form a more hardline force.

most notorious paedophiles And one of the country's is back in court two young girls. for allegedly molesting Ferguson faces two charges 57-year-old Dennis Raymond under the age of 12. of indecently dealing with a child happened yesterday Police allege the incident west of Brisbane. in the town of Dalby, prison last December, Since he was released from a Sydney on three occasions Ferguson has been run out of town

in south-east Queensland. by suspicious locals Now, tomorrow's national weather - a few showers in Hobart, afternoon thunderstorms for Darwin, early rain clearing from Brisbane, other capital cities. becoming fine in the

'Lateline' is on at 10.25pm.

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WIND WHISTLES, FLIES BUZZ What IS a drought? It's an interesting question. it's six weeks without rain. To some people nearly three years. The drought's been... but not useful rain. And that's some rain, That's a drought - no useful rain. EERIE MUSIC CROWS CAW, SHEEP BLEAT

that there's no man alive MAN: I mean, you've gotta remember as bad as this. that's seen the drought SOMBRE MUSIC for over 100 years. MAN: It's the worst drought on record So, you know, this is what we're in. of all time. We're in the biggest drought

in dry times, you watch the sky. MAN: Everybody, when you're and you get your hopes up, You see the clouds and then they're gone again. and you get your hopes up WOMAN: We've all dug our holes. climb out of them. Now we're trying to and the rest will just be buried. And some might climb out

SOMBRE MUSIC CONTINUES

LAID-BACK MUSIC dry and sunny. MAN ON RADIO: South-west coast, Wagga, 21, Albury, 20.

The Riverina, dry. It's so dry. Griffith, 22. Upper western, dry. Cobar, 23, Bourke, 25. Lower western, dry.

Broken Hill mostly sunny and dry.

we've been out there at Burthong. MAN: It's about 4.5 years then we came out here We had a hotel in Condobolin, get this place up and running. to sort of see if we could WOMAN: The day we got here, for the house, we started to dig a big dam for four years after that, and it didn't rain so it might have been a bad omen. weeks and it's been dust ever since. But it went from mud to dust within

I put in 1,200 acres of crop MARK: When I first came out here and I thought, "Gee, this is great." and I stripped 1,251 tonnes, ..and we lost $90,000. Last year we put 5,000 acres in... That WAS a disaster. costs a lot of money, and... To put a crop in whether, you know, being marginal, ..and it just makes you think

whether we can afford to go again. to go again this year, We'll have to borrow the money within the next couple of months, and if it doesn't rain substantially

be, whether we'll be able to do it. well, I don't know whether it will We've been buying hay for them. We're feeding our cattle now. financial pressure, you know, DANNI: There's huge particularly every second day come in with the hay. when I see those big trucks It's going to be a test for us, a bulk of feed for the winter again, because...we need rain now to make with the cattle again. otherwise we'll be in trouble REFLECTIVE MUSIC

Come on, girls. feeding these cows a bit more hay, Well, I've gotta start to get down a bit in condition. 'cause they're starting a great heap of bales, One day I fed out and I twisted my ankle as I got off. and I jumped off the back of the ute (Danni laughs) Oh, gee, I'll never forget it.

He couldn't catch up with the ute. Oi! in first gear over the hill. The ute was heading off in drought. So, there can be funny times see the humorous side sometimes. Like, when you sit back you can (Both chuckle) way, but they'll be here in a minute. Yeah, here comes some more up this

super phosphate the other day, DANNI: We had to order our and that's probably $50,000 worth.

to sit in the shed for 12 months. So, I mean, that's a big outlay Ooh, he's right now. (Bull bellows) Knocked the cows out of the road. (Both laugh) Yeah, the trouble is that you can get in too deep, and...it sort of... You get that feeling now, you know, that maybe we have stayed too long. Look at the calves.

(Tuts) (Sighs) Yeah. Decision. Well, if it doesn't rain very soon I'm outta here, and I'm hoping...

If I go, I hope Mark comes too. (Laughs) We might...we might just go for a trip and try it out. Mmm, but we wouldn't come back. (Laughs) BLUESY MUSIC MAN: You go back 20 years,

there wouldn't have been a plough in this country, and now there is. And the wool market the way it is is probably more the downfall of the country than the actual drought.

MAN: Any farming west of the western land lease boundary that has a major emphasis on cropping is economic suicide.

It's not gonna work. You're just gonna run out of rain. And you've only gotta get the meteorology charts of rainfall out

and study 'em to know that that will happen. Sure, you'll get a few wins, but you'll get a bloody lot of losses. (Laughs ruefully) You've...yeah, you've really hit a good question there, yeah. Sometimes I really wonder what we're doing here ourselves. Grain prices are the same as they were in the '70s. You know, that's 30 years ago. Lamb prices are the same. Cattle prices are a little bit better. There's no money in the wool. So, when you look at all these factors, you think, "What am I doing out here? I'm mad." Another couple of years like this and it won't be sustainable for anywhere, I don't think, this life. Cattle people, sheep people - anywhere. But smaller operators, unless they've got off-farm income to ride out these sort of seasons, they're not gonna exist. EERIE MUSIC ALISTER: Well, this is it. This is our block. It's been a long time coming, but... It's not real big. That doesn't matter to us. We bought this piece of land to heal the wounds of the past, you know, when we lost our farm. Like, I was born on a farm as a kid, grew up as a kid on a farm

and never, ever envisaged that I was gonna be anywhere else but on the farm. And when the farm went, it was...it was devastating. And...didn't really realise how vitally important it was till the day we actually owned it,

and the feeling that came over me and Heather when we finally owned our own piece of land again. REFLECTIVE MUSIC SHEEP BLEAT SHEARS BUZZ ALISTER: Even though we're venturing back into farming, I'm probably grateful to my career as a shearer to make me see the other point of view, because certainly I probably had the potential to be a whinging bloody cocky too if I had grown up with it and never had a look at the other side of the fence.

You know, I'm going back onto the land fully aware with my eyes open that we will get droughts and floods. That's what's gonna happen to us. So we will have to have strategies in place that we're covered for that, or we can reasonably expect to go under.

We may even be one of the few to benefit out of this drought.

Like, we may be able to capitalise on some opportunistic stock-buying and possibly even some more land at bargain prices here in another few months. You know, this could be our opportunity to get set up for life,

which is cruel, but... it might be the way it goes. MOTOR HUMS This is some of the...sweetest bit of dirt you could ever want to own. You know, you could... ..you could plant thumbtacks into that and they'd grow into crowbars, if you got enough rain. And you gotta love that. WIND HOWLS, EERIE MUSIC PADDY: We've had some corking droughts over the years, some rippers, some absolute beauties. Well, I've seen a lot of droughts come and go, more than I'd like to remember, but that's a thing that you're gonna have to put up with in this country. And always bear in mind that you're going to have at least one bad year in every five. I've been working on cycles all the time, in cycles. I mean, I'm going on the fives. I think 19... I don't know about 1915 - I was just a few years old then - but I think that was a dry year. '35 was a bad drought.

'45, I just told you, was a bad drought. '65 was one of the worst droughts I've seen. Oh, there was a worse drought here. We had it pretty crook here in those early '80s. They were...they were pretty ordinary. '95 was a dry year - not real dry, but it was a dry year. Yeah, we've been there before and it's not a maiden voyage. SOMBRE MUSIC

SHEEP BLEAT Wool prices are not real flash at the present time, but they've still gotta get shorn. Win, lose or draw, you've still got to shear the sheep.

Oh, we're in the second and final day of Pat Quin's annual general shearing. Paddy lives out here with his family - his Filipino bride and their four children - and they seem to survive OK. Crikey, it looks bloody dry. Just don't look like it. We're in for a stinker.

Commencing stick... JAUNTY MUSIC Doesn't sound too healthy. Not picking up... MOTOR CHUGS

ALISTER: Shearing for Paddy Quin? Oh, it's a cross between hard labour and a comedy show, I suppose. (Whistles and barks commands)

We're always rolling drunk and well-paid when we leave there. It's probably the most fun we have all year.

SHEARS BUZZ One advantage about being a sheep shearer is you see a lot of sheep farmers,

and you see the ones that kick goals and the ones that don't. It's quite educational.

PADDY: I don't worry about shearing these days. Let these younger fellas do that. Yeah, they can bust their arse, head down and arse up all day. (Laughs) This whole shed is just about due to fall apart. The belt's broke there a few times, but I know for a fact that it hasn't hit anyone. No-one's got knocked out by it. I just said to Kerry, "This one's been workshop-checked."

(All laugh) Well, we've had yet another equipment failure, but you're now witnessing bush mechanics at its very best with Paddy Quin firmly in charge of the show here, and no doubt he'll have it operating, well, maybe not as good as new, but... (Laughs)

..he'll have it functioning in a fairly short time. (Laughs) Should last 200 years. (Men laugh) What's that split there, Paddy? It's not that one up there, is it?

You got any clearance, Pat?

See how he looks now. He's fixed it. Sweet as pie. (Men laugh) Just like a bought one. It's brand-new again.

Full changeover in 3.5 minutes. JAUNTY MUSIC CONTINUES ALISTER: Paddy Quin? Geez. He's rough as guts on one hand, but he's a wily bugger, don't you worry. 24. Well done, Nick! For all his "how ya going" set-ups he's got, his sheep cut beautiful wool and lots of it.

He's a pretty drought-resistant bugger, old Paddy. Piece of piss. If it gets too dry, he just offloads a few and keeps his breeding ewes and away he goes again. Pat Quin, yeah. He's an old acquaintance of mine. (Laughs) and his brother John. He's a real hard worker, Pat, I got a few of them XXXX Golds out. Ah, it's nearly good enough, Mark.

MARK: They're pretty rough men. They sort of live any old how and... out of the can, They used to eat baked beans

have for lunch today, John?" and Pat said, "What are we gonna of course. Baked beans." He said, "Oh, baked beans, Let's heat 'em up." "Oh, why don't we have a change? (Men laugh) No flies on Paddy Quin. FLIES BUZZ get to watch us sweat all week ALISTER: The farmers of flesh for every cent we earn, and we really have to give the pound for anything you don't do. and you don't get paid for the chequebook to come out, When it's time well, then it's their turn to sweat. Yep. There's your hard-earned.

(All chatter and laugh) SOMBRE MUSIC the season was magnificent. When Danni and I first came out here, we could hardly see the sheep in it. The grass was that high,

how much grass there was. And then, yeah, it was amazing just a few thistles. You can see there's nothing now - It's just all gone. but I hate the house. DANNI: I like living in the area, I sort of hope in a little way Each windstorm, actually, the roof and the walls might cave in that the sheets of tin will blow off we HAVE to do something" then. and then I'll think, "Well, the priority at all, you know. But I guess the house is not on the farm beforehand. We need other things shovel down the throats of the cows Maybe all that hay that we a new house, but... could have gone into a garden? INTERVIEWER: How important's

Well...it was very important to us, it just wasn't feasible, yeah, so... but then when we ran out of water my wife. MARK: It's pretty hard on Danni, being out here, you know, I think it's pretty important the right girl with you. to have the right... SQUEALING NOISE of anyone, really, out in the bush... I think it's probably the success for a wife. ..good, solid, strong woman with 'em Probably don't tell her that enough. she's still here. (Laughs) But anyway, POIGNANT MUSIC

of the garden, I guess. Well, this is what's left

was all green grass, Just out towards us out this way

a dog's playground now. and obviously there's just that survived. This was my one patch of lawn That's it. Hasn't needed mowing. And I'm not sure how it survived. at the bore just up the road, We had water over here and we were feeding them. so we had a lot of cattle around here where a couple didn't make it. You can see the remnants over here

Few bones about... ..under this tree here. EERIE MUSIC

Can't do much for that one. if he's OK and he says he is. DANNI: Mentally, I often ask him But then, yeah, you wonder. When times were really bad, or send one of the kids with him. I'd either go with him he hasn't succeeded, I think he feels

to do with him, really. but it's nothing It's not his fault. everything run the way I want it to, This job here, I wanted to have

of...it's really been difficult. but because of the drought it's sort It's...it's... It's kept...it's... It's nearly gotten on top of me what I want to do. because it won't let me do and make this project work, I want to make good ..it's just very humiliating but... (Sighs) when you're not in control. And I think that's... Danni will... Every now and again, you know,

She'll have a bit of a cry, and... (Stammers) You can't stop her. down myself when I just get out of... (Emotionally) I sometimes get a bit

I could get on top of it. (Stammers) I just wish and I don't like it. Gets out of my control, So, anyway... We just stick at it. If we can stick at it, we're right. It's certainly very trying. Sorry about that.

This is the house tank at Wilgamoon. but they couldn't do much. The governments have been good, There's only X amount of money to a lot of people. and it's gotta get distributed

BLUESY MUSIC We've gotta be versatile. PETER: Gotta be adaptable. Gotta have a go. with your hand out. Can't sit on your arse drought policies encourage people And some of the government to hang on and hope. if they're gonna have 'em, Government drought policies should, to pack up and ping off. they should encourage people

The Yanks get it, so... have to have a drought. (Stammers) And they don't even as well cop some too, I guess. So we might as well, yeah, we might I'm buggered if I know. and gets no cattle for it, If a bloke's got a road train he goes broke.

his bloody truck and that's it. The finance company take He gets no assistance. So, why should we?

to the government and said, You know, I think if we went last week that didn't run a place - "I just took 10 horses to the races I think they'd laugh at you. "how about giving me $1,000?",

either paying flood relief The governments seem to be paying drought relief. and immediately after it, a bit odd, really. Like, it's...it seems If you took drought assistance away quite a few people, it would probably wreck

preventing nature taking its course? but on the other hand, are you really EERIE MUSIC DRIVING GUITAR MUSIC special store sheep sale. ALISTER: Well, we're at the Narromine excited, worried - I'm sort of all nervous,

everything all rolled into one. Feels a bit mad, really. DOGS BARK of a drought. We're still in the middle to buy the sheep now, It would certainly be a punt pay big dividends. but a punt that could AUCTIONEER SHOUTS LOW-LEVEL CONVERSATION,

Going into one of these sheep sales, into an aquarium full of sharks it's... (Laughs) ..a bit like diving without a cage around you, so we'll have to be very careful some nasty bite marks on our hide. that we don't end up with So, we'll give it a shot,

and lucky enough, and if we're cunning enough we might get what we're after. Are there any questions?

I think every sheep that was advertised is here today.

They're as fresh as daisies. Those lambs there today, on the market today... ALISTER: Different buyers have got their different little codes. Some of them give a nod, others wink. $90, $91. $91. Your man's gone.

There's always butchers lurking around at these sort of sales, and they'll...you know, if sheep are good enough for the kill, well, they'll beat you on them every time. (Men shout) $92. $92. 2.5, 3. $93. Bidding up! They go to... MAN: Midfield. Midfield Meats. They go to Midfield Meats. Mmm, another lot to the butchers. Did you go to $40 on both lots and see how you went, or...? ALISTER: I'm prepared to go to 40 bucks, but I won't go over that.

Maybe if we went to $42 or $43, tops? Yeah, OK.

So, we say $43?

Yeah, $43, tops, but nothing...nothing more. They're on the market. Thank you very much, a very good vendor. Reports to the sale every chance he can get. At $48.50 - the bid's behind me. $48.50. $48.50. $48.50 - down they go. $48.50. $48.00. What do you reckon?

Didn't even get a chance. The bloody meat buyers were here and they'll just cream you every time. Oh, I'm pretty disappointed, yeah, that we didn't get 'em.

There's gotta be an element of relief there too that we didn't explode our budget. You know, like I said, it's just like swimming in the aquarium. HUBBUB, WESTERN SOUNDTRACK MUSIC BIRDSONG POIGNANT MUSIC

MARK: There's properties for sale all around us here because they're not gonna go on, or they can't afford to go on. DANNI: I'll just show you a map of all the properties around us that are for sale. We're here in this dark colour, and then all around us are for sale. You've got nearly right to Nimingee, the village, almost right to Mt Hope and then into Condobolin. It's time to check the weather now. Danni! (Whistles) The weather's on. Good evening. Plenty of talk about the drought, but nothing's happening to break it. I know when we came out here Mark had dreams of buying a few of the neighbours, but unfortunately, we just haven't got the money to go ahead and try and buy them. You know, this neighbour's for sale, this one's for sale, this one's been for sale for over three years.

This one's for sale. Chillibah, this one. This big one here's just come on the market. Here, there, there, there, there. Then you come over Tara next door, Currawulla, Kimaculla. They're all for sale around us

and it seems we're the only ones still here. TV PLAYS SOFTLY And I think it's quite sad, because we've got attached to the people around us. little social community But I think this whole is just really being torn apart. FLIES BUZZ REFLECTIVE MUSIC Kimaculla clearing sale, MARK: We're over at

about 15 miles from our place. which is about...only are having their clearing-out sale And these people here because they're leaving. They're selling out and going. to have a bit of a look about And we more or less just come over our neighbours in the area, you know, and see a few people, that travel to the sales. to go along to a clearance sale, MAN: Everybody seems to like

a bit of a confab, you know, go along and have kick the tyres and look at things. with the neighbours all round, and we get every now and again now... It's probably the only outings (Laughs) ..the clearing sale. have had to send cattle away. MAN: A lot of my clients sent them back, they've come home. They've come home, they've where they load up again And they've got to the stage now

what pen it's supposed to be in and actually each cow knows when you put them on the truck. sale-o, sale-o. Righto - sale-o, sale-o, and a lot of expense and no income. But it's been dramatic times, of the small farmer, DANNI: I think the days which is sad. I think those days have gone, that's just sort of gone. It's a whole way of life People have been... by the last four years. ..they've been wounded of people that won't keep going, And no doubt there's gonna be a lot and, yeah, it could be an end. It could be an end of an era. whilst you're gathering round, Ladies and gentlemen, Stan and Gloria very, very much first of all I'd just like to thank they've put in here at Kimaculla, for the work, the care that and I know that they will be missed

out in this Vermont Hill area. in this little tight community ladies and gentlemen. Righto. Away we go, what are they making? Those ewes there, They make $100? $100? No sign of any rain. (Chuckles) No. Any rain? It looks no threat of that, alright. is there? (Laughs) Not a cloud in the sky,

MARK: Not in the buying mood today.

up there, isn't it? Still pretty dry-looking Dry. Things are just too... ..unsure, aren't they? No. You don't know if it's gonna rain. Yeah, that's all you talk about. DANNI: The weather? the only one in the boat, But you do realise you're not which I suppose is a good thing. 10 big properties GEORGE ISBESTER: There's on the market at the moment. GEORGE HARLEY: Is that right? auctioned next few weeks. About half of them are gonna be too in about a fortnight. This place is coming up for auction

Nuh. They're not gonna auction it today? HUBBUB in our district, isn't it, Clare? WOMAN: So sad to see all these sales Yes, I think so. I don't know what's going to happen

give us a bit of a break. if the drought doesn't soon to see people leaving, It's just devastating they're leaving in droves. and since this drought

MAN: Righto. the Huckleberry Hound here. While we're passing by, we've got sell his dog. I was just watching that young bloke Gee. Yeah.

having to sell your dogs. Wouldn't that be hard, I'd have to find...have to take it. Yeah, I couldn't have done that.

Poor bugger. Yeah - Rex, his name was.

AUCTIONEER: $60, $60, $40. (Whimpers) Who's got the $20, quickly? Right. Selling done. All done.

picked ourself up ALISTER: Well, we just for 30 bucks, a good second-hand wool table for our shed. so that's just what we need and now we've got one. We didn't have a wool table, Bloody junk! MORE junk! All our little treasures. MARK: One day it might be us. face up to it all. One day we'll have to

I suppose that doesn't hit you Emotionally, till it's really gotta happen. Yeah. Yeah. that exercise bike. MAN: Don't tell me you got Yeah, she's bought that. Yeah! it would be heartbreaking. I guess when it really happens, your home and sell all your gear. It'd be very, very hard to leave For sure. Yeah. Well, I'm proud of my junk. (Chuckles) Yeah. thinking we might... Remember? I bought Mark a coffin,

and bought a $6 coffin. I went to a clearing sale I reckon I can squeeze him in. on that expense, anyway. (Laughs) Save off, but I'll get you in there. I might have to cut your shoulders (Laughs) EERIE MUSIC FLIES BUZZ

no water at all, ALISTER: Well, we've got and we've got no feed. the drought. It's absolutely desperate now, Like, it wasn't two months ago a good opportunity because we still had for a good winter season, and plenty of time 90% closed now. but that opportunity's BLUESY MUSIC for a winter crop this year, It's all sitting here nicely prepared

that's gonna happen. but it doesn't look like it's just dreadful. The landscape round here now, and you wouldn't lose him. You could flog a flea across here Like, it's that bare.

and no relief coming. And...there's no rain in sight,

isn't it? Rain's just the key to it all, that you can't control. It's the one...wild card ingredient But you gotta have it. comes from that. And...everything good EERIE MUSIC

MAN: The issue of water is paramount. the issue in the world, It's always been it gets more and more important. and as the world goes on, in the same way that human societies We're contributing to the drought drying out the landscape worldwide, are sort of

on earth, and so in the driest continent a hell of a lot of sense. that doesn't make

I mean, the Lachlan River... Well, look at the rivers.

I went to school in Condobolin and it was a great river, never in any fear of going dry. And now the big dam up at Cowra's about, what, 12%? In Australia, I believe that it's possible that drought will wipe out very large areas of our productive land

unless dramatic changes are made very soon. When the droughts get really bad here, you wonder where...you wonder if there's a place for livestock here when you see the damage what they do. Yeah, I do wonder. I wonder whether we should be here at all growing crops, at times.

Country like this that's prone to be drier, it suffers the most. And that's what's happening. That's why the...it's really hitting us hard out here. PETER ANDREWS: Somehow, farmers have got to realise that there is this ability for the land, in lots of ways, to repair itself, and we have to factor that into our management system.

Australia has got all the hallmarks that we need to know written in the landscape, but we have to understand what we can do to use the components in harmony with agriculture rather than blindly apply what we think's a good idea without any real consideration of how it fits into the system. EERIE MUSIC DANNI: Mark's escape is his beer and his racehorses, and sometimes, yeah, I wish I was a racehorse sometimes. (Chuckles) 'Cause he doesn't find any joy going out in the paddocks. You know, the land he loves, he doesn't find the joy,

and I guess his joy is looking at his couple of horses in the stables and dreaming through his race books on which race meeting he thinks he can conquer.

GENTLE MUSIC MARK: Yeah, it's a gamble, farming, there's no doubt about it. You get all your ground prepared like you prepare your racehorse and you either get the money or you don't. That's what it's been like in the bush. DRAMATIC MUSIC Someone said the other day that there's nothing wrong that four inches of rain or a fast 2-year-old wouldn't fix. And if it does rain, your opportunity can be so big. I think, "Gee, if it just goes right for me this season, "I'd be way out of trouble." STIRRING WESTERN MUSIC (People shout and cheer)

MARK: Just getting all ready for the local races here. Condo races, they're only on once a year.

DANNI: Away from the farm. Yeah. You never know - we might pick up enough money to pay the grocery bill. (Laughs) (Horse snorts) Anyway, I'm gonna get a few stubbies into me.

See a few people, bit of a laugh. That's what it's all about. RACE CALLER: They're on their way to the barriers now for the Condobolin Hotel Motel Condobolin Picnic Cup, invite you back and of course Greg and Stacey Cooper after the races. for a lovely cold drink and a meal And they start to move up. I'm sweating already.

Oh, you're nervous. (Laughs) Hey! Here's a rough man! that blue one, please. Shorten that up a bit for us, Danni, on a hot tin roof. DANNI: Bit like a cat He walks a bit faster. Under pressure. (Laughs) Hard to keep up with, a bit nervous. it's a big adrenaline rush. He says he enjoys it, but I think I hate to have to say this, Um, I'd say that... she's probably not quite fit enough. but she's...you know, She might need a breather. and do your best. You just bear that in mind

I'm not telling you what to do. Yep. Yep. You do what you think's right, OK? And best of luck with it. Good on you, mate. No worries. DANNI: He'll probably settle down with a beer about 9 or 10 o'clock tonight in your mind. and go over and over things MAN ON P.A. SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY HUBBUB

always a gamble. ALISTER: Oh, farming's who goes to the races, you know. It's like any punter you will burn your arse. Like, you put too much, Pat? What's he called again? So, what's this horse, this number 5, Mr Dumpty. Mr Dumpty. Remember that - Humpty Dumpty. Must remember that. pretty fast, so I hope it comes home. Well, we're running out of cash gonna give him a bloody hiding. If it don't come home, we're all (Laughs) $10 on Mariko Magic, please. Yes, please.

Mariko is 30/10. Bets, please, before they jump! Great. Thank you. a huge, risky gamble, yeah, DANNI: Gee, farming's betting on the weather. because you're You bet on a horserace, in two or three minutes. it's all over and done with or celebrate. You can rip the ticket up with a lot, lot bigger dollars, But farming, it's the same gamble but it takes six or nine months

if you've got the crop in the bank. to find out the big gamble. MARK: Oh, the big gamble, If it works for you, you're a genius. If it doesn't, you're a no-hoper. $100 to $20 Mariko Magic. Yeah, and I want What do you think? will win, don't you? I think that one over there I like it. I like it, myself.

I think it's the one that'll win. SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC G'day, mate, how you going? Hey, Shannon! Good, good. How are you, mate? Good luck. What number you on? Good to see you. Number 2? Oh, I got on in. Number 2, yeah. EXCITED HUBBUB moving into line now. RACE CALLER: And they're A very unusual occurrence here. We've got Kiss the Prince trained by Mark Ward, is a full sister to Mariko Magic,

up between Condobolin and Cobar. who has a property with Prince of Parinka. He won quite a lot of races As they move up now...

Look, they're set to go, Quinny. Here they are. Ooh, here they go, here they go. Race 2 at Condobolin. Off and racing. The starter has them ready. takes them down the back, And Kiss the Prince out 2.5 lengths on Speedy Angel. on the outside of Mariko Magic.... Ebony Flash a bit of a flutter, ALISTER: Oh, I don't mind

'cause it's beautiful to get a win. Oh, second last. But I don't want to rely on punting, try and rely on punts 'cause I've seen plenty of people and inevitably they come a gutser. RACE CALLER CONTINUES INDISTINCTLY STIRRING WESTERN MUSIC He's well in front, isn't he?

Come on, Mariko Magic! Come on, girl! Come on! Keep going! Keep going!

300 bucks. grey horse would lead all the way. I said the grey horse...I said the got left at the barrier. The thing that I backed

Never got in the race. Oh, well. MARK: No more racing for me. Oh, it mightn't be for too long. DANNI: Your reality is harsh. I just couldn't sleep at night, About seven or eight days ago just waking up. in my dreams mooing. I could hear the cows I said to Mark, "Something has to go. And I just got up in the morning and "It's either me or the cows." he didn't say anything And actually, for a couple of seconds I've blown it," you know. and I thought, "Oh, no, "He's gonna take the cows." COWS MOO MARK: Yeah, I had a decision to make.

Yeah, I've made up my mind. I'm gonna try and stick it out. with the cattle myself. I'll have to head off Take the caravan. we can get 'em onto the stock route, And we've got a place up north where

the place here... and Danni'll have to look after ..on her own, probably.

So, that'll be a bit of a bugger.

We're selling what we can. we're selling a heap of sheep today, We've sold some yesterday and off-loading immediately, yeah. and basically we're We've had to. and the forecast is really dismal, It's just not going to rain so we're out of here, are out of here. or the cows and the sheep and Mark's going with them. I'm staying REFLECTIVE MUSIC

what the banks are gonna do MARK: I'm worried year of going further into debt. because they won't take on another INTERVIEWER: Are you in debt, Mark? Course I'm in debt. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah.

too many farmers that weren't. I wouldn't know too many... And...and getting worse. It's getting worse. cross your mind, what you should do - And that's why all these things

now, get out while you can, whether you should cut your losses a bit of equity. while you've still got the way things are now? But how can you sell out

you put your place on the market, People come out here, they never come back again. at this place and say, They'd have a look "Geez, why would you live there?" (Laughs) EERIE MUSIC WHISTLING

the Australian character, PETER: You hear so much about built on the land. and the Australian character's Always have done, really. MARK: I love the bush. (Horse snorts) You look around and you see everything and you think, "Gee, this is tremendous." I feel so free and I have that feeling of just being totally in control, being my own boss. REFLECTIVE MUSIC It does give you that feeling of power. It becomes very... addictive, you know? ALISTER: People that survive in dry country, they certainly blend in with the scenery after a while because they've weathered the droughts and the floods. You stay there long enough, you'll look like the country.

You become one with it. You're part of it. What else is a person gonna do with himself? Sorta...sorta often thought about doing something else, but, ah, that probably won't happen. Most people that live out here love the land. They love it for what it can do to them and what they can do for it.

And really, the aim is...

..you want to have an enjoyable lifestyle... ..you want to get enough money to improve your country, you want to have enough brains not to wreck it. And you need enough rain to make it happen. Doesn't always happen. POIGNANT MUSIC DANNI: The sheep have gone. The Brahmans are going. The other cows are going.

YOU'RE going. MARK: Yeah, well, I'll only be... I'M staying. To be honest, I think I wanna go too.

(Sighs) Don't get like that. Do you wanna be here next year? Oh...

I mean, my feeling is... my honest feeling

is that Sandy goes to boarding school next year. We've got three kids at boarding school. Do we really wanna be out here? I know I said if it hadn't rained by the end of May I'd be gone,

but...well, I WILL be going. Where does it end? I see that I've chased your dream for 10 years - followed you into hotels, shearing runs... ..racehorses, cattle-buying, wool-buying. Have you ever once asked me

what I might want to do or where I might want to be?

So... I mean, you and your bloody horses. That's all you think about. Be good if I was a horse. You could wear your spurs. (Laughs) Don't be stupid. Come on. There's a lot of people worse off. EERIE MUSIC

DANNI: It just hasn't rained, and things have gotten to the point that we have to have a massive evacuation, basically, of all the stock on the farm. We either have to sell them, shoot them or agist them out.

PEOPLE SHOUT MARK: Hurry up and get organised!

COWS MOO (Danni shouts indistinctly)

DANNI: I think now we've found somewhere for the stock to go to it's been, like, a huge relief, getting them trucked out and now he's working towards and getting on with the job. and getting there I'll miss him. stuck out here on my own I mean, I'll be a long-distance marriage. and it'll be because it's a bit unknown. And let's hope it stays together, not happy at the moment, you know. Yeah, Danni's coping, but, oh, she's It's pretty hard on her. These are the lucky ones. They're lucky they're leaving. They're going to greener pasture, unfortunately, because if they stay here, think we'd end up just shooting them. with the way the situation is, I that are still out in the paddock The unlucky ones are any to actually make the yards. that were too weak That's where it gets sad. They're the... on that first truck? MARK: How many you got MAN: 69. 69! How many?

a bit quicker. 69. We'll have to load this next one 320...er, what have we got?

Plus the weaners, another 40. Got another 120 in town. (Hawks) ..that dust is bad. (Hawks) Oh, geez, that... (Mutters figures) (All shout at cattle) that really get me down. DANNI: Oh, there's a few things The dust - I can't stand the dust. on Mark, you know. I guess the extra stress I'm a bit angry with him. He's a bit angry with me, for half an hour or so. We go for no little talkies I think that's...yeah. and the no water. But the dust, the heat, Keep them going, Ando! her here on her own, for sure. MARK: But I'm worried about leaving well when I'm not around, but... You know, I mean, she seems to cope

I'm naturally worried, yeah. (Cattle bellow) Well done. That's the last of 'em. the worst drought of all time. You know, they're talking it to be Keep them going, Ando! really want to walk out now. And you feel as though you don't You've gone this far worst drought of all time, you know. and you'd like to get through the

I feel, you know. Like, that's the way wanna go, but... I thought I would just though I just wanna keep on trying. But, no, recently I've felt as of the bush. That's what it's about. It's about...just a love

A new beginning tomorrow. altogether for a while. A different...a different scenario Hopefully it's not too long. But, anyway, we'll... and stay here as long as we can. ..we'll keep on going and for a lot of years, We tried hard and worked hard,

to get a place out here, to stay here as long as we can. and we don't want to...we want REFLECTIVE MUSIC Come on, Danni! See ya, Rob! See you in the morning! If we do live through this drought,

to handle anything then, really. yeah, I think I'll be able I've seen the worst. I'll look forward to the best.

Oh, well, they're gone. Yep, gone. Oh, well. The cattle are finished. when it's rained, I suppose, I'll be coming back enough rain here and when there's been to...to put grass on the ground... ..and I can bring the cattle home. it could be a while. It could be a while, I'm hoping it won't be too long. Mmm.

it's not too long. (Sighs) Let's hope and we'd better get home. Grab your dog, Gotta get ready for tomorrow. OK, love.

OK. Righto. Come on, Jane. (Whistles) Jane, come on. REFLECTIVE MUSIC RAIN PATTERS THUNDER ROLLS

for me personally PETER: Remembering rain for that moment is about that incredible longing dreadful nightmare of drought. when you're released from that and safeness of being inside It's about that sense of security on the roof and hearing that wonderful sound and never wanting it to stop. THUNDER ROLLS is wonderful, DANNI: Oh, the real rain

of real rain within about 24 hours. because you can see the results PADDY: Mmm, yeah, the rain clouds. Yeah, yeah. Where do you see them? Philippines or somewhere. (Chuckles) Long way from here, anyhow.

International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions provided by the key to it all, isn't it? ALISTER: Well, rain's just Without rain, you have nothing. just gotta wait a while for rain, MARK: Yeah, in this country you've waiting a while now. and by gee, we've been (Laughs ruefully) we should have another beer? Mmm, how we going? Do you think Oh, I think we might have one. WOMAN: Do you want another beer? Yeah, bugger it.

Not subtitled

The death of a fanatic. Tonight -

GUNSHOTS FIRED Cornered in his East Java hideout himself up to avoid capture. JI bomb-maker Dr Azahari blows EXPLOSIONS

It doesn't mean that JI is crippled

that somebody that is believed but it does mean attacks, the Marriott attack to have been behind the two Bali Embassy in Jakarta and the attack on the Australian taken out of the equation. may well have been JI's attacks won't stop. And analysts warn