Dry spell: Drought’s ‘long LandCruiser drive’ kicks off in rodeo heartland

Long Drive for Drought founder Brent Reeman will be hoping for a hometown advantage on Thursday night when he starts his popular car rally in Calliope.

Aug 25, 2022, updated Aug 25, 2022
Drought fundraiser Brent Reeman with his 1973 Toyota LandCruiser. (Photo: Kristy Gogolka)

Drought fundraiser Brent Reeman with his 1973 Toyota LandCruiser. (Photo: Kristy Gogolka)

Even before his fellow car rally enthusiasts gather at the Calliope Rodeo Ground, near Gladstone, Reeman will already have secured $80,000 under the bonnet for Drought Angels, in support of rural families still struggling with drought.

He’s hoping that number will increase substantially from Thursday night when the vintage contingent of Toyota 40 Series Land Cruisers will be on display before the rally sets off for eight nights to visit 18 towns across 3000 kilometres,

Supported by InQueensland since its inception, the Long Drive for Drought was started by Reeman in 2020 with modest ambitions to gather together some fellow Land Cruiser lovers for a drive around rural Queensland, hoping to raise some funds along the way.

Since then, parts of Queensland have endured two wet summers, with a third forecast for this year.

Despite the persistent La Nina wet weather system hanging around, 45 per cent of Queensland remains officially drought declared, comprising 17 Queensland local government areas and parts of another two council jurisdictions.

Reeman says the need has never been greater, with sole beneficiary Drought Angels offering assistance to farmers impacted by all natural disasters, including floods, fires and plagues as well as drought.

With rural communities considered more exposed and vulnerable to extreme weather, this year’s event takes in communities still in the grip of drought and on the frontline of ongoing climate shocks.

After leaving Calliope, the rally will travel through Duaringa, Clermont, Muttaburra, Winton, Boulia, Cloncurry, Kynuna and Longreach.

“We love staying in small communities because of the great welcome they give us and it’s a two-way street – we give back to them by supporting small businesses during the trip, and I’m really excited to be starting in my hometown of Calliope,” Reeman said.

“We’d love for the community to come down to the rodeo ground and check out the cars, grab something to eat and drink, and be part of the excitement.”

Gladstone councillor Desley O’Grady is keen to see the community attend the event and get behind such a great cause.

“It’s incredible to see the impact that the Long Drive for Drought team has made in such a short amount of time,” O’Grady said.

“This is a remarkable achievement and one I’m sure the Drought Angels will be thrilled about.”



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