Drought appeal funds hit home

Ann RawlingsCountryman
National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Mahar. Picture Chalk Studio
Camera IconNational Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Mahar. Picture Chalk Studio

The final funds of the National Farmers’ Federation-backed drought appeal were allocated this week, providing a much-needed boost to affected farmers in the eastern states.

In total, $10.1 million was collected as part of the National Drought Relief Appeal between August and September last year, with the last allocation of funds — $1.867 million — being distributed among the Western Queensland Drought Committee, Blaze Aid, St Vincent de Paul, Drought Angels and the Country Women’s Association.

NFF chief executive Tony Mahar said the appeal had been of great help to Queensland and New South Wales farmers still in the grip of drought.

“Our farmers are incredibly grateful of the support from the Australian public to get them through these times of hardship,” he said.

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Previous allocations resulted in funds being distributed to the Lions Club Need 4 Feed, the Salvation Army and Rotary, with the Rotary Australia World Community Service also initiating a new fundraising drive to continue the work of the National Drought Relief Appeal.

“These organisations, along with many others who received funding in previous distribution rounds, have done a fantastic job in delivering much-needed aid straight to the doorsteps of struggling farmers, their families and communities,” Mr Mahar said.

“This aid has come in the form of grocery and fuel vouchers, assistance with household expenses, mental health services, volunteer workers, and importantly, feed and fodder for livestock.”

Despite the recent devastating floods in north-west regions of Queensland, drought remains in many places of the eastern states.

Mr Mahar said farmers in the far west and south of Queensland were dealing with the “worst drought in living memory”.

“Meanwhile, 100 per cent of New South Wales is still declared as ‘drought affected’, with 24 per cent of the State suffering from ‘intense drought’ conditions,” he said.

Mr Mahar thanked NFF’s partners in the appeal, Channel 9’s The TODAY Show and Rotary Australia, for their help, as well as Australians who contributed to the fund.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated their hard-earned money,” he said.

“Every cent is very much appreciated and has been put to good use by the incredible charities, who we would also like to extend a huge thanks to.”

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