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Graziers get gift-card help

Tuesday, 18th February, 2020

Barrier Social Democratic Club employees Ella Fobister and Elle Theoharidis present 100 Far West Proud gift cards to PAWD Vice President Lachlan Gall (left) and President Matthew Jackson. PICTURE: Myles Burt Barrier Social Democratic Club employees Ella Fobister and Elle Theoharidis present 100 Far West Proud gift cards to PAWD Vice President Lachlan Gall (left) and President Matthew Jackson. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

One hundred Far West Proud vouchers have been donated by the Barrier Social Democratic Club to help our drought-stricken graziers. 

The gift vouchers were given to the Pastoralists’ Association of West Darling and will be spent at Broken Hill businesses. 

PAWD president Matthew Jackson said the association felt very privileged to have received such a generous gift. 

“It’s just nice that someone’s donated something that they can use in their local community and help the local community who are doing it tough as well through the drought,” Mr Jackson said.

“A lot of small businesses are struggling. A lot of graziers or pastoralists out there come into town and aren’t’ spending as much as they normally would, or spending none at all, so the money stays in town.

“But quite often they’ll take that card and they’ll spend a little bit extra as well.”

Mr Jackson said many properties had missed out on the recent rain, and some had not had a decent fall in nearly four years.

This meant graziers were having to spend a lot of money on feeding core breeding stock, and installing new bores, pipelines, tanks, troughs and other water infrastructure.

“It hasn’t changed one bit,” said Mr Jackson. “They’re still feeding or destocked and just sitting there weathering it out, waiting.

“It’s a waiting game. It’s the worst, longest running drought, driest period since white man’s been taking records.”

Mr Jackson said huge downpours in the east and south had brought some hope to pastoralists in the Far West that they might be next. 

He said receiving the gift cards from the Democratic Club and the overall support from local communities over the years had been incredible.

“It just goes to show the generosity of people when things are bad, for sure,” Mr Jackson said.

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