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Thousands support farming family's council fight

SPEAKING OUT: Kate Broughton helped make a funny video about the woeful state of Jamea Rd, which has been under water since April.
SPEAKING OUT: Kate Broughton helped make a funny video about the woeful state of Jamea Rd, which has been under water since April. Contributed

IT'S waterlogged, dangerous and now has been seen by more than 100,000 people.

For 10 years, residents who live along Jamea Rd in Dandaloo, New South Wales have been campaigning for their dirt route to be improved by their local government, Narromine Shire Council.

Since April this year, parts of the road have been under water or boggy, closing off access to houses and farming businesses for months.

With a new wave of councillors poised to hold their first meeting, the Broughton family jumped at the opportunity to make a presentation highlighting the dire state of the road.

"We wanted to make something so every time they hear Jamea Rd they would remember us," Kate said.

What started as organising photos and videos of the boggy road ended in a hilarious 11-minute movie involving the whole family.

In the video dad Greg makes gravel angels, mum Kate gets sprayed in mud pushing out a bogged four-wheel motorbike, daughter Ellie swims in the water to show it's depth, eldest son Luke acts in a skit where he has a broken leg and youngest brother Cam trips face first in the mud.

The family has no film-making skills, Kate even admits she only downloaded her editing app Splice the day before they made the clip.

"I have satellite internet at home, so when I went to upload the video, it took it all night," she said.

"On the Thursday morning I posted it and one of my friends rang asking if I could make it a public post so she could share it. From there it just went nuts.

"My kids were like 'how many people have seen this mum? That's more than there is in Dubbo!'"

Kate said the video presentation went well with the new councillors at the meeting.

"Their response is that they just don't have the funding to maintain all of the roads they have," she said.

While the funny family is making light of the situation, the ongoing issues of Jamea Rd are no laughing matter.

"We want that message to be that it's not just us, heaps of people are in the same boat," she said.

Over the years the Broughtons have revamped their farming business so they can withstand environmental pressures.

"Basically we have diversified so we can always make a dollar," she said.

"That's whether we face drought or flood. As farmers we do have grain stored, we do have hay stored. We manage for whether it's a flood or a drought but we just cannot manage when there is not infrastructure for us to be able to run our business.

"Technically our doors have been closed since the end of April. We did get some lambs out, we put them on a car trailer with a crate. It took my husband more than 10 hours to get a single load of sheep out of the property."

Topics:  farming family new south wales rural roads


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