CHANNEL Nine’s The Today Show has thrown its support behind the region’s drought stricken farmers by paying a visit to the Gunnedah Saleyards on Tuesday morning.
Featuring long-time host Karl Stefanovic, the show frequently live crossed into Gunnedah to give viewers a first hand look at how the drought is affecting the region.
Mr Stefanovic told the Namoi Valley Independent it was crucial for all Australians to back our region’s farmers during dry times.
“To see some of the desperation these farmers are going through is felt keenly,” Mr Stefanovic said.
“I hope that by us being here we can raise awareness, at least show some of those stories and tell some of those stories.
“We need to keep the awareness going because this drought is not going to end for a long time despite having some rainfall yesterday.” The Today Show host said he would continue to push both state and federal government’s to do more to help struggling farmers.
“Channel Nine is right behind this cause right across the board,” he said.
“We are doing a telethon and we are doing an appeal, which has raised more than $2 million already, which is really just a drop in the ocean.
“It’s what we can do but I think another important thing we can do is continue to put the stories of these farmers not just in the front of the public’s mind, but also the governement’s as well.
“If it’s at the forefront of their mind's then hopefully the won’t be forgotten like they have been over the last six years and we are all to blame for that, but we are here now and we will try and do our best to make up for it.”
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey welcomed the visit from the Channel Nine team.
“I think it is terrific that our friends in the city are coming and taking a look at our situation for themselves,” Cr Chaffey said.
“It’s important that we as a Gunnedah community, and all communities going through this that we share with our neighbours from the city just what the conditions are like.”
Cr Chaffey said council had already received some requests from local farmers for hay bales from Gunnedah Airport.
“We are currently working closely with Aussie Helpers in regards to the distribution of that hay at the airport,” he said.
“I believe it is planned to be picked up and distributed throughout the shire later this week.
“It has been pleasing to see not only us, as a council, but so many community and volunteer groups do so much to help where they can.”