THE drought situation in the Central Tablelands and across the state has become “critical”, Bathurst man Grant Denyer says.
Currently, 99.8 per cent of NSW has been impacted by the drought – 15.1 per cent has been declared in ‘intense drought’, 37.9 per cent in drought and 46.8 per cent drought affected.
Farmers are destocking, crops are failing and the struggle to find the finances to keep farms afloat is a very real battle for many.
- Read more: Help western NSW farmers survive the drought | Video, Photos
- Read more: Thanks for your help
Bathurst man Grant Denyer has lived in the region for five yeas, and while his little patch of paradise is a few acres at Perthville he has seen first-hand just how tough the drought has become.
He took to social media on Monday afternoon to post a photo of the drought-stricken paddocks on his property and to sympathise with the state’s struggling farmers.
There’s not only a financial toll but also a mental and emotional one. Some families are at breaking point, unable to afford food and with no choice but to shoot their stock so they don’t starve and suffer a slow death.”
“Situation critical. This is how dry it is at our place,” he posted to his Facebook page.
“[It’s] so dry, the kangaroos are drinking out of our dog bowl.”
In their role as a Rural Aid ambassadors, Mr Denyer and his wife Chezzi have visited drought-affected farmers across the state to lend their support and encourage others to lend a hand and make a donation.
- Read more: Drought is just the beginning, according to Dubbo farmer
- Read more: Drought declarations gone
“We’re lucky we don’t rely on the farm for income but so many in regional Australia do,” he posted online.
“It’s so sad right now. In many places it’s the worst drought since records began.
“There’s not only a financial toll but also a mental and emotional one.
“Some families are at breaking point, unable to afford food and with no choice but to shoot their stock so they don’t starve and suffer a slow death.”
Mr Denyer also wrote about his concerns for mental health issues for those who live on the land.
“Mental health issues have risen 70 per cent in our region and suicide by farmers is the most tragic consequence of such a drastic situation,” he said.
“Farmers harvest our food and the materials for the clothes on our back. Please think of them. We need them. They need us.”
- For help in a crisis call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Black Tie and Boots Ball to support Rural Aid
THE upcoming Black Tie and Boots in Bathurst will go towards helping farmers who are struggling.
The event will be held at Bathurst Goldfields on Saturday, August 11, with all funds raised to help farmers as they struggle through the state’s crippling drought.
Rural Aid is “hands-on” across the country through its Buy A Bale campaign and so far this year has distributed $1.5 million worth of aid, including hay, water, groceries and transport, to farmers in NSW.
Story continues after Facebook post
Founder Charles Alder said the upcoming Black Tie and Boots Ball would be a great night out and a chance to hear first-hand from farmers about just how hard times have become.
“We’ve delivered 4500 large bales of hay this year alone, just in NSW,” he said.
“We’re by far the largest national distributor of fodder this year. There’s no-one else in a bull’s roar of that.”
- Read more: Yeoval farmers battle drought conditions
Tickets are $150 each and include canapes, dinner, live entertainment, dancing and a host of prizes with auctions and raffles.
Mr Alder encouraged those who do not live on the land and those in metropolitan areas to have empathy for the region’s primary producers.
“Walk a day in someone else’s shoes,” he said.
Single tickets or tables of 10 can be purchased online.
Visit the Black Tie and Boots Ball online to purchase your tickets.
Chezzi Diaries backs Rural Aid
CHEZZI Denyer’s blog, the Chezzi Diaries, is an open and honest account of many things and the current drought is one of them.
Recently she wrote about what it was like to meet farmers who are struggling with the drought.