Farmers hurting here too
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.”