Tuesday, 22 April 2014


By Bill Dahlheimer

Photo sourced here


Sixty nine Christmases, I’ve seen go by.
Oh, how those years have seemed to fly!
Primary school, Secondary and Correspondence helped me stand tall,
Then shearing and contracting; working at all.
Born on the land, my life I would spend,
until the day came when the Bank said they’d lend!
The farm and community; they were my whole life,
And then I met this fine girl, and now she’s my wife.
706 Healeys Road - Campbells Camp, Brigalow
Photo sourced here
For four years I chaired the school P & C board;
our children with apprenticeships was my reward.
The tennis club, bus runs and for the Hall;
We served on committees for them all. 

Our community and local industry; our time we did lend,
Then we moved to our new farm and we started again.
Our farm we selected twenty seven years ago;
A fertile, quiet place where Cobb and his coaches did go,
on the Condamine River where mostly good waters flow

 706 Healy's Crossing Road Brigalow QLD 4412 Real Estate Photo 3

Pork and beef production; they were our ‘call’,
Three times Champion at the Australia Pork Fair
These wins made us feel that we had done it all.
And our beautiful Brahmans they too shone through
all over Australia and New Caledonia too!
The demand for our breeders it was so strong…
But now it’s all gone …. we know what went wrong.
our bacon you see; it now comes from abroad,
And so pig producers have gone in great hoard.
And the live cattle exports, as we all know
Were shut down by a man we all know as Joe!
He and his cronies insulted our trading mate,
So they in their turn simply closed the import gate.
And I wonder how cruelly those unsold cattle did die,
In the drought that followed, beneath the clear sky.
And the people who watched their whole herd perish,
They took their lives too that they did once cherish.
Tangalooma Brahman Stud; photo sourced here 
Now at the end of our toils we hope in our twilight years,
for some reward for all of that blood, sweat and tears.
But when a buyer he did finally come,
One look to our south and he sure did a run!
The Mine, to our south means our farm just won’t sell.
We ask for fair compensation; a fair swing of the bell?
But their answer seems to tell us, “go to bloody hell!”
We are just ‘whingers’, but I don’t think that’s right,
They aren’t the ones, who lie awake at night,
And pray to the Lord, “don’t let That Dog bite!”
They send in some cleaners to wipe down our wall,
And a filter for drinking, they also install,
While sadly our bank balance continues to fall.
Very soon now, there will be none left at all!
For banks, they won’t lend on a farm you can’t sell,
I can hear echoes; they are starting to yell.

Now the company could buy us if they had the will,
They’ve got country that’s surplus just over the hill.
It’s not that this farm will just disappear;
When the mining is finished it still will be here.
Kogan Creek
Kogan Creek power station Photo sourced here
 You ask me how I feel, my very good friend.
When I think of my wife who I have condemned?
For Lynn, too, waits for the banker to knock.
And the two of us may soon walk away from our block
….with nothing to show but hard work and our age.
We worked for retirement; not for this rage!
Now we both know how the other does feel,
And we know in our hearts we have got a raw deal.
We worked ninety-five hours each week,
So at the end of our labours, some pleasure we seek.
Now we hold each other so that black dog won’t come;
And we pray that tomorrow a miracle is done;
That we will have laughter, good cheer and great fun;
Because without one, we will be out in the street,
Among many, like us we are sure we will meet.
                                  The bureaucrats you see, they don’t understand.
They think you must be indigenous to have love for the land.
Our forefathers who lie in Flanders Field,
or who fought in trenches on Gallipoli’s steep hills
Turn in their graves at the ‘democracy’ instilled.

Their descendants they thought would have honey and milk;
Their beds; they would be sheeted in silk!
They never allowed for the power of the dollar to come,
And that the morality they fought for would be given the bum.
Now the directors of companies should take a close look
at the courage and commitment that these diggers took.
Then maybe just maybe, they could open their heart?
Because we are too old to go back to the start!


  1. On the 7pm ABC TV news bulletin Friday May 30, Bill & Lynn Dahlheimer received good coverage from ABC reporter Peter Lewis, well known from Landline.
    The plight that Bill & Lynn find themselves in is explained well in this coverage by ABC. Quite reasonably they wish to retire but despite having a productive farm with a home surrounded by a very pleasant surrounds after 5 years listed with a number of real estate agents any inspections soon loose interest.
    PRA are helping the Dahlheimers bring their situation to the public attention with a message that a resolution is not difficult for the owners of the neighbouring coal mine and power station. CS Energy is a Qld government owned corporation.

    For ABC online article go to - Brigalow cattle farmer says neighbouring CS Energy coal mine has put retirement plans on hold

    How do you sleep on those long dark nights?
    When the government and resources have taken all of your rights
    And the dreams you laid down and your treasures put away
    Have been shattered by greed and contempt and lay ruined today

    This land where we live that was selected by our forefathers in the past
    Some died in foreign trenches for a democracy they thought would last
    They willed us this land that they bought with their life
    This country they thought would never see such strife

    They handed us the chalice, we took it with pride
    We tamed this country with our mates by our side
    We coped with the floods as they rose from their source
    We worked through the drought, they were par for the course

    When the fires swept the lands we all answered the call
    Now we have people running the country with no bush sense at all
    So how do we cope when our land is sucked dry?
    Raped by the corporates with the greed they ply

    They are like children with matches and we all know it’s true
    They are burning the future that no one can renew
    One bite of the cherry and the coal burns in a haze
    Just a massive big hole where the stock use to graze

    While the gas drains our water that the windmill did suck
    The gas companies are killing our land, they are running amok
    In a few short years it’s over and done
    The multinationals reap our wealth from our resources they have won

    When the resources are finished and our land is drained out
    There’s nothing remaining but great quarries, of that there is no doubt
    It should have been different, this land that we hold
    It was created to grow food, not for its coal

    And the wealth that was created in this Great Southern Land
    Should be here for Australians to have in their hands
    Well ok we know that some mining must be done
    But a well thought out plan, not decisions on the run

    For the mining is on the boom and primary production in a bust
    One day this will turn around, in this you can trust
    And who will be left to grow us our bread
    When the land is all ruined and has been left now for dead

    All those glow worms who come to make a quick buck
    Will have nothing but coal on which they can suck
    The city people who can’t see the forest for the trees
    When the shelves are all empty, they’ll be down on their knees
    For iron ore and coal is no good on your plate
    And gas you can’t breathe, on that there is no debate

    This land would have been productive for thousands of years
    When I see how they are raping it, brings me to tears
    A few of us battle on to help slow the tide
    Every acre we save we cherish it with pride

    And that knight with his armour all shiny and bright
    Perhaps tomorrow he will ride in to help with the fight
    And fight we must for there is no second chance
    God is making no more land, there’ll be no expanse
    For the day will come when we will stand tall
    We are fighting for this land for the good of us all.

    By Bill Dahlheimer


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