THERE is more than $1.1 million in the pot for drought aid in the Fairfax Media/Rural Aid fundraising drive.
And more than $41,000 of that will be going to people in the New England North West – where the campaign was rolled out only six weeks ago.
The project’s founder, Fairfax reporter Belinda-Jane Davis, said Buy a Bale support was starting to flow into the region.
“Truckloads of hay have already arrived at farms in Narrabri and hay relief is due to arrive in Tamworth at the end of this week,” she said.
“The lack of fodder across NSW has meant the appeal has been forced to bring hay to the region from as far as South Australia and Qld.
"Thank you to everyone who is doing what they can to support our farmers.
“Every cent counts and together we will be able to bring them some relief from this unrelenting drought.”
The Buy A Bale campaigns for this region, Hunter, Western NSW and Southern NSW have raised more than $1.1 million.
“Most farmers have been hand-feeding for many months and this is having a huge financial impact, as well as a physical and emotional toll,” Ms Davis said.
“These people are the custodians of our food bowl – without farms there is no food, and whether we realise it or not, this drought is having an impact on everybody.
“It doesn’t matter whether you live in suburbia or in a country town, we all need water and food to survive.
“We must work together to preserve our food bowl and keep our farmers on the land.”
GET A HAND, LEND A HAND
Ms Davis urged people to come forward if they could do with a hand.
“If you’re a farmer and you need help, please register with Buy A Bale. If you don’t register, we won’t know you need assistance.”
Another part of the campaign is a petition that needs 10,000 signatures to be presented to NSW parliament.
Among other points, it asks for a full subsidy on the cost of freight for fodder moved within or from outside NSW; a 50 per cent subsidy on feed; and a 50 per cent subisdy on water to fill household tanks.
- To request a copy, go to: bit.ly/droughtpetition
- To donate to, or register for help from, Buy A Bale, go to: www.buyabale.com.au/newengland-northwest