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Publican of flood-affected Julia Creek gives back to the community with free beer during tough times

By Kelly Butterworth and Zara Margolis, Sat 23 Mar 2019

David Wyld has been running the Julia Creek Hotel Motel, more commonly know as the 'top pub', for his mum for the past 15 years, and this month for five hours he will be giving away the drinks for free.



The small community was devastated in Queensland's recent flooding event, and, wanting to do something for the locals, Mr Wyld decided free beer, free wine, and a barbecue, would be appreciated by the community.

"After the floods and all that, all the graziers have basically lost everything," he said.



"They've fed their cattle for the last nine years, then to all of a sudden lose everything in a couple of days … if I can put on a barbecue and give everyone a drink in the community, it'll be one day they won't ever forget."

Mr Wyld said from 12pm to 5pm on March 23, the pub would be open and the till would be closed for all community members.

"Everyone has seen things here that they've never seen before," he said.

"I've been in pubs 35 years and I've seen some horrific things, but I've never seen or comprehended anything like this."

Mr Wyld said with locals dropping in and telling stories of shooting much-loved campdrafting horses and cattle with genetics spanning back generations of careful breeding, he knew he wanted to give them a day to take a break and forget.



Community benefit

Julia Creek Mayor Belinda Murphy strongly supports the event.



"I just think it's great that the local pub is supporting the community to come together and have a drink, have a meal, and have a chat," she said.

"It's really important at this time."

She said she hoped graziers would take the time to make the trip to town, despite the large amount of work to be done on properties.

"I think the fact that it's a couple of weeks away is good, people will still be very busy but I really do hope people do take a break," she said.

Councillor Murphy said community events were important in rural towns for people to connect, but particularly so in Julia Creek.

"It's bottom line how we deal with mental health sort of stuff," she said.

"Obviously this year with what's happened it's more crucial than ever."

ABC

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