He does not bark, he will not bite, and he has yet to round up one sheep, but Dusty the Tasmanian kelpie will cost nothing to keep and is set to become a tourist attraction in regional Western Australia. 

Key points:

  • A Tasmanian kelpie made from scrap iron sells for $15,000
  • Dusty is set to become a tourist attraction in Albany, WA
  • Creator Matt Sloane is working towards a full size dairy cow from scrap metal

Dusty, formerly known as Rusty, is made from scrap metal and has become well known on social media since his maker Matt Sloane posted a picture of the dog.

It is a post on the ABC Rural Facebook page that led new owner Lachie Cameron to purchase the kelpie for $15,000, about half the record price paid for a real kelpie.

“He fits in beautifully to our family business which is a bookshop and newsagency in Albany with a kelpie for the logo,” Mr Cameron said.

A close up view of the kelpie made out of scrap iron

The Made in Australia sign on the kelpie’s nose.(Supplied: Matt Sloane)

“We’re a farming family and in the past have had lots of sheep and lots of working dogs, but nothing like Dusty, which I’ve named after the last working dog I had on the farm.”

Recycled salvage scrap metal is what Dusty is made from, according to creator Matt Sloane, who does all his work in a small shed at the back of a property at Copping in southern Tasmania.

Scrap metal in the backyard of Matt Sloan's house at Copping

Scrap metal in the backyard of Matt Sloane’s house in Copping.(Supplied: Matt Sloane)

“Dusty is made from two old trolley jacks, there’s big stilsons on the legs, with rotary hoe blades, springs, a clutch plate, and an exhaust pipe for his tail.” Mr Sloane said.

Matt Sloane began his journey with scrap metal only a couple of years ago and a horse he created now has a home in New York after being sold for $40,000.

A full size horse made from scrap metal looks at the camera

The full size horse made by Matt Sloane from scrap metal.(Supplied: Matt Sloane)

He has also made a special ram for Richmond farmer Will Eddington, whose sheep farm is one of the earliest in Australia, dating from 1823.

“The original homestead on the property burnt down several decades ago and Matt gathered scrap from the site to make the ram, which will be a central theme to the cellar door on the farm,” Mr Eddington said.

“He used a Lux oven door and a Hobart Foundry toilet cistern from the rubble, and the ram has an ear tag with ‘1823’ engraved — signifying the date for the original land grant for Richmond Park.”

A lifelike looking ram made from old metal scraps and standing in a field

This ram will head to Richmond and one of the earliest sheep farms in Australia.(Supplied: Matt Sloane)

The back yard of Mr Sloane’s property is full of bits and pieces of scrap iron collected from farms over the past few years.

“The first piece I made was an eagle which now sits proudly at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Hobart,” he said.

“That’s when I realised I could make these sculptures to as near size as the real thing and maybe do it full time,. But I still work a couple of days on a local farm.”

A Southern Boo Boo Owl made from scrap metal looks at the camera

A southern boobook owl is destined for a home in West Australia.(Supplied: Matt Sloane)

His latest sculpture, a southern boobook owl, is also on its way to Western Australia after being ordered online.

The quality of his finished work has caught the eye of the Tasmanian government which has commissioned Mr Sloane to construct a lifelike dairy cow for the Jordan River Learning Centre, a farm high school at Brighton.

Posted , updated 

Unique Tasmanian kelpie finds a new home in the west
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