An historic cattle drive re-enactment will take place at the end of summer next year to help celebrate the Tasmanian Bicentenary.

Around 150 cattle will be driven from Marrawah to Zeehan, along the State’s spectacular north-west coast, following a stock route created in the 1880s to feed miners in Zeehan.

An initiative of the Circular Head community, the Greenham Bicentenary Cattle Drive will be the centrepiece of a major cultural festival that will run from late January to Easter 2004.

Initial information about the event was released on Sunday by Minister for Primary Industry Water and the Environment, Bryan Green at a celebratory barbecue in Burnie.

Organisers also announced the securing of major sponsorship from Smithton-based meat processor and exporter Greenham Tasmania Pty Ltd, to make the event possible.

Organising committee chairman and well-known Tasmanian businessman Trevor Leis said the cattle drive had already captured the imaginations of communities in the region, looking for a special way to celebrate a unique aspect of the State’s heritage.

“The cattle drives of old were monuments to the courage and tenacity of the old drovers,” Mr Leis said.

“Cattle were mustered from Circular Head farms and driven overland on wild west coast beaches and along remote rainforest trails from the late 1800s, through to the early 1900s. Along the way the cattle were swum across the Arthur and the Pieman Rivers.

“During our re-enactment we hope to follow, as closely as possible, the original route, providing a number of opportunities for people to participate in both the drive and a series of associated events,” he said.

Mr Leis said the organisers were particularly pleased that Greenham had agreed to be the naming rights sponsor for the event.

“The Greenham family has been involved in the Australian meat industry since the mid 1860s, and has quickly become an important part of the Tasmanian beef industry and the local community since taking over the plant at Smithton two years ago,” he said.

“A successful and innovative company, Greenham has a long tradition of supporting local communities and we are extremely pleased to have them on board.” Greenham manager Peter Greenham (Junior) said the company was very proud to be supporting the event would be a highlight of 2004 celebrations in Tasmania.

“It will be a remarkable tribute to the cattle men and women who helped establish the thriving industry which we are part of today,” Mr Greenham said.
“In the 1880s when pioneers were establishing farms in the north-west and drovers moved the first mob of cattle down to feed hungry miners, my family was working on the other side of Bass Strait to establish a meat processing business.

“Since then we have all struggled through good times and bad to build state-of-the-art businesses, which are producing prime beef demanded by discerning customers around the globe.

“This event gives the community and the Tasmanian beef industry a chance to celebrate those achievements and the traditions on which they are built, in fitting style.

“We are very pleased to be able to play a small part in making the re-enactment possible.”

The cattle drive will be held from February 28 to March 6, 2004. Details about public participation and associated events are due to be released in early January.

Further information is available by contacting Tony Fletcher: 0418 120194

By Meatworks Messenger