THE devastating drought conditions are dragging on in the region but Tamworth has pulled the pin on its homespun fundraising campaign, R U Aware, We Care.
The campaign was launched in June by Tamworth Regional Council, 88.9FM and a slew of local organisations calling for cash and in-kind support for the New England North West farmers as drought tightened its grip.
The appeal raised more than $1 million, but organisers say it has become difficult to draw more funds from the community and called on the state and federal governments to keep the support going.
Tamworth councillor Russell Webb said the drive always had an end date.
“We knew, when it started, it couldn't go on long-term,” Cr Webb told the Leader.
“The resources we were drawing upon were limited and it’s come to a point where we can’t ask for any more.”
He said what was achieved by the community was “spectacular” and the next phase of support should come from the state and federal government with an eye towards drought recovery.
“When it does come to an end, there will need to be a mechanism in place to support recovery for producers restocking and putting crops in the ground,” he said.
He said expanding dams should be on the agenda, too.
George Frame, 88.9FM chief executive officer, said the “community had given so much” and it was time for the government to keep it going.
“From a standing start, I have not seen anything happen as quickly,” Mr Frame said.
“It showed what the region was made of, the way the community made it work effectively, and it showed how we care.”
He said the website would remain open for cash and in-kind donations to The Salvation Army.
The main fundraisers for the campaign included a concert headlined by Lee Kernaghan, Farmer Friday office and school dress-up events, and the donation of revenue from the council’s Lockheed Street bulk water-filling station.
Through the program, more than 700 families gained access to support services delivered through the Salvation Army.
Drought forums were hosted in towns around the region.