12-13 April 2006 - Hay
While in Hay we visited the Shear Outback centre which specialises in the life and equipment of the shearer as one aspect of the wool industry. The main attraction was a sheep being shorn in a woolshed. The demonstrator was a professional shearer who teaches shearing as well; he spoke at some length about the shearer's life. The visit was well worthwhile but Shear Outback only deals with the shearer, not with the whole wool industry and it could profitably expand to be more like the Stockmans Hall of fame at Longreach which deals expansively with the stockman and his industry.
||Sheep being shorn at Shear Outback, Hay.
||Sheep inside the shearing shed waiting to be shorn. Gaps in the floor help keep the shed clean;
galvanised iron walls and roof are not insulated; the shed gets very hot in the sun.|
||Shearing shed at Shear Outback, Hay. Sheep to be shorn enter up the ramp at the left and are ejected through single doors and down short ramps near the centre of the picture after their wool has been removed. This shearing shed was a working shed at a nearby property before being moved to Shear Outback.|
After lunch we drove 15 kilometres along the Murrumbidgee River to Hay Weir. For much of those 15 kilometres the road runs
through irrigated vegetable fields sometimes stretching away from the river to the horizon. The Hay area is a major
supplier of vegetables to wholesale markets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and to major chains such as McDonalds, Coles
Hay Weir was a three bay structure holding back a substantial body of water in which there were many dead gum trees still
standing. There is no lock to permit boats to pass. Water level was quite high and water was up to the level of the grass
and trees around the edge. We had noticed that the water level in the Murrumbidgee at all points around Hay was quite high;
apparently this is because water has been released from all of the upstream storages serving the irrigation areas (in this
case the Burrinjuck Dam) so that water can be taken for irrigation.
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