Hay loads to bring relief to farmers
Just after show day, the Brunswick Agricultural Society president will be sending two road trains’ worth of hay on a 4000km journey across the country to support fellow farmers.
The two loads will join about 30 other road trains in what is set to be the biggest hay run during recent relief efforts for droughtstricken parts of New South Wales and Queensland.
Society president Rob George said the unprecedented singlerecipient donation of $15,000 had immediate support when it was first discussed at a committee meeting.
“At a committee meeting Mark (Talbot, senior vice-president) suggested we donate hay to the farmers over east, and the support was unanimous,” Mr George said.
Mr George said the society always had a project each year to support worthy causes in the community.
In previous years it has donated to the relief efforts from the 2016 Yarloop-Waroona bushfires and the Black Saturday bushfires.
“We normally distribute about $15,000 each year to charities and community groups, but this is the first time we are giving to one cause,” Mr George said.
Mr Talbot said he was moved to help farmers who were experiencing tough times.
“People who have gone over there tell me that you haven’t seen anything until you’ve been over there,” Mr Talbot said. “They reckon it’s devastating. “People are actually crying in the streets when they see the trucks pull into town.”
The hay-loaded road trains are worth $25,000-$28,000 when they arrive over east, with fuel costs coming in at about $10,000.
Mr George said one of the major hurdles to transporting the hay was the red tape involved in crossing three State boundaries, each with its own regulations.
“That’s why it has to go as a convoy,” Mr Talbot said.
“What we are doing is working in conjunction with the Rapid Relief team.
“On show day we will present them with a cheque for $15,000 which they will use to buy two road train loads of hay.
The hay we purchase will be part of a convoy of road trains which will leave WA on November 2 towards Charleville in south-west Queensland.”
Mr Talbot said the trucks would then turn around and make their way back to WA in order to take a second load over east immediately.
“When they’re talking about turning the trucks around to go across again, you know it’s pretty dire,” Mr Talbot said.
“There will be a display load of hay at the show so people can see just how much is needed.”
The society has already received a $1000 donation from its own junior vice-president, David Power, and wife Cindy.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the transportation costs to get the hay across Australia can make a donation at the Rapid Relief stall.
“We are able to help them, so we will,” Mr George said. “It’s built into our blood. “We never know when the boot might be on the other foot.”
Brunswick Agricultural Society senior vice-president Mark Talbot and president Rob George with a small quantity of hay that will be donated to drought-stricken farmers in Queensland.