With 99.7 per cent of New South Wales impacted by the drought and no immediate relief to the weather in sight, an influx of hay deliveries to drought affected areas of the state is forecast for 2019.
Rural Aid has announced hay deliveries will be made to drought-affected NSW areas this year as blistering conditions are forecast to continue throughout 2019.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) recently confirmed that help is desperately needed as large parts of western and central NSW remained in drought or intense drought categories of the NSW monitoring framework, despite some isolated storms providing some relief throughout December.
CEO of Rural Aid Charles Alder said the NSW DPI report reinforced the feedback that Rural Aid has been receiving from farmers across NSW over the past few months.
“Over 1700 farmers in NSW registered for assistance in the last quarter of 2018 and our charity has received almost 70 applications for assistance in the first week of 2019,” Mr Alder said.
“Rural Aid has commenced hay and water deliveries to many of the areas impacted, particularly in Western NSW.”
Mr Alder said in the last fourth months Rural Aid delivered over 21,045 tonnes of hay to drought affected areas of NSW and QLD. With 915 trailers transporting over 30,000 bales.
“We cannot be complacent in thinking this drought will go away anytime soon, so we ask all Australians to continue to support our rural communities,” he said.
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“Regions such as Condobolin, West Wyalong and Nyngan are on the absolute top of our list and we aim to deliver to the worst affected regions like Walgett and Coonamble as soon as possible.”
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that 2018 was Australia’s third-hottest year on record, with rainfall down 11 per cent on average consequently culminating in ‘severe drought’ in the second half of 2018 in large parts of Australia.
As the long-term weather forecasts predict a torturous summer, Rural Aid’s primary focus is to support rural communities by delivering as much assistance as possible each week across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
For more information on Rural Aid’s upcoming projects and how you can support farmers and rural communities visit www.ruralaid.org.au