Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Landline -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Hello, and welcome to Landline.
I'm Pip Courtney. Coming up today, a mutton comeback. Hog and mutton were more preferred
by the tasting panel than standard lamb. Also, It's a Bloke Thing. One man's determination to warn
others about prostate cancer. MAN: Get off your backsides. Get the proper checks because
you're not much good six foot under. And what future for regional
greyhound racing in New South Wales? I was born into greyhound racing.
Me father was here this morning. He's 84.
He's wandering around with a dog.

What do we do?
What do we do on Sunday morning? We begin the show today
with that old sheep meat, mutton. And not just any piece,
but dry-aged mutton, a technique which in recent times has largely been used
in the beef industry. But as Kerry Staight reports, there's now growing interest
in using the old-school method to give mutton a modern-day makeover.

Southern region of Western Australia is a mixed farmer on a mission
to give mature-age sheep a leg-up. I've got a dangerous passion. I don't look at anything else except
playing around with bloody sheep.

While the memory of
poor-quality mutton during war times left a bad taste
in the mouths of one generation, David Thompson says
the time is now right to appreciate what
these older animals have to offer. DAVID THOMPSON: Three years ago
I was on a flight across to Dubai. And it was interesting,
I could hear the hostesses saying, "Would you like
the chicken or the mutton?" And people would say,
"Yes, I'll have the mutton." And it was sort of like
a light bulb moment that mutton's not such a bad name. And these are
well-heeled type of people, they've got money to spend and they
were happy to take the mutton. And to me, that was, I thought,
"Well, let's do something with it."

Mr Thompson runs
a cropping and merino operation with son Hamish and wife Sue
near Katanning. He's spent more than two decades
refining his stock and developing a ram stud. But the project that has given him
the most satisfaction is finding top-end buyers for the
normally under-rated older sheep. So, most of the sheep that we send
off are about five years of age, they've grazed for about 1,500 days.

The oldest we've done
is 10 years of age, which farmers find quite humorous, but it's a different market when
you're talking to the food market. They're quite happy
to have a 3,000-day-aged animal. To make it more appealing to the
food market, the meat is dry-aged, and that's where
his approach to breeding helps. You just want to be able to feel
the ribs. Rounded, but not pointed. And the backbone nice and round,
a good cover.

As well as selecting sheep
based on their growth and muscle, he also picks animals
with good fat cover. THOMPSON: I don't think
we could have attempted it without particularly
the genetic fat. Because the process of dry-ageing
is quite a rigorous process, so you need to have that buffer, so that fat cover
over the top of the sheep.

Selecting animals to dry-age
has been relatively straightforward. Securing a processor
willing to hang them up for 21 days has been more difficult. They say four days is all you need.

They don't have the storage. And it costs them money, I guess,
to store it. So we've been through two abattoirs
and three processors before we found one
that actually will take the sheep and hang them for as long
as we want it to be done. The processor
has been the biggest challenge. I mean, I've been told,
"You'll never succeed doing this "'cause it's just not worth doing."

Someone else
who thinks it is worth doing is South Australian
producer, processor, winemaker and now restaurant owner Tim Burvill. He's one of the biggest advocates of bringing back
the old art of dry-ageing, where meat is stored in low humidity, near-freezing conditions
for several weeks.

While this beef has been through
that more traditional process before it's packaged up, most meat these days
goes straight into vacuum-sealed bags in what's known as wet-ageing. MAN: It's only
in the last five years or so that dry-ageing has come back. I'd never tasted it
before we started on this adventure and we started dry-ageing
in a small room. We made lots of mistakes
in the beginning. The meat went mouldy,
we had to throw a lot of meat out. But we've been doing it now
for five years and the product just gives you an amazing increase in flavour
and tenderness. Up until now, the cattle producer's dry-ageing
facility in the Adelaide Hills has been dominated by beef.

But over the last few months, he's started
hanging up more sheep meat as part of a trial being funded
by Meat & Livestock Australia.

MAN: The industry
continually asks us to look at how we can utilise lower-value
animals and cuts in the industry. And one of the things
they really asked us to consider was how do we get lamb outside
of the sweet spot on the grid and hogget and mutton
into favourable pricepoints.

Now we've got all of these out
we can have a look. Well, 30 days in, what do you think? To achieve a favourable price, Tim Burvill needs to retain
as much of the meat as possible. And that's one of the disadvantages
of dry-ageing. The meat shrinks and more
of the surface needs trimming. The big concern with sheep is
because they're smaller than cattle, the yield loss will be too high. During the first trial
when smaller cuts of lamb were used, that's exactly what happened. And the colour is pretty good.
It's aged well. But this time,
whole sides have been hung and older animals, hogget and mutton,
included. How much do you reckon we lost
on this? We weighed it this morning. That was 13%.
13%. And compared to the mutton
that was 10. TIM BURVILL: Certainly
the yield losses are decreasing as the age and weight of the animal
increases. So we're seeing
a lot less yield loss in the hogget and then even less
in the mutton compared to the lamb. So from a production perspective
that's quite exciting.

From a consumer perspective,
it comes down to taste. We'll taste four different cuts,
some wet-aged, some dry-aged.

And that's what these tests
are about, with a series of focus groups judging
the dry-aged lamb, hogget and mutton, along with standard wet-aged lamb. One worry was the dry-ageing process would make lamb, a meat renowned
for its tenderness, tougher. Some also thought the process would
accentuate the strong flavours that have traditionally
turned consumers off sheep meat, especially mutton. But Tim Burvill says
the opposite happened. BURVILL: What we found was that
the dry-aged sheep meat products were all higher
in the positive attributes and lower
in the negative attributes, particularly things like the
metallic and livery characters. Were you surprised
by any of the findings? Oh, massively, yeah. The one that I was most surprised at
was that hogget and mutton were more preferred by the
tasting panel than standard lamb. That was a significant finding.

Australia is the largest exporter
of mutton in the world. 95% of what's produced
heads offshore, with the Middle East and China
the major markets. While the current price
isn't as low as it has been, it's a long way behind
what lamb is fetching.

But the MLA says
consumers would be willing to spend an extra 20% to 30%
on dry-aged mutton, based on the results of the trials. We know that there's over
3 million mutton and hogget processed annually
here in Australia. And we believe if just 10% of that
mutton and hogget could be dry-aged, that would add
approximately $3.5 million per annum to the Australian industry.

Adoption now is key. It would be a shame
if all this work was done that no producer or processing
company or retailer or food service adopted this know-how.

Tim Burvill
has certainly adopted that know-how at his restaurant in Adelaide, adding dry-aged mutton
to the steakhouse's menu after a six-week trial. The yield losses are slightly greater than in the beef
the restaurant dishes up. But he says
there is money to be made. You'll never see dry-aged product
down at your local pub for a $10 meal. It will always be
a high-end, niche product.

But certainly
there's little doubt in my mind that this is a viable product.

To produce this, though, he needs a consistent supply
of mutton in a good condition. And in an industry where older sheep
meat generally isn't highly valued, that's a challenge. BURVILL: A lot of mutton
that goes through the sales yard or the abattoirs is at the end of its life
and it's not in good condition. When you dry-age any meat product
you need good fat cover on there. So it's about trying to find
a mutton source that is, you know,
processing animals at the correct age and weight, not
when they're on their last legs. (MACHINERY WHIRRS) His first batch of dry-aged mutton
was relatively young compared to what David Thompson
is producing in WA - only about two years old. But Mr Thompson agrees,
no matter what the age, there needs to be more quality mutton
to make this work. And he's urging other producers to
see their older stock in a new light. We've just had three restaurants
two days ago want to come on board, so... We just need volume, that's all.

One of the restaurants
he supplies to is The Cabin
on the outskirts of Perth.

There are no chops or racks
on the menu here. Instead, chef Adam Giddings
presents the dry-aged mutton in less familiar ways, making chorizo
and pastrami out of it.

MAN: I was taken aback by the taste. And I was also really inspired, taken aback by David's passion
for his products.

It really... The passion
he shows for his products really comes out in
the final product that we're using.

Are you there, Adam?

Mutton delivery. As for the farmer dubbed 'the mutton
man' in restaurant circles, it's been a lot of hard work
and a costly exercise to get the product
he's passionate about to this point. And while turning it
into a sustainable business is still a work in progress, he says the returns and rewards
make it worth the effort.

THOMPSON: We get a good price, yeah.
Yeah. But the most exciting thing
is when you go to a restaurant you see your product. It's... It's really, really good. That's probably the highlight
of my farming life, I reckon.

Prostate cancer is the most common
cancer affecting Australian men and the second-leading cause
of cancer death. Every year, 20,000 men
are diagnosed and last year,
3,340 men died from it. But in the bush
the death rate for prostate cancer is 32% higher than in the city, a shocking statistic one Toowoomba businessman is
determined to do something about.

You'd be hard-pressed
to find anyone in Toowoomba who doesn't know of John Wagner
or the Wagner family. The success of the global
construction, transport and quarrying business,
run by John and his three brothers, has made them unofficially
Australia's 14th-richest family. So the apron to the freight shed... The Wagners' entrepreneurial spirit is perhaps best epitomised
by the $300 million airport they built on their own land
with their own money. And they did it
in 19 months and 11 days.

Wellcamp at Toowoomba is Australia's first
privately-funded public airport and the first airport
built in Australia since Tullamarine in Melbourne
in 1970. It opened nearly two years ago.

The 24-hour, curfew-free airport has capital city
and regional passenger services. But it's the next stage
which excites John Wagner - overseas freight services.

He says giving the region's farmers
and food manufacturers a gateway to Asia
will transform the local economy. MAN: There's been no freight
of any note go out of a regional airport
in Australia to Asia. The majority of the freight
goes out of Sydney and Melbourne. And we believe that we're in
a great position, regionally, to be able to capitalise on that. And we want to change the way
freight's done in this country. Building the airport was the most ambitious and stressful
project John Wagner's ever done. He was 49 and had never been busier. But his wife Liz was pushing him
to make time for a health check. I thought, you know, at age 50 you need to be doing all those
preventative health checks, like colonoscopies, PSA,
all that sort of thing, so... After putting it off,
he finally made an appointment. He was diagnosed
with prostate cancer. I thought I was going to have
a clear bill of health. I had no...
I had no issues whatsoever. And it came
as a total surprise to me. And it was a very aggressive cancer. The cancer
actually got outside the prostate, so we knew that at the time
of surgery, which was a worry. So we always knew
it was going to come back. And, uh, 2.5 years later sure enough
it did. It came back in my bladder. And there's a tumour
on the outside of my bladder and I had further treatment. And I'm now cured and
full steam ahead like a new person. John Wagner was shocked he knew so little about the most
common cancer in Australian men.

Pip, I didn't even know
what the prostate did, you know. I didn't now how to spell the word. So that's... You know, that's how
uneducated I was in this process. And after I was diagnosed
and after I had surgery, and the more guys I spoke to, including my brothers
and other members of my family, they had no more of an idea
than I did. So that's when
the penny really dropped that we needed to do some education and to get men
to start to talk about these issues. He was also shocked by how little government money
is spent on prostate cancer. Breast cancer has had the benefit
of a lot of government funding. Yeah. And... Which prostate cancer
doesn't get. And I think that's quite inequitable and it's something
that we need to change. He decided to drive that change. So with three Toowoomba mates who'd all been diagnosed
with prostate cancer, they started It's a Bloke Thing. In six years, the charity
has raised more than $6 million.

Until this year,
all the money's gone to research. But then John Wagner
was approached by Jill Costello and her husband Brian to help fund
their prostate cancer charity ManUp!, set up after Brian was diagnosed. I was really quite terrified
of that examination. And I said to myself, "Well,
I've just got to man up and do it." And that's how we
came up with the name ManUp!.

The Costellos are the most unlikely
rural health heroes. They live on the Gold Coast, but have devoted their retirement to travelling
throughout rural Queensland talking about prostate cancer. JOHN WAGNER: They do
a fantastic job. They've both had cancer, so they've lived the process
that a lot of people go through. And they're just beautiful people. In their ManUp! ute,
provided by a Toowoomba car dealer, Jill and Brian
spend months on the road. So far, they've visited
63 rural Queensland communities. They're retired, they're not paid,
so why do it? If we sit and do nothing,
nothing happens. And I had breast cancer
and I had a breast care nurse. And I had
all that wonderful support. And then when Brian
was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the support level wasn't there. So we thought we can make a
difference just working in support. So then we thought, we're working at
the wrong end of this whole process because we're picking up men
in the end stages, whereas if we educated them,
maybe they'd need less support. So we decided we could
make a difference with education. We've both got teaching backgrounds.
It's something we were good at. So we decided we'd do one tour
and just see what it was like.

We caught up with them in Dalby, where attendance was compulsory
for male council workers. But in the early, curable stages,
there are no symptoms. So if you're the sort of bloke
who sits back and says, "I'll wait till I feel crook before
I go to the doctor," too late.

By the time you've got symptoms,
you could be in a world of trouble. JILL: Education is so important
because I think in the past, this is one disease
that's been either not spoken about, or been driven by fear. And men, out of fear,
have done nothing. So our big thing
is to give them enough information so they can make an informed choice.

The information is clear,
concise and confronting. And the suicide rate among men
with advanced prostate cancer is four times the national average
of our peers. Brian wants more men
to get an annual blood test, so they can track their PSA level. His didn't change for six years. But when it spiked, he saw
a specialist who diagnosed cancer. Because there's a very big fear
factor attached to this disease. While it's known
as an old man's disease, with at least 80% of cancers
occurring in men over 60, the ManUp! message
is younger men aren't immune. BRIAN: The youngest gentleman
we have dealt with was 28. We recently heard of another guy,
26. Now, that's fairly uncommon
that young. But what we are finding
as we travel around the countryside more and more men in their early 40s
and even late 30s. The 28-year-old I spoke of before,
five months from diagnosis to death.

Brian believes men listen to him
because he's had it. That's definitely a factor. And the fact also that I came
through the ordeal quite easily, I suppose you could say, is it allows men to understand
that it's not just a death sentence. John Wagner believes
if more high-profile men spoke up, more men would get tested. So he mans up when asked. If I hadn't have been badgered
by my wife, and if I hadn't have gone
and got the tests, I would have been dead in 18 months. The reality is
with prostate cancer - and I've heard a lot of guys say, "Well, you know, I might not be able
to have sex again. "I'm not going to have all these
other things go wrong with me." It's a load of rubbish. You can lead
a very healthy, normal life. John Wagner says men need to take
care of themselves the way women do. Women get regular breast checks and
Pap smears and all the other stuff. And it's just... It's just part
of their health routine. Whereas guys just don't
talk about that, don't discuss it. And as a result of that
we formed It's a Bloke Thing to really raise awareness and raise money to find a cure
for this insidious disease. John Wagner's pleased after six years with It's a Bloke
Thing he's seeing change. So, thank you very much
and enjoy the presentation. (APPLAUSE) There's been a real shift
in the communities that I talk to. And particularly when they see relatively high-profile people
preparing to share their stories. And, you know, they feel a lot more
comfortable about talking about it and about asking questions. Well, you know lots of rural men and they always would say,
"I'm too busy." What do you say? "I've got to go to the cattle sales. "I've got to go do this
and fix the windmill." That's just rubbish. So my view is,
get off your backsides, get in, get the proper checks
and look after yourselves. Because, you know,
you're not much good six foot under. We were all just talking about it
just before smoko, and everybody's having a joke
about this and that. But I think a few blokes went from
this room this afternoon with, you know, a bit more serious
than what they're thinking. It's something
I've been putting off... (LAUGHS) ..for a long time. I need to... Yeah, I'll be chasing it up now that I've seen
a lot more information on it. Like, I've had the test done.
But I don't know what the PSA was. And so decided I'm going to
go back to the doctor's next week have it done again. And I'm going to ask him
what the number is. Because obviously
that's the important thing. Are you going to head off
to the doctor now and get tested? Yeah, this afternoon, actually.
If I can.

Brian and Jill Costello
have spoken to thousands of men in the last six years. Next month,
they'll visit their first mine sites. Funding from It's a Bloke Thing means
they can stay on the road longer. BRIAN COSTELLO: From our tour
last year, we had feedback
from at least 12 men that heeded our word, were tested and 10, it was early stage,
which is curable. Two, unfortunately not. The Prostate Cancer Foundation
of Australia says the work being done
in rural Queensland is critical. MAN: Farmers and other people
living in rural Australia present late to be tested
for prostate cancer because it's more important
to be on the tractor or harvesting the crop
or all of those things. And so they present late. The bottom line is there's a 32% higher mortality
for country Australians versus big-city Australians because
they present late for detection and subsequent treatment.

This year, It's a Bloke Thing
started part funding a prostate cancer
community care nurse. Hello, Doug. How are you? JOHN WAGNER: Fortunately my gorgeous
wife was a nurse, so I had my own prostate cancer
care nurse here at home, but many men don't have that. So it's very, very important that
they've got someone to talk to, someone to make a phone call to
and go on that journey with them. The doctors are so busy. They don't have the time
to do that small stuff, which is big stuff, really. So the nurse will pick up. The after-effects of chemo
were reduced. Yeah. Nurse Jo Hiscock has
just started work in Toowoomba. She says before the job was created,
many men muddled along on their own, often confused,
embarrassed and scared. We have a huge catchment area
here for Toowoomba and in actual fact,
it's about a quarter of the state. So, you know,
we can go out as far as Quilpie, patients can come from
Charleville, Cunnamulla. You know, so they'll unfortunately
have to come for their treatment and to get their biopsies
and all that sort of thing, but then I should be able to
link them in back home as well. You know,
for support systems out there.

It's a Bloke Thing's
biggest event of the year is the annual charity auction lunch. (PLAYS TRUMPET)

It's such a hot ticket, some book
a year out to secure a seat.

The first lunch was held in a pub
and raised $65,000. Now the event's held at the airport
in a departure lounge, caters for over 500 and last year, $1.3 million
was raised in four hours.

While a temporary kitchen run by
some of Brisbane's top chefs preps beef and fish donated by
two Queensland farm businesses, out on the tarmac,
it's just as busy as guests arrive on private jets
and planes.

And each year,
there's a couple of surprise guests. Good to see you. How are you? This year,
it was Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Welcome, mate.
Thanks very much. It's good to be here. He's a prostate cancer survivor, once again diagnosed
without any symptoms and made a full recovery. Secondly, you know, he's one of
Australia's leading business people. And for him to come up here
and speak today and to tell his story, I think it's just
very, very special. Here we go. (PLAYS TRUMPET) Alan Joyce was 45
when he was diagnosed. He had no symptoms
and was only tested after bringing back
the Qantas executive health check. I said, "I'm 45.
I'll be the first to do it," to demonstrate to my executives
I want them to do the check. Out of the check
I had an elevated PSA. I went in, into the doctor
and did a biopsy. And they calculated that there was
probably an 80% chance I would have been dead
by the time I was 50 because it was an aggressive
form of the cancer. He says he didn't think he'd need to
be tested until he was 50. I celebrated my 50th birthday
one month ago and I wouldn't have if I hadn't
had a check five years ago. So I'm lucky to be here
but I'm not lucky to be here. I made the decision
to make the check. Would you like to see more
high-profile people talk about it? I would. And I think what's great
about this event and what John Wagner is doing is
encouraging people to be out there, to talk about the illness,
to talk about the cancer and to get people out there
to have the check. And, you know, I've been at an event with a very
senior businessman who was over 50 and I told to my story
and encouraged him to get a check and he put his hands in his ear
and went, "La, la, la, la, la!" So that's the attitude
you have to overcome. Each year, 20,000 men in Australia
are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Local urologist Dr Peter Swindle spoke at the first
It's a Bloke Thing pub lunch. He's astonished what
four local blokes have achieved. There is nothing else like this and it's looked upon with envy
from a lot of communities and a lot of larger cities
around Australia. He asked the audience
to consider statistics which frustrate many
who work in the field. But if you look at
the Australian government funding on research for cancers, breast cancer gets
30% of the funding and prostate cancer
gets 13% of the funding. may ask
if prostate cancer is more prevalent and more men die from it
than women die from breast cancer, why is there only half the funding? $60,000, ladies and gentlemen.
$60,000. What a wonderful way
to kick off the fundraising.

The key part of the day
is the charity auction. John Wagner prowls the room,
making sure hands go up and wallets fly open. Fair warning. I am selling. $25,000. No further money. Sold. Thank you, madam. Well done. This lunch is now
a key fixture in Toowoomba with many of the same people
fronting up every year to help, from volunteer chefs to local companies
which donate prizes and cash. John Wagner is proud
of the generosity of his community. But when the bidding is done, everyone's keen to hear him
announce the final number, which is always more than
the year before. And the number is, ladies,
$1.352 million. (CHEERING, APPLAUSE) John Wagner says he'll keep
talking about his experience and keep fundraising, for he's confident the money raised
will help researchers find a cure. We get calls regularly now to... ..for guys that have heard
what we're doing, have gone and got themselves checked and have come back and said,
"Guess what? "I didn't have a symptom
but I've got an aggressive cancer." Not dissimilar
to what happened to me. So, you know, I'm sure
we are saving many lives out there. Got a lot more to do. And every year we're getting closer to being able to detect the disease
much more reliably, much quicker, and that in itself
will be a major step forward and eventually we will find a cure. And, um, we want...

..keep going to achieve that. PIP COURTNEY: Coming up, the treasure
trove of archival films and photos capturing the 1956 floods of
the Murray and Darling River systems. MAN: The coast of the... ..of Pomona, it was isolated
by floodwaters for three months. All of the navels that year
were boated out using some borrowed
ex-Second World War landing barges.

Has the dairy industry
turned the corner? Are we seeing the start of
a price rebound for dairy farmers after many, many months of prices
failing to even reach the cost of production? Last week,
the Global Dairy Trade Auction saw the overall price index
jump by nearly 13%. Here's how dairy prices have been travelling. The GDT auctions are held every fortnight. Each one of those blocks represents a fortnight's trading. And you can see how they have bounced around, up and down, up and down and then a good lift early this month and a cracker last Thursday. Up 12.7%, thank you. The whole milk powder price,
which is the key ingredient for processors to fix their farm gate
milk price, lifted nearly 19%. Butter went up by more than 14%
and skim milk powder firmed by 3%. Now, it's worth noting that
the whole milk powder price needs to be north of US$3,000 a tonne before dairy farmers
can start to smile again, but given the moderating
milk supply picture in Europe, that might just be sooner
rather than later. Let's start the prices check
in the saleyards where the market chatter is about
the big processors finally biting the bullet
and putting off workers. Beef Central reports JBS
has cut its second shift at the massive Dinmore plant
in Queensland while the big Teys plant at Beenleigh
was closed all of last week. The moves will take about 15,000 head
out of the production line, but even with cutbacks
in other states, processors are looking at a long road
back to greening country. Here are processing numbers
for the past six months. And you can see the decline when compared to numbers from 2015. In all states, kill numbers for adult cattle are down. Importantly, within those figures, female kills are also down, especially in Queensland. Saleyard prices are holding up
reasonably well. Numbers varied, but overall were
much the same as the previous week. There's a bit of a game on in the saleyards guessing how long it will take before herd rebuilding will impact in the yards. The popular number is 2+ years, but even that's with the proviso that cattle country continues to get good rain. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator
lifted to 727 cents mid-week but settled back to close to
the same level of the previous week. There's been some action
in the live trade, with reports of $3.60 being paid
for feeder steers ex-Darwin. Those also been some movement
out of Wyndham, but nowhere near
what was going on 12 months ago. The inevitable question
is up yet again - when will Indonesia release
permits for the next trading period? Now, the lamb flash has
well and truly hit the markets. Quality varied
within the big numbers. As usual, it's strong exports
driving this market. Sheep numbers were back and
this helped push them up in price. Turning to grains, and here we find
the intriguing assessment that the strength of
the American dollar could push Australian wheat prospects
to a more encouraging position. After hitting season lows
earlier in the week, Chicago trading saw wheat prices
lift to July levels. Again, corn and soy beans were supported by
substantial export sales. ASX trading saw futures
hit season lows before following the physical market
and lifting slightly from the bottom. Cotton had some reasonable figures
out of China, but buyers remain wary of
China's massive cotton stockpile. Sugar continued to wander
all over the price scale, suggesting there's lot of money
playing in the market with most players
in the waiting room. So cotton dipped and sugar lifted to just the tiniest fraction below
the crucial 20 cents mark. That price is still very profitable
for Australian cane growers. Wool values are holding. In historic terms, the current price
is one of the top five highest since May of last year. The Eastern Market Indicator
fell 2 cents Wednesday and lifted 3 cents Thursday to
close the week at 1,298 cents a kilo. Futures trading saw 21 micron
for December lift five cents to close at 1,390 cents a kilo, and that's the Landline check
on prices.

This year marks the 60th anniversary
of the 1956 floods which inundated
the Sunraysia region in north-western Victoria
and south-western New South Wales. One third-generation farmer in
the Pomona region of New South Wales has shared a treasure trove of
archival photos and more than 500 reels of film captured by his ancestors
during the floods. This report by Jennifer Douglas
from ABC Open.

MAN: My name's Alan Whyte. My parents and grandparents
were directly involved in getting through the '56 flood. They had fruit blocks
at an area called Pomona which was a bit north of Wentworth. And in 1956, Pomona was cut off by
floodwaters for about three months.

Trying to manage a flood
involves a lot of things, including building banks
trying to keep some places dry.

The grey Fergusons
were the only tractors that could work in the conditions
that they had to build those banks. And lots of other tractors
did other things, but they simply couldn't work
in the conditions that grey Fergusons could. So the scoop that's here is one
that my father had built himself back in the early '50s and it was working solidly
all through the '56 flood. Everyone involved in the flood
had to manage their way through it. It wasn't particularly
easy for anyone. In the case of the... ..of Pomona, it was isolated
by floodwaters for three months so the only way
in and out was by boat. Um, the properties that my parents
and grandparents had at the time were citrus properties and the
navel crop which obviously was... ..was picked or had to be picked,
you know, July, August, September, um, that was boated out. All of the navels that year
were boated out using some borrowed
ex-Second World War landing barges.

And, um, four or five or six days a
week, they did a trip to Wentworth. Um, my aunt in particular
was a very keen photographer and all of the still photographs -
and they're all black and white - were done by my aunt,
whose name was Patricia.

The movie films, well,
they were my grandfather's. He had the movie cameras. And we've still got them and there's about
500 and something films, about 20 of which
are 1956 flood related. So Pomona was isolated when a levee bank broke
in the beginning of August. And it was into, I think,
the end of October before there was the ability
to drive out again, so effectively, August, September
and most of October... Well, I think nearly all of October
they were isolated. One of the things to be conscious
of with floods on the river here is that they don't...
don't come up and go down quickly. They come up slowly
and go down slowly. And, um, when it started coming up, no-one knew how high
it was going to get. And, um, I guess they were hoping
it would start going down. But... So the flood
went on for a long time and I think that's probably
a key message. Most of the flood footage
you'll see on television news is a flood that happens tonight
and tomorrow it's dry. Well, that's not how the rivers
work here.

It's absolutely inevitable.
There'll be another flood. '56 or bigger, sometime. And no-one knows when. The issues about 1956 were not that it was
a massive Murray flood or a massive Darling flood. There were quite major floods
from the Murray and the Darling but they hit the junction
at Wentworth at the same time. For example, in the Darling, there was more water coming down
in 1976 than there was in '56. And... ..and because the Murray
wasn't being flooded at the time, it wasn't really
an issue around here. It wasn't an issue at all
around here. So the issue about a flood like 1956 is getting a major flood
in the Darling catchment and in the Murray system
at the same time. And, um, it will happen again
sometime, but I don't know when. New South Wales is set to be
the first Australian state to ban greyhound racing. It follows revelations of overwhelming evidence of
systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings
and live baiting. The decision has regional towns
like Wagga Wagga worried, with locals saying dog racing
is an important cultural and economic industry.

FIONA BREEN: It's a typical
Sunday morning at the Wagga Wagga greyhounds.

Many of these dogs are young
and they're learning the ropes. They're here to have some
trial runs around the track. He's only a baby. It's only his third time
behind here.

And I held him in the box
because he'd never been in the box. He went pretty good. For a pup. he's only a baby. (DOG BARKS) Their future remains in the balance. These younger greyhounds may struggle
to fit in a decent race before a New South Wales industry
ban is implemented in July 2017.

For high-profile Wagga Wagga
greyhound trainer Rod Oakman it spells the end of
a lifetime investment.

It's very frustrating and...

..when you've been in it
all your life, you're born... I'm 57 years of age and
I was born into greyhound racing. Me father was here this morning.
He's 84. He's wandering around with a dog. My wife is here. My eldest daughter.

What do we do? What will I do
on a Sunday morning?

And we come to the dogs...

We go to Wagga, we go to Temora,
we go to Canberra. We go to Wentworth Park. You see your friends. They're the only friends
greyhound people have. We stick together
and they're your mates.

What do we do?

A New South Wales
special commission of enquiry conducted a damning investigation
into greyhounds in response to
a Four Corners program. It showed racing greyhounds
being enticed to chase live animals to help make them faster racers. The practice, known as live baiting, was found to be rampant
in the industry.

Chilling, confronting... It's horrific. Cuttin' us all out of it. Rod Oakman acknowledges
it does happen, but says he's never practised it. Live baiting... People have done it.
Of course they've done it. And...

Probably still happens today. I don't know who they are
or where they are.

But Greyhound Racing New South Wales
have put all the inspectors on. The inspectors have gone around. They haven't charged anyone
for 18 months. Maybe they haven't done their job. May have done their job. They visited
and raided my place three times.

And each time he says
his operation has come up clean, but Rod Oakman is frustrated that he's set to pay
for the wrongs of others and the ban on greyhound racing
will hit his weekly income hard. We don't know
what we're going to do. We've, uh... ..invested $50,000 in greyhounds
in the last 12 months. All these young ones. We bred out of their mothers. We raced their mothers
and they were all city winners. We thought, "Yeah,
we'll breed a couple of litters.

"We'll sell some."

We've got 14 young ones.
We can't sell them. We can't even give one away.

So what do we do? We've just gotta
keep pushing on and hope that...

..they overturn the decision.

John Kelleher and his son Jeff travel an hour from Tumut each week
to trial their dogs. Today they've got six young dogs
having a run.

At home, there's another three pups that were expected to have
a big future at the track. MAN: I think it's quick
and short-sighted. It's quick in that the report does
appear to have some flaws in it. The problem is..., what are we going to do with
all the participants, all the money
in the spin-off industries and more importantly, what are we going to do with
all the greyhounds? Because the government
will have to be aware that it if you have six or seven
greyhounds at home, eventually you'll need to
find homes for them. You can't keep them all
as companion pets.

This small but dedicated
group of racers are determined to help fight the ban and they're prepared to make
big sacrifices to do it. The Wagga greyhound racing club
was about to spend $115,000 redeveloping this track. That's now been put on hold. Instead, the club has pledged
$50,000 to help fight the ban. The redevelopment
was of the whole track, so, um, now we're just doing a... ..a sand upgrade. We're a non-for-profit club. And we've asked our participants
how many... much money
they'd like to contribute and we came up with
a figure of $50,000. That's pretty good.
Yes. Very good. I think that's... You know, for a little club like us,
we race 26 times a year and, um...

..we're just... We're just hoping that, um, with
that $50,000 it can help the cause.

The newly-formed lobby group, the New South Wales
Greyhound Racing Alliance, says pledges from clubs
around the state are expected to exceed $1 million.

The group's already
started court action, challenging the accuracy
of the report that led to the proposed
greyhound racing ban. It's considering further legal action against the legislation
that will enshrine the ban in law. That's expected to pass through
the New South Wales lower house this month.

Former Federal National Party
member for the Riverina Kay Hull is a long-time sponsor
of the Wagga Wagga greyhounds. She is one of five delegates
from the local community appointed by club members
to help push the industry's cause. She believes the fight
is even more important for regional towns like Wagga that has businesses set up
around the greyhound races. It's very important
to Wagga and the economics. You know, most... If you look at the amount
of greyhound racing as opposed to, say, harness or thoroughbred racing,
um, we would... ..most of the racing happens
in the greyhound industry. So those people are, you know, the on-sell of all of the products
that the greyhound owners use, um, certainly come from
the local areas and it's the local vet,
the local meat supplier, the local cooperative
with all of the dog food. Um, it's all of the grooming,
it's the...'s the amount of effort
and time and money that the multiplier effect creates
here that is big.

Today, a dog is knocked unconscious as it takes one of its first
trial runs around the Wagga track. The accident is blamed on
new equipment. The mechanical lure that carries
a toy rabbit around the track for the greyhounds to chase has just been installed. That wouldn't have happened in... ..maybe 10 years here. It's just one of those things. They're trialling
a new lure here today and the cable stretches so the driver hasn't got a real good
control over the lure at times because the cable's stretching, so it's very unfortunate
but the dog's fine. The dog's up,
the dog knocked himself out. But he's up
and he's quite good now.

The dog is wobbly on its feet. This is a sensitive time for a TV
crew to witness a greyhound injury. It was an accident. (BLEEP) Could only happen here, but. Mate. Mate. Hey. You don't want to be taking... Oh, David. David. David.
That's enough. This animal was quickly
put in the trailer and carted away. According to club officials, it was checked by a vet
and is now spelling. In other words,
it's having a rest from racing. As you can see, the care and the
concern for the dog was paramount and everyone gets very sick
when something like this happens.

The New South Wales Premier,
Mike Baird, is not convinced there's enough care
or concern about greyhounds in the racing industry. MIKE BAIRD: The industry
has a culture of deception. Indeed, the commissioner has found
that it is no longer entitled to the trust of the community.

Animals Australia and the RSPCA were
approached to take part in this story but both declined.

For now, greyhound racing in Wagga
goes on. There are races scheduled
until the end of May 2017. But there's little hope
amongst the membership here that they'll go on
in New South Wales beyond then.

From greyhounds to dingoes. Last month,
Landline exclusively reported on a North Queensland council's plan
to use dingoes to kill feral goats.

The Hinchinbrook Shire Council
was releasing dingoes to cull 300 feral goats
which were ravaging Pelorus Island. Afterwards, the dingoes
would then be shot or die from time-delayed poison
pellets already placed inside them. Well, the Queensland government
hated what it called a cruel, inhumane,
bizarre death-row dingoes plan.

It's stopped the plan, citing a threatened population of
beach stone-curlews on Pelorus that could be affected.

Now the important
southern oscillation index is struggling to head north. It is, surely, but very slowly. Here's the graph. Last week, the reading was +3.9. It's now advanced to just over +4. Here's the national map of
weekly rainfall. Cold fronts dominated
southern weather. The good rain went to
the WA Wheatbelt and the west coast
of Tasmania. Numbers now -
in Queensland, Tully had 167mm. Remarkable for what is
still the dry season. In New South Wales, Broken Hill
registered five. The Victorian town
of Jameson had 11 and Ross in Tasmania
scored 7mm. The town of Curramulka
in South Australia recorded 11mm. Up north,
Gove Airport had 5 and over in the central wheatbelt
of Western Australia, Northam had 22mm. That's the Landline
check on rainfall, and good luck to everybody
heading to Gympie for the 35th anniversary muster. I'm sure you'll all have
a wonderful time. For several months now,
Landline's been featuring stories by the winners of
the ABC's Heywire competition. Today we head to a remote cattle
station and hear from Callan Daley about the day a stranger arrived
at the station carrying a pumpkin.

CALLAN: There's nothing
more depressing for a farmer than parched land stretching
as far as the eye can see.

This is the misery that my family has
experienced over the last few years.

But there was one moment when
this drought-stricken landscape was illuminated by
the light of human kindness.

Living in remote north-western
Queensland, 100km from Longreach, we're not overly prepared
for unexpected visits from strangers. My family and I had just retreated
from the scorching heat of the day.

I was in the kitchen,
Mum was in the backyard when a dusty family wagon
rolled up to our front gate.

And things got even weirder.

Even a suburban family
would be suspicious of a man bearing a large vegetable
paying an unexpected visit. Out here, it seemed even stranger.

The pumpkin-bearing man was soon
accompanied by his wife and daughter, laden with cardboard boxes.

But what happened next
changed my perspective on not only the drought but on the compassion that
our urban cousins have for the struggling
agricultural industry.

They'd been travelling around
regional Queensland, delivering packages of supplies
to struggling farmers. It wasn't this $50 package
of groceries that my family urgently needed.

It was the knowledge that
we, farmers, were not alone in our struggle
against the drought.

And to know that our city cousins cared about their counterparts
in the bush. This is why I believe
actions speak louder than words and compassion speaks louder
than actions.

That was Callan Daley
from La Mancha Station in Queensland with his Heywire-winning story. Entries for the current Heywire
competition close in September. On our next show, rising rural crime. Well, it'd be unlikely that exactly
the same scenario would occur again, but if it did,
I'd take care of it myself. REPORTER: How? I'd just take care of it. I'd go in and get my own lambs
back off the...the thieves.

Country crime, next week on Landline. And to stay in touch with
the reporters and the crews, you can like us on Facebook
or follow us on Twitter. From all of us in the team,
bye for now. Captions by Ericsson Access Services Copyright Australian Broadcasting


How mesmerising is
the pattern of this flower? The thing I love about camellias is that they come in
so many different colours and when it's time to flower
in winter the whole bush or tree
just comes alive. And then the leaves themselves,
the glossy deep green. They're at home in any garden
all throughout the year but the thing is when they're left to their own
devices, like this one here, they start to search for light and they get a bit leggy
and a little bit scraggy and that's when it's time
to give them some attention, which I'll be doing a little later. But first, let's have a look at
what else is on this week's show.