Moama musters drought re­lief

Big Rigs - - NEWS - David Vile

THE plight of Aus­tralia’s farm­ers bat­tling the drought has been well doc­u­mented in re­cent months and trucks on the nation’s high­ways loaded with round and square bales of stock feed have been a com­mon sight as the dry con­di­tions across much of the coun­try con­tinue.

On a Sun­day morn­ing in late Au­gust, four loads of hay and do­nated gro­ceries made their way into cen­tral NSW from north­ern Vic­to­ria, with the con­voy cross­ing the Mur­ray River at Echuca-Moama just on day­break.

Bill Martin, from Co­huna, was be­hind the wheel of a Freight­liner Ar­gosy and headed the mini con­voy con­sist­ing of three trucks from north­ern Vic­to­ria, with a fourth, driven by Al­lan and Andy Sproull, mak­ing the trip up from Lang Lang near Mel­bourne.

With the hay loads ar­ranged through Drought An­gels, two B-dou­bles and two sin­gles were loaded at Woome­lang in the Vic­to­rian Mallee with 8x4x3 square bales, with the trucks be­ing dis­patched to needy stock around Gil­gan­dra, Gren­fell and Welling­ton in NSW.

Along with the hay in the trail­ers for the hun­gry sheep and cat­tle, all the trucks were loaded up with gro­ceries and sup­plies for the peo­ple on the prop­er­ties that have been do­ing it tough, with do­nated goods rang­ing from break­fast ce­real to pet food and toi­let pa­per.

As is the Aussie way, Mr Martin reck­oned once the word got around there was a hay run oc­cur­ring, peo­ple were more than will­ing to pitch in and help.

A tele­han­dler was do­nated and dis­patched from Moama to the prop­erty where the hay was loaded and do­na­tions of gro­ceries and sup­plies rolled in from a wide area.

“I put the call out on Face­book we were do­ing some­thing on Mon­day,” Mr Martin said.

“Peo­ple from ev­ery­where just turned up with stuff – we got two car­loads of gro­ceries and things from Lake Boga and Swan Hill and we also have a $500 gift card for each of the farm­ers we are go­ing to – just the lit­tle things like that can help out a lot.”

Along with Mr Martin’s Ar­gosy and the Sproull Western Star, a Ken­worth SAR and an­other Freight­liner made the trip north, with the quar­tet head­ing up through West Wya­long and Forbes to their re­spec­tive des­ti­na­tions, with all the driv­ers do­nat­ing their time to the cause.

As the trucks headed out from Moama they were seen off by some well-wish­ers, with Mr Martin hop­ing to make their re­spec­tive des­ti­na­tions late in the day.

He said the job they were un­der­tak­ing was re­ward­ing de­spite the ef­fort in­volved.

“We might not be do­ing much in the gen­eral scheme of things but ev­ery lit­tle bit helps,” he said.

Drought An­gels is based in Chin­chilla, Queens­land and was founded in 2014.

It of­fers in­di­vid­u­alised sup­port to farm­ing fam­i­lies in times of need fol­low­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in­clud­ing drought, flood and fire.

To make a do­na­tion or to find out more about the valu­able work they do, visit www.drough­tan­gels.org.au.

PHO­TOS: DAVID VILE

SPE­CIAL DELIVERY: The trucks roll into NSW from Echuca on day­break, on their way to de­liver hay and gro­ceries to drought-af­fected farm­ers.

Lend­ing a hand are (from left) Al­lan Sproull, Bill Martin, Shane Wadding­ton, Ja­son Hunt and Andy Sproull.

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