Tributes for cattle station owner

Cally Dupe
Dougal Brett

A memorial service for cattle station owner Dougal Brett, who died in a tragic helicopter accident at the weekend, will be held at Kununurra Racecourse next Wednesday.

Family and friends of the Brett family are invited to attend the service from 2pm on June 24.

The family have asked for no flowers, "just thoughts and prayers".

Kununurra’s Country Women’s Association is catering for the service and has asked those who would like to help to drop off finger food to St John Ambulance or italktravel by 8.45am that day.

Mr Brett, who co-owned Waterloo Station about 110km by road from Kununurra, was flying solo in an R-44 helicopter when it’s believed he crashed into a river bed at about 11.30am on Sunday.

Tributes are flowing for the prominent Northern Territory cattleman, who NT Cattlemen’s association chief executive Tracey Hayes said was an “incredibly hardworking” family man.

“He was incredibly hardworking and known and respected as an industry leader but first and foremost he was an incredibly proud father and a loving family man,” he said.

“His tragic loss is very close to home for all people involved in the northern beef industry.”

Ms Hayes said the Brett family had led the fight to have the live export industry reinstated after the 2011 ban on the trade by the Gillard Government and had recently launched a class action against the government as a result of the move.

She said Mr Brett’s death would be felt across the northern cattle community.

Mr Brett bought Waterloo Station, near the WA-NT border, with his parents Colin and Alison, his wife Emily and brother Hamish in 2004.

The family run about 20,000 Brahman-cross cattle on the 243,000ha property.

The circumstances surrounding the crash will be investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

NT police acting Superintendent Meghan Funnell said the crash was reported to officers in Timber Creek at about midday and Careflight was sent in an effort to save the 40-year-old father of three.

To help Northern Territory residents get to Kununurra, Airnorth has added extra flights from Darwin to Tuesday’s schedule, which can be booked online at ''''''

Kununurra italktravel manager Jodie Morey is co-ordinating flights and accommodation for those wishing to attend the service, and can be contacted on 08 9168 1888 or via email: