Landscape image of the Reiland Angus property

Peaty Pastoral treks outback for charity

Gavin Peaty, Breadlebane, and Ian Chivas, Sydney, with Peaty Pastoral’s 1968 Mercedes Benz.

Each year beef producer Gavin Peaty gets out his trusty 1968 Mercedes Benz and flogs it over thousands of kilometres of outback roads for charity.

Gavin and his father John, of Peaty Pastoral, Breadalbane, NSW, are keen participants of the Outback Car Trek, raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Sponsored by Reiland Angus for the past two years, Gavin was accompanied this year by Sydney plumber Ian Chivas and raised $8000 for the cause.

An amazing $1.3 million was raised by this year’s Outback Car Trekkers and their supporters for the RFDS.

The Outback Car Trek started in Tamworth on June 2, travelling via remote communities in central Queensland and finishing at Airlie Beach on June 9.

Peaty Pastoral is a long time client of Reiland Angus and runs a 230 cow winter-calving herd, turning off weaners in January on AuctionsPlus.

Gavin sold PTIC Reiland blood cows for $1650 in this year’s Reiland female sale at Gundagai.

He likes the structural soundness, moderate frame and good growth rates of the Reiland blood cattle.

Gavin also uses advice from Mark Lucas, Pasture Agronomy Service, for grazing crops and a pasture improvement program.

Although Gavin has experienced a tough autumn and has been supplementary feeding since February, he passed through regions north of Tamworth and Inverell on the trek were farms were “decimated’’ with no water or feed.

Peaty Pastoral’s Mercedes Benz 250 has around 80,000 miles on the clock and is only driven once a year at the trek.

The Mercedes completed the trek without a support vehicle.

Entries are mostly two wheel drive vehicles predating the Holden Commodore (1978) and XD Falcon (1979), but vary from two and four door sedans, and wagons to utes and panel vans.

The vehicles are specifically strengthened to withstand the rigors of outback driving, and participants are encouraged to enjoy the journey and hospitality of the small communities they pass through.

“The Mercedes was originally a road car and we bought it about 20 years ago, installed a roll cage, and upgraded the suspension and driveline parts to cope with the rigours of four wheel drive tracks,’’ Gavin said.

“My father got me into the event as he was involved in the first Outback Car Trek 29 years ago.

“This year there were 80 vehicles and 30 support vehicles.

“We did not have a support vehicle, so were totally self-sufficient carrying all our spare parts and tools.

“We did have to replace a broken shock absorber and limped to the finish.

“No one gets left on the side of the road if they break down.

“I really enjoy the fellowship of the trek and the Australian outback but raising money for the RFDS and the local communities we visit is the primary objective.’’

Mark Lucas, Reiland Angus, has lent his support to the outback trek by sponsoring the Peaty Pastoral vehicle.

More than $28 million has been raised by the Outback Car Trek over 29 years, with the funds used to buy capital expenditure items for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, ranging from vital medical equipment to aeroplanes.

“We travel on the trek with Royal Flying Doctor Service administration staff, nurses and pilots so we get to know them socially,’’ Gavin said.

“In the past, trek funds have been used for a $3 million dental program – the RFDS does not just provide aeromedical emergency services but also clinical services in remote communities.

“All the money raised goes into these programs and tangible equipment.’’

Gavin is looking forward to the 30th anniversary Outback Car Trek in 2019, travelling from Renmark to Darwin.