A project has been registered with the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) to provide much-needed relief for drought-stricken farmers in the district.
Rotary District 9650 encompasses much of the State’s Far West , out to Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Wee Waa, Narrabri, Boggabri, Gunnedah, Moree, Warialda, Barraba, Manilla, Quirindi and Tamworth, where the drought is biting hard.
Australians and businesses in general can give genuine assistance through Rotary. All donations are also tax deductible and almost 100 per cent will get to farmers in need.
“I have heard harrowing tales of unbelievable hardship, and I believe that we, as Australians, must step up to the plate and help,” Taree Manning Rotary Club president and local accountant, Rhonda Futterleib.
“In the good years our farmers produce wool, meat and crops of all sorts, which goes towards making a great lifestyle for the rest of us. It's time we gave back a little, especially when they need it most,” she said.
The Rotary Governor for the district, Lorraine Coffey, has been visiting clubs in the Far West over the past two weeks.
“Most of our farmers have been feeding cattle since last Christmas at a cost of about $3000 a week,” she said.
“The problem is the shortage of fodder. Hay is coming from South Australia and freight costs are two and a half times more than the hay. The Tamworth area has had just 70mms this year, where rainfall is usually around 400mms by now.
“In Boggabri, one farmer climbs Currajong trees every day to cut branches to feed cattle. It has been a never-ending job, seven days a week, for most people on the land with no relief in sight. Some could do with a break.
“And it’s not just the farmers who are doing it tough in these small communities, it’s the small businesses who rely on them as well. So supporting your local butcher, baker and those small businesses selling local produce in small towns is vital.
“The Rotary Club of Gunnedah 2380 is helping a young man who wants to run a music event and market day in Gunnedah to raise funds for farmers in the that area. Most people in these small towns want to help, as they know how bad the drought is in their towns.
“In Wee Waa, a farmer had a crop of winter wheat fail to germinate for the first time ever, so there will be no income from winter wheat this year.
“And let’s take the time to read labels in our supermarkets, and make sure it is Australian beef, lamb, pork and chicken we are buying, along with dairy products.
“Our farmers need our support, and this will help them get back on their feet when the rains do come.”
If you would like to help, go to www.rotary.org.au/project-search. Click on "Project Search" then in the left of the window, click on "District" and type/select 9650. The project is titled "Drought Relief NSW" with project number 2-2018-19. Then click on the "Donate" button.
If you know of someone in dire straits, please contact Rotarian Reg Pierce, local Rotary Australia World Community Service chairman in Wauchope on 0417 472 723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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