A total of $1 million in grants will be provided to two organisations to assist farmers in drought.
The 2018 Drought Relief Fund, a partnership between Channel 9, Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS), and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), announced the $1 million in grants on August, 16.
The funds will be provided to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in both New South Wales and Queensland, and the Need for Feed initiative which currently services NSW.
NFF President Fiona Simson said the contribution was a great demonstration of the public’s support for Australia’s farmers.
“These funds have, by and large, been donated by everyday Australians wanting to support the bush through a tough time,” she said.
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“We’ve been overwhelmed by Australia’s generosity, with our fund alone now holding more than $4 million, every cent of which, will make its way into the hands of our farming families."
Ms Simson said the NFF recognised the importance of balancing the need for immediate relief with the need to handle the donated funds with extreme care.
“Our primary objective is to ensure relief is delivered in a way that is targeted, transparent, and beyond reproach,” she said.
“That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with the CWA and Lions.
“Both these organisations have a proven track record in the bush and a strong commitment to working with farmers through hard times.”
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CWA of NSW Chief Executive Danica Leys said the additional funding would be delivered as quickly as possible to families in need.
“We’re currently offering financial support of up to $3,000 to drought-affected farmers in NSW. This money can be used for household bills, which don’t stop when the rain does,” Ms Leys said.
“We have a number of people using the funding for the provision of domestic water, as tanks run dry and farms start trucking water from nearby towns.”
Need for Feed Program Coordinator Graham Cockerell said the funds would be used to bolster hay runs from Victoria up to NSW.
“Just this week, we’ve moved 14 truckloads of hay across the Bass Straight from Tasmania, which we delivered to Walgett, Inverell and everywhere in between,” Mr Cockerell said.
“We’re already planning our next delivery with more than 50 trucks headed to Tamworth, Narrabri and surrounds in about a fortnight. The funding announced today will be put towards filling and fuelling this convoy.”
Fiona Simson warned that while the 2018 Drought Relief Fund would make a difference, it was by no means a solution to the drought.
“We’re honoured to have been able to provide this support in partnership with Channel 9 and RAWCS, however it is not a solution to the drought,” Ms Simson said.
“We will continue to work with RAWCS on charitable initiatives and government on ensuring formal assistance programs are more accessible to those in need, and to increase our industry’s resilience for future droughts.
Farmers can apply for assistance from the recipient charities on the below contacts:
- Need for Feed: www.needforfeed.org
- CWA of NSW: www.cwaofnsw.org.au
- CWA of Queensland: www.qcwa.org.au