Rural Aid will deliver 128 large bales of hay on the back of three trailers to 10 drought affected Killarney Queensland farming families, on Tuesday 30 June 2020.
The Killarney hay drop, made possible thanks to the generosity of everyday Aussie donors, will assist local farming families struggling to feed livestock.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said this generous donation of 35.8 tonnes of hay will go a long way to help make life a little easier for the farmers and their families in this drought impacted area.
“Our farmers are going through challenging times,” John said. “They’ve been impacted by one of the longest droughts in recent history, followed by fires that have devasted the land, people, livestock and homes. Now they are dealing with the impact of current restrictions. It may not be obvious to all but for many Queensland farmers, still in drought, the impact is very real.
“In some areas, rain has been welcomed but will only make a tangible difference short term. For others, a lack of rain has meant that restocking or planting a crop isn’t an option and, that stock feed is in short supply across winter months.
Located in the Southern Downs region, Killarney is about 160 kilometres south west Brisbane close to the NSW border. It was once known for its timber and dairy industries but is now a thriving mixed-farming area, impacted by drought.
“Transport continues to be an essential service during these current restrictions, by leveraging Rural Aid’s proven delivery model we are able to continue to support farmers to feed their livestock, thanks to the generosity of our donors,” John Warlters said.
“On 26 June, we delivered two trailers loaded with 84 bales of hay to three farmers at Carneys Creek just south of Boonah. A further three trailers loaded with 128 bales of hay will be delivered to eight farmers at Palen Creek on Thursday, 2 July.”
Assisting farmers and their communities
John Warlters also added that just like any other business through this COVID period, Rural Aid is pivoting and finding ways to navigate restrictions so the charity can deliver on the ground for farmers.
“Obviously, under slightly reduced capacity but thanks to our drivers and operations team, we’re continuing to deliver for our farmers,” John Warlters said.
“Week in week out, hay is on the agenda as we help farmers manage through drought and restock after bushfires and floods.
“We are also recognising a greater need for our services than ever before and as we add international trade repercussions to the mix, we expect that need to grow.
“We’ve also found unique ways to stay connected with farmers and rural communities through our counsellors – Gary Bentley’s column published fortnightly in regional and rural newspapers.
“We are also continuing to support our farmers with financial assistance.
“We are also supporting our farmers and rural communities through online mechanisms like the Community Builders Series webinars and our counselling service’s On the Couch webinars.
“While uncertainty has been on the peripheral for many, so that our farmers know that they haven’t been forgotten during these times, Rural Aid has launched #DearFarmer letters. People can share a digital message of hope with a farmer at www.ruralaid.org.au/dearfarmer/.”
Impact of drought in Queensland
As at 1 May 2020, there are a total of 41 councils (including the Killarney area) and four-part council areas drought declared. These declarations represent 67.4% of the land area of Queensland. There are also 28 Individual Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further 11 Local Government Areas¹.
Bureau of Meteorology
The Bureau of Meteorology noted in May 2020 that rainfall was below average over the southwest, and southeast Queensland².
In the Events section of its Annual Climate Statement 2019, published on 9 January 2020, that, ‘The extensive and long-lived fires appear to be the largest in scale in the modern record in New South Wales, while the total area burnt appears to be the largest in a single recorded fire season for eastern Australia’³.
- Warmest year on record for Australia – mean temperature 1.52 °C above average
- Much of Australia affected by drought, which was especially severe in New South Wales and southern Queensland
- 2019 was amongst top ten warmest for Queensland
- Annual total rainfall 40% below average with much of Australia affected by drought
¹Sourced from the Queensland Government Longpaddock
²Sourced from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) May 2020 Queensland
³Sourced from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Annual Climate Statement 2019
About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities.
Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots for Rural Aid’s latest assistance statistics.
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