The Sunday Mail (Queensland)



OUR coun­try cousins are do­ing it tough. The worst drought in liv­ing mem­ory has turned much of western Queens­land into a dust bowl. Farm­ers and towns­folk need our help like never be­fore.

The Sun­day Mail, in con­junc­tion with Sun­corp, will host a bush fo­rum on Septem­ber 26 in Lon­greach to es­tab­lish what is re­quired to help the west get back on its feet.

We will bring to­gether a panel of lead­ing politi­cians and ru­ral in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives to dis­cuss the ma­jor is­sues. We will an­nounce who will be on the panel next Sun­day.

We’re ex­pect­ing a big crowd at the fo­rum, to be held from 8.30am to 9.30am at Lon­greach State Pri­mary School.

The 125th an­niver­sary of the Lon­greach Cup race meet­ing is later that day, and the night be­fore, Paul Kelly and Troy Cas­sar-Da­ley will host a con­cert.

And for the first time ever, The Sun­day Mail will be edited from a ru­ral town.

Re­gional com­mu­ni­ties are fed up with talk and no ac­tion. This fo­rum will be about how is­sues can be rec­ti­fied.

Farm­ers such as Mark Hart­ley from Kulpi near Dalby need as­sis­tance.

“The lack of rain is ob­vi­ously the big­gest prob­lem at the mo­ment but sourc­ing feed is an is­sue as well, there’s never enough money to go around,” Mr Hart­ley (pic­tured) says.

“We had a bit of rain this week but then you don’t know how long you’ll have to wait for the next lot or main­tain feed for. If we had some more con­sis­tent fund­ing, we might have some­thing which makes us drought-proof for the fu­ture.”

The main dis­cus­sion points will be de­ter­mined through the ques­tions reg­is­tered by par­tic­i­pants and iden­ti­fied by The Sun­day Mail ed­i­to­rial group. The fo­rum will be cov­ered in our Septem­ber 27 edi­tion.

The Sun­day Mail will pro­vide ac­count­abil­ity, go­ing to the rel­e­vant de­ci­sion-mak­ers with the out­comes and ask­ing them to act. Sub­mit ques­tions via our web­site at couri­ or via GPO Box 130, Bris­bane, 4001, or email pro­mo­tions @newsqueens­ with Sun­day Mail Bush Fo­rum in the sub­ject line.

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