You’ve read about it, heard about it and have watched it – our farmers and rural communities are doing it tough through one of Queensland’s worst droughts in recorded history.
Our farmers supply our produce. Our rural communities support our farmers and their families. They now need our support — come and lend a hand for the land.
To help our city communities understand the importance of why supporting our farmers and rural communities is so important, especially during this unprecedented time, Rural Aid and Triple M are heading out to Western Queensland — to give farmers and rural communities the opportunity to share their stories with their city counterparts.
Rural Aid founder and Engaging Community Officer, Tracy Alder said many of us living in a thriving city environment can find it difficult to comprehend the extent of the drought and its effect on farmers and rural communities.
“The realities of the harsh Australian conditions and natural disasters are devastating for our farmers on many levels,” Tracy said.
“It’s not only the farmers that are affected, businesses, both large and small in the rural communities that support our farmers also feel the economic effects.”
Triple M’s Dobbo knows firsthand the impact of drought, having worked on rural properties for much of his life including as a jackeroo, stock and station agent and meat wholesaler.
“Folks on the land are doing it tough and it’s important that those of us who are in a privileged position do everything we can to make sure their voices are heard. We all need to dig deep and help our rural brothers and sisters because the fact is, without farmers, none of us eat.”
Tracy explained further that Australian farmers produce 93 per cent of Australia’s domestic food supply.
“When a natural disaster impacts farmers, it impacts us all. The knock-on effect this drought has on those of us living and working in the city is with the reduction on agriculture and livestock, comes less produce and increased prices.”
“We need to support our farmers and rural communities through the hard times, because their contribution is vital for Australia’s prosperity. Regional Australia contributes one-third of our national output,” Tracy said.
The potential cost of the drought also impacts our economy. The gross value of Australian farm production in 2016-17 was at $60 billion — $10 billion of this to Queensland’s economy. Twelve months ago, it was estimated around $12 billion would be lost to the Australian economy because of the drought.
Rural Aid and Triple M Brisbane Lend a Hand for the Land radio road trip:
- Monday August 26 – Free evening Comedy Show in Charleville
- Tuesday August 27 – The Big Breakfast OB from Charleville + free evening Comedy Show in St George
- Wednesday August 28 – The Big Breakfast OB from St George + free evening Comedy Show in Roma
- Thursday August 29 – The Big Breakfast OB from Roma
How to help
Tune in to The Big Breakfast with Marto, Robin and Nick Cody each morning next week between 5:30am and 9am on 104.5 Triple M to hear firsthand from those affected by the drought.
Donations can be made to Lend a Hand for the Land via https://www.ruralaid.org.au/mmm-donation/
All money raised will stay in Queensland to support local farmers.
About Rural Aid
Rural Aid supports farmers and rural communities in times of natural disaster such as flood, fire and drought. In addition, Rural Aid focusses on supporting the sustainability of regional and farming communities. Its disaster relief program includes the nationally recognised Buy a Bale campaign. Other programs include providing volunteer support to rural towns, musical instruments to regional schools and mental health counselling. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities.
Did you know?
- Did you know Queensland has the highest proportion of land area in Australia dedicated to agriculture?
- About 30,500 businesses carry out agricultural activity in Queensland.
- And every year, agricultural industries contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy?
- However, in June this year, 65 per cent of the land area of Queensland – that’s over half of our state – was drought declared?
- At the same time, Queensland’s rainfall was below average for inland southern Queensland and this is expected to continue, which means dams and waterways are not replenishing.
- Our temperatures have also been warmer than average.
- This means the water still in dams and waterways etc evaporates faster than when temperatures are in the normal range, causing more water stress to farmers and rural communities.
- Dam levels are so low in Stanthorpe, that water could run out by December if it doesn’t rain. Stanthorpe, situated in the fertile Granit Belt region, includes Queensland’s $40M apple crop from over one million trees by 55 orchardists, as well as a robust wine industry.
Media enquiries: Raylee Huggett — 0422181796
On site contact: Rural AidEngaging Community and founder,Tracy Alder — 0413 618 561