Iron ore and coal exports fuel modern Australia, but for more than 100 years the economy was supported by wool.Australia's Merino sheep produce the best type for making clothing.
However, Australia's sheep farming industry is in crisis. A two-year drought has seen sheep numbers fall to their lowest level in a century.
I'd have to rank it the worst I've ever experienced here, and in my previous role as a farm owner and manager on property at Condoblin.
I've seen droughts before, of course, but never that have gone on as long as this, and been so dry over a large area with nowhere to go.
No rain means no grass for sheep to eat, forcing farmers to buy feed. For some, the situation has got so bad they've been forced to sell their wool producing sheep as meat.
The sharp fall in sheep numbers is a problem for the whole industry; farmers, brokers and exporters in Australia; and the processors which are mostly in China.
And now the long-term sustainability of the industry is coming under scrutiny, particularly given Australia's vulnerability to extreme weather events due to climate change.
If our numbers get to a critical low, which I believe they're at the moment, when we see a national flock of 24m breeding Merino ewes, I think we're getting to a level where it won't be sustainable.
We will not be able to reproduce our numbers and grow this flock once this drought breaks. The Pooginook stud, where they specialise in breeding the best animals, recently enjoyed some much needed rain.
That has provided hope that farmers may soon be able to replenish their flocks, but most of the country is still gripped by drought. Until it breaks, the future of one of Australia's oldest industries hangs by a thread.