Rural Aid hay rolls into town
Friday, 3rd May, 2019
By Callum Marshall
A convoy of Rural Aid trucks pulled into the city yesterday to deliver much-needed hay to drought-stricken graziers.
The hay drop followed similar ones in Scotia and Tibooburra over the last several months, with a total of 1000 large bales of hay delivered.
The money for the fodder came from Australia Post selling “Drought Relief Stamps” and more than $200,000 was raised.
Australia Post’s Executive General Manager of Community and Consumer, Nicole Sheffield, said many people around the country had wanted to help.
“Last year we listened to the community a lot and everybody was saying, ‘how do we help our farmers and make a difference?’” she said.
“Partnering with Rural Aid was something that came so naturally, not just to the community and Australia Post, but for everybody, so we launched the Drought Relief Stamp, which for every $5 (stamp pack) $2 went towards bays of hay.
“I know this hay is only a tiny relief, but if it gives our farmers some relief then we feel very privileged to have done that.
“We know that they’re doing it tough, so this hay drop is just one way that we’re trying to make it a little bit easier for them.”
Rural Aid General Manager, Wayne Thomson, said yesterday’s delivery helped show that people really do care about farmers in drought.
“It’s days like today that make it a little bit easier to get through,” he said.
“One of the messages that we want to get across from days like today is that people like Australia Post and all those involved care.
“They care about what happens to farmers and their lives and that’s so important.
“The hay is too, we need the animals to be fed, but it’s knowing that someone’s standing by you through this drought.
“We’ll continue to deliver hay until everybody in the region has got some.
“It’s about a million dollars’ worth so it’s a big investment, but we want to be able to make sure that the whole region is being supported.”
Mayor Darriea Turley thanked Rural Aid and Australia Post for the hay and said actions like this helped provide a little bit of hope.
“I talk to farmers every day and I’ve been out across the whole Far West, and they’re doing it tough,” said Mayor Turley.
“I don’t think anybody can understand until you talk to them and go out and help them feed.
“When you go out and do that, they talk to you about the day-to-day issues of how they’re going to keep the farm going which they inherited form their grandparents, or how they’re going to look after their kids and the expectations of that.
“But more importantly, you can see the mental health issues that they’re struggling with.
“Australia Post is delivering a little bit of hope for every farmer that gets a bale of hay and we’re very welcoming of that.”