THE first of 1000 tonnes of donated hay from as far away as Western Australia and Tasmania have arrived in Gunnedah.
Stored at AgQuip, the hay comes from rural assistance group Rapid Relief and will be distributed among 200 farmers across Gunnedah, Tamworth and the Liverpool Plains.
Fodder is expected to continue to arrive in Gunnedah throughout the week culminating with a community gathering on Friday morning.
Rapid Relief spokesman Micheal Wilson said this week’s convoy of trucks would be bigger than the group’s last delivery to Condobolin in August.
“The great thing about our team is that we are all about helping,” Mr Wilson said.
“This feed has come from far and wide and has been bought by volunteers and transported by volunteers.
“It truly is special and while all of the trucks are not arriving at the same time, this delivery is a bit bigger than the one in Condobolin.”
Friday’s community event will also see $100,000 of food coupons donated to locals throughout the New England and North West.
“These events are a really good chance for the community to come together and rally around each other,” Mr Wilson said.
“Our volunteers have reached out to locals across the district to find out their needs and how we can best help them.
“It’s going to be very pleasing to get to meet these people and see where all of the donations will be going.”
Volunteer truck driver Kenny Skinner said his journey had begun in South Australia before collecting hay in Perth before eventually arriving in Gunnedah.
“I’ve been driving trucks for more than 40 years and trust me this drought is pretty bad,” Mr Skinner said.
“The country people though always rally around each other when things are bad and to me that is great to see.”
The GL Haulage truck driver said he would like to see the state and federal governments do more to help drought-effected farmers.
“To see things this dry really breaks my heart,” he said.
“I really think the government could get out more and actually talk to people in drought.
“Truck drivers and farmers are keeping this country going and I think they could really learn a lot from getting out and talking to people.”
- The Rapid Relief community day will kick off at Gunnedah’s AgQuip site from 9am on Friday.
- For more information visit www.rapidreliefteam.org