Australia's 'hardest working' employees making people's day

Goats may be an unusual site in a suburban street but they are a great way to manage weeds and overgrowth.

Walking through an inner city suburb, passing rows of businesses, homes and warehouses, the last thing many would expect to see within a development zone is goats.

Yet, in the heart of Melbourne, Australia's "hardest working" employees are busy every day — clearing weeds naturally from a construction zone in Collingwood where development was delayed. They were hired by the land owner and will be employed on and off over the next year to keep the overgrowth at bay.

The goats — leased out by a local business called GrazeAway — are more than just employees though. These furry plant eaters are a sight for sore eyes, putting a smile on people's faces.

"People come up to me all the time and tell me how wonderful it is and how important my goats are to them," GrazeAway owner Colin Arnold told Yahoo News Australia. "Someone texted me just yesterday about the goats in Collingwood saying it made their day."

Images of the goats eating weeds at the Collingwood development site.
The goats in Collingwood have become an online sensation with people visiting the area just to see them. Source: TikTok

200 goats hired across Melbourne

The Collingwood goats are just a small portion of the animals working across Melbourne, according to Colin. "We work with a lot of councils across Melbourne and councils are very supportive," he said. "We have 200 goats and they're all out working."

The goats are "happily eating away" in suburbs across the city including Maribyrnong, Mount Eliza, Dandenong and Queenscliff.

Locals come out in droves to visit hard workers

Colin shared how special it is to see his goats bring joy to people from all walks of life, with some people experiencing loss or bereavement sitting with them, feeding them and enjoying their company. "It's just lovely," he said.

Since videos of the goats have taken off online, people have excitedly started flocking to see the friendly workers in action. "Please tell me where they are so I can go see the goats," one person replied to a video of them in Collingwood. "We need to see these goats," another said.

An environmentally-friendly alternative to herbicide

Starting the business 20 years ago, Colin used to be a nurseryman, supplying plants for the bush regeneration industry. "I used to see the herbicide they used to clean up an area before they planted and I thought there's gotta be a better way," he recalled.

Goats, who eat weeds and can be deterred from particular plants, including certain native plants, are now used by Colin in bush regeneration programs and vegetation management.

Herds of goats can also be leased by companies in other states across the country with businesses such as Flocking Adorable in NSW and Eco Goats in Queensland.

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