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Roma and Injune

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It was time we visited the parts of Queensland where our reporter Ben Dark spent much of his early years. He's happiest when he's in the bush or barramundi fishing, and jumped at the chance to take a crew to the Western Downs where he once managed his father's property.

Roma was Queensland's first settlement after separation from New South Wales in 1859. In 1863 it had the state's first wine-making venture and Australia's first natural gas strike in 1900. These days, sheep and cattle are the area's major resources.

The Roma Sale Yards operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays and explode with cattle and cowboys from all over Australia. They auction up to 200,000 head of cattle a year, bringing in around $80 million making it Australia's largest cattle auction operation. They kick off at 6am and go until maybe 7pm, so auctioneers need to be on their wits and keep a clear mind all day.

Raised walkways allow everyone a good view of the animals being auctioned and to bid you just raise a finger — so beware.

After Ben had caught up with a few old mates — including the town mayor — he headed to the quaint little town of Injune.

Injune has a population of just 600, and a signpost at the town's southern end announces they received electricity in 1955, water in 1956 and sewerage in 1962. It has a strong community spirit with characters unchanged by modern life. Beef production has been a staple industry since the town's early days, but two mills produce cypress pine for export. Oil and gas production have become important and Injune has become a major base pumping supplies all around Queensland.

Injune is the southern entry point and gateway to the 300,000 hectare Carnarvon National Park and includes lesser-known Mt Moffatt, Ka Ka Mundi and Salvator Rosa.

As in most small Australian towns, the best place to meet the locals is the pub, and Injune is no exception. The Injune Hotel, better known as 'Struth', is no exception!


About 500 kilometres west of Brisbane.

More information

Roma Bungil Sale Yards
Warrego Highway
Roma 4455
Ph: (07) 4622 1201

The Injune 'Struth' Hotel
60 Hatton Street
Injune 4454
Ph: (07) 4626 1205

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