Relief is on the way to fire affected farmers in southern New South Wales thanks to the Australian Defence Force and the South Coast Rural Relief charity hay convoy.
CAPTION: Part of an Australian Army fodder convoy from Cooma to help a local charity distribute donated hay to fire-affected farmers in southern NSW. Some of the hay was trucked from Western Australia. Photo by Sergeant Brett Sherriff.
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On 18 January, a convoy made up of Army vehicles, including next-generation heavy transport trucks loaded with feed, left Cooma bound for multiple locations across the State.
The ADF is providing transport and distribution support to the charity, founded by Cobargo farmer George Walters.
Mr Walters said that as a farmer who recently bore witness to the devastation and loss that occurred to communities and particularly to primary producers, his first thoughts were about the affected livestock.
“I was able to donate $50,000-worth of my own hay initially and now I’m on the search for donated or at-cost fodder for others,” Mr Walters said.
“As many people fled their properties and many returned to nothing but the clothes on their back, the overwhelm and emotional toll of where to rebuild still remains.
“Many of the remaining livestock that weren’t put down due to burns or poor health now face the challenges of having no feed or water.
“The aim of this fundraiser is to get emergency fodder and water in to these areas and assist primary producers who are already carrying the burden of losing everything.”
To donate to South Coast Rural Relief, visit the dedicated Facebook page.
Yesterday’s military convoy was from the 2nd Engineering Regiment, which is part of the NSW ADF Joint Task Force assisting State government agencies, emergency services and others in support of fire-affected Australian communities.
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