George Millear is the owner of Tiltagoona Station, located 60km south-east of Tilpa in western New South Wales. His 66,000-acre property comprises mostly of timbered rangeland grazing country.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement shows that 2018 was the third-warmest year on record for Australia, with New South Wales being in its sixth-driest year.
Alongside many other livestock farmers, George relies heavily on water availability. “Control the water, control the game,” he says.
WHAT’S YOUR FIRST CHOICE OF REFRESHMENT?
“Rum, lime and water,” says George.
WHERE DOES YOUR WATER COME FROM?
George has four very good bores, two of which are good enough to drink!
“Two are on mains power, one on a generator and one on solar. I also have six ground tanks which are pretty reliable,” he says.
HOW ARE YOU MANAGING WATER FOR LIVESTOCK?
“I have four pipelines running from the bores to poly tanks and troughs and some ‘cup and saucer’ set ups,” says George.
“In an effort to manage Total Grazing Pressure it is vitally important to have some control over watering points. I have several trap yards set up at watering points – all of the troughs can be turned off which helps with the control of all animals. It is impossible to rest country without control of the water.
“’Control the water, control the game’.”
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES WITH WATER?
George’s early years establishing the property were the most challenging, although he notes he didn’t have many stock for the first two years.
“The two existing pipelines weren’t working but were easily fixed. Two bores that had been sunk in the 1950s needed replacing and most of the troughs were unreliable and leaky… so most parts of the water supply needed work,” he explains.
“All the new troughs are from Tumby Bay, and with the big concrete ‘pavers’ around them, they are bullet-proof.”
HOW ESSENTIAL IS CLEAN WATER TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD/FAMILY?
“The bore that supplies the house is extremely valuable as the garden relies on it and it is perfect for the domestic supply. It gives great peace of mind knowing that it is always there (touch wood).”