Western NSW farmers are battling a crippling drought and they need your help to survive it.
The Lithgow Mercury, Daily Liberal, Western Magazine, Narromine News, Nyngan Observer, Parkes Champion Post, Forbes Advocate, Wellington Times, Mudgee Guardian, Young Witness and Cowra Guardian have joined forces with the charity Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale campaign to help Western NSW farmers as they fight to survive the challenging conditions.
The Buy A Bale Western NSW campaign will raise money to buy hay, water and groceries for farmers in need through an online portal.
Options to help include registering for a donation barrel, gradually filling a load of hay for a farmer with a hay truck poster, and, sponsoring a hay truck.
Money raised will go to western NSW farmers. Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmer’s local supermarket. That way, the money will go back into the local economy.
These Fairfax Media mastheads have also united with sister newspapers across the state to launch a petition which urges the state government to provide more help to drought-stricken farmers.
More than 95 per cent of the Central West is in drought, or at the onset of drought, according to the state government’s Combined Drought Indicator. The system looks at rainfall, soil moisture and pasture growth.
The remaining 4.5 per cent is considered borderline and is likely to dip towards drought given the current forecast.
This area includes the Coonamble, Warren, Gilgandra, Warrumbungle, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Narromine, Parkes, Forbes, Weddin, Bogan, Lachlan, Weddin and Western Plains local government areas.
Take a look at the Central West in March 2018
Now, take a look at the central west in June 2018
It’s a similar story in the Central Tablelands where 64.8 per cent of the region is in drought and 35.2 per cent is at the onset of drought.
This area includes the Cabonne, Orange, Blayney, Cowra, Mid-Western Regional, Bathurst Regional, Lithgow and Oberon local government areas.
Take a look at the Central Tablelands
The unfolding situation has left paddocks full of dust, water resources dry or drying up and fodder being sourced from as far as South Australia at exorbitant freight costs.
Managing Editor NSW South Kim Treasure said the Fairfax Media mastheads had united to help make a difference.
Farming is such an important part of Western NSW. We are partnering with Rural Aid to help the farmers who have been hit hard by the drought,Managing Editor NSW Central Chad Watson
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said hay trucks were already being organised to bring some relief to drought-stricken farmers.
Buy A Bale truck on its way to a drought-stricken farm
“Rural Aid's drought program Buy a Bale has swung behind the dire need of farmers in Western NSW and will over the coming weeks work to provide the assistance these farmers are calling out for,” he said.
We need the people and companies of Western NSW to get behind our work and help us buy the hay and water we need to supply,Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder
How can you help?
Donate to buy hay and water
Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmer’s local supermarket. That way, the money raised for Western NSW will go back into the local economy.
Money put towards water will be spent locally while hay will be sourced from outside the New England-North West and transported to farmers because of a lack of supply in the region.
Want to get involved at work?
Pop money in a barrel, or help fill a hay truck
Take on the challenge at work and see how far you can go.
Businesses can also sponsor a truck load of hay. Sponsorship money will flow into the Hunter account and be put towards supplies.
Want to know more?
Take a look at the NSW drought with this interactive map
Press the + button to zoom in and then click on the suns to look at pictures from across the state.