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Letter from the editor

Letter from the editor
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
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They came for affordability, but what keeps tree-changers in regional Australia?

It was the night before the Australia Day public holiday. My brother-in-law Elvis was driving from his home – the top house on our pecan farm, which looks a bit like Peppa Pig’s house perched on the hill – to Brisbane airport about five hours away, to spend a weekend with friends in New Zealand. An hour into his trip, his car broke down in Tenterfield. 

There are no trains in Tenterfield. You can’t hire a car. There are no Ubers. There’s a daily bus but it had already left and, because of the public holiday, there were no buses the next day. There are a couple of mechanics, but they were already closed for the long weekend. Elvis wasn’t a member of the NRMA but wondered if joining would do him any good this late in the game.

So he opened the Bonshaw Billygoats Whatsapp chat. “Anyone going to Brisbane in the next 12 hours?” Elvis asked his cricket team-mates. No one was. 

Then someone suggested getting in touch with a freight company. Ed (my husband/Elvis’s brother-in-law) picked up the phone and called Grant, the exceedingly capable owner of a trucking company based in Tenterfield.

“Grant, you got any trucks going through Tenterfield heading to Brisbane anytime soon?”

Grant looked at whatever it is that tells him where all his trucks are, in real time. “I’ve got a B-double coming from the abattoir heading to the Port of Brisbane, passing through Tenterfield in 20 minutes. Tell Elvis to wait at the service station opposite the footy ground.”

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