The Slades’ 5700 hectare property Glenridge Park in the Great Southern region of Western Australia is very much a family business.

David and Lyn Slade, with their daughter Vanessa her husband Scott and their son Andrew and wife Nicole, run the prime lamb, beef and cropping enterprise. They also employ three sta.

Over the years the Slades have ne-tuned their operation to maximise production and productivity. This includes running two sheep studs and one beef stud to ensure the best genetics.

“We use about 100 000 litres of diesel on farm each year,” Lyn says. “We use diesel in all of our machinery and utes. We have a diesel generator for providing power to sheep yards where there is no electricity and for pumping water from dams to our feedlot.”

The Slades have built 25 km of on-farm laneways which allow for fast and efficient movement throughout the farm.

“The laneways are an essential investment – we use them to drive around the farm, to put out feed and move sheep and cattle, without driving across the paddock and wrecking pasture,” 
David says.

“We maintain the laneways to be as good as a gravel road, so we can drive at 100 km an hour to get things done quickly and safely.”

But building and maintaining your own roads is not cheap. The Slades estimate they cost $200 000, including carting gravel, construction, grading and culverts. Ongoing annual maintenance, which includes grading the laneways three or four times a year, costs an additional $12 000.

Fuel tax credits recognise that a business that builds, uses and maintains its own roads should not be liable to pay the excise.