All steel for Steele - 9 October 2014

In times of drought and economic uncertainty, working to a tight budget is part and parcel of life on the land, particularly for large-scale pastoralists.
 
For Richie Steele of ‘Mundadoo’ at Brewarrina in northern New South Wales, in the past this has sometimes meant neglecting the use of Australian made fencing products and opting for cheaper, imported alternatives.
 
Mr Steele runs a sheep and cattle grazing enterprise with his parents Garry and Louella, and his wife Julia.
 
Since 2006, he has completed over 150km of fencing and had experience with most fencing products on the market.

During this time Mr Steele has found Waratah’s Australian-made products to be superior and the only fencing materials that have given an indication they will last the test of time compared to the cheaper alternatives.
 
A tour of Waratah’s Newcastle mill confirmed for Mr Steele that the small price premium paid for Australian-made was well worth it.
 
He was part of a group of graziers from the Warren Shire who paid a visit to see firsthand how the raw materials are transformed into the equipment they use in the paddock.
 
“Following the mill tour I could see the value in using Waratah’s products; especially the galvanised LongLife® products, once I saw the zinc and aluminium coating being applied,” Mr Steele said.
 
“I think it pays for end-users to be able to see how the processes happen in the factory. It certainly resonates with me when I can see the production first-hand.
 
“We were shown tests that indicated the zinc and aluminium coating would give the wire nine times the life of the standard galvanised products we had been using in the past.
 
“This has been backed up what I have seen at home. The wire has proven to be superior, particularly in areas that have come under flood water on our property.”
 
Product longevity is vital to pastoralists who don’t want to waste time and money installing fences when they could be better diverting their attention to other on-farm operations.
 
Mr Steele can also testify to the strength and ductility of Waratah’s new JIO® posts, which are used for the internal and boundary fences on his property.
 
He wanted extra strength to counter any pressure from native pests – namely kangaroos and emus.
 
“The ductility of these posts is also a major drawcard," Mr Steele said.
 
“Traditional fence posts, when under pressure, basically snap. With the JIO posts, I have found that if they’re bent over, for whatever reason, they can be straightened many times without jeopardising the strength of the post.
 
“Having access to a local Waratah representative to discuss product details and advice on installation has made the decision to use Waratah easy, as they stand by the products they sell."