Hay run helps NSW fire-rav­aged farm­ers

Owner Driver - - News - – Cobey Bar­tels

MORE THAN 200 tonnes of hay and stock feed sup­plies, as well as $100,000 worth of fenc­ing gear was de­liv­ered to fire-stricken Uar­bry and Leadville farms in the up­per Hunter re­gion of New South Wales on Fe­bru­ary 26.

In the wake of the Sir Ivan fires more than 150 vol­un­teers and mul­ti­ple truck­ing com­pa­nies banded to­gether to help out the farms.

The day kicked off with the 55-ve­hi­cle-strong con­voy, led by the King­don Ponds Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice, tak­ing off through the thank­ful streets of Scone.

From Scone the vol­un­teers dis­persed, de­liv­er­ing hay to 13 farms in the Cas­silis and Coolah re­gions, while fenc­ing crews worked hard at eight prop­er­ties along the dec­i­mated stretch of land be­tween Uar­bry and Leadville.

Brad Smith, one of four event or­gan­is­ers, says the day was a huge suc­cess, but there’s still so much more work to be done.

“Our crews worked for about nine hours yes­ter­day and re­paired in ex­cess of 6km of de­stroyed fenc­ing,” Smith says.

“But on just one prop­erty we vis­ited, the farmer has over 70km of fenc­ing that has been de­stroyed, so there’s still so much more we would like to do.

“One of the farms we vis­ited sim­ply had noth­ing left.

“Their house and out­build­ings were gone, their machin­ery, tools, stock feed, ev­ery­thing had gone up in flames.

“It was a lot of or­gan­i­sa­tion and work lead­ing up to the week­end, but see­ing the smiles and the hope re­turn to the farm­ers made ev­ery bit of hard work all the more worth­while.”

With so much more work to be done, the team plans to or­gan­ise an­other week­end in the com­ing months to con­tinue re­build­ing fences in Uar­bry and Leadville.

“The work we did yes­ter­day saved one farmer a month’s worth of work, so if we can get more do­na­tions and more peo­ple to vol­un­teer their time, we can make a huge im­pact in restor­ing these peo­ple’s lives,” Smith says.

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