Farm­ers hurt­ing here too

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

TAS­MA­NI­ANS are be­ing re­minded not to ne­glect the state’s drought-stricken farm­ers as they reaches out to sup­port drought-af­fected ar­eas in­ter­state.

The Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion Tas­ma­nia has es­tab­lished a state cri­sis fund to sup­port Tas­ma­ni­ans af­fected by drought, flood and bush­fire.

CWA Tas­ma­nia pres­i­dent Linda Clee­land said while Tas­ma­ni­ans con­tinue to dig deep to sup­port drought re­lief in New South Wales and Queens­land, it’ is im­por­tant not to for­get about the number of Tas­ma­nian farm­ers bat­tling drought con­di­tions.

“Tas­ma­ni­ans in re­gional and ru­ral ar­eas are also do­ing it tough,” she said.

“Most of us are un­aware that our fel­low Tas­ma­ni­ans are bat­tling drought con­di­tions right now — with lim­ited rains and ex­pected long-term drier con­di­tions.

“The weather sit­u­a­tion, com­bined with ex­cep­tion­ally gen­er­ous do­na­tions of fod­der in­ter­state is lead­ing to a short to medium term short­age of fod­der here in Tas­ma­nia or, worse, a sharp, un­fore­cast in­crease in fod­der prices.”

In Au­gust more than 1250 bales of hay were sent to NSW by Tas­ma­nian farm­ers, busi­nesses and trans­port com­pa­nies.

A Cider For Drought Aid char­ity event at Wil­lie Smith’s Cider Maker’s in the Huon Val­ley on Sun­day is do­nat­ing 50 per cent of funds raised to CWA of NSW and 50 per cent to CWA Tas­ma­nia.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son last week an­nounced a $5 bil­lion na­tional Fu­ture Drought Fund to sup­port pri­mary pro­duc­ers, non-gov­ern- ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties.

Bushy Park dairy farmer Jack Beat­tie said drought had been prob­lem­atic for Tas­ma­nian farm­ers but not as se­vere as in­ter­estate.

“We’ve had less rain dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber than we nor­mally do, but by no means has the drought been as dire as Queens­land or New South Wales,” he said.

“The Der­went Val­ley has thank­fully had good rain­fall this year, but other parts of the state, such as the East Coast, have re­ally felt the ef­fects of drought.”

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