Donation helps continue drought work

Rotary Club of Cobar secretary Gordon Hill was thrilled to receive a $30,665 donation from the St George Motorboat Club last week.

donation of $30,665 from the St George Motorboat Club last week which will help to buy more fodder for drought-stricken local farmers.

Rotary Club of Cobar secretary Gordon Hill and wife Therese head up Rotary’s Cobar Drought Relief program and were on hand at a St George Motorboat Club fundraising dinner last week to make a presentation about their work to members and take delivery of the very generous donation.

Mr Hill said this donation comes on top of another $10,000 contribution made by the club before Christmas.

Mr Hill said donations like this have helped them to distribute more than $700,000 worth of assistance to local farmers since they started the Cobar Drought Relief program in October 2018.

“Much of that has been spent on fodder, around $450,000,” Mr Hill said.

“Having some fodder can make the difference between selling off valuable breeding stock or keeping a small number of breeding stock on hand to start again when the drought breaks.”

Rotary Club members have also made up and delivered over 450 grocery packs (valued at $100 each) as well as handed out 16 pallets of working dog food, 250 fuel vouchers, 130 IGA grocery vouchers, 60 meat vouchers along with numerous pallets of donated bottled water.

“The money stays in town as we shop locally which helps businesses to stay viable during the drought as well,” Mrs Hill said.

The Hills estimate the Cobar Drought Relief program has helped 150 farming properties in the Cobar Shire area as well as some farmers in the adjoining Bourke, Bogan and Central Darling shires.

“The club makes good use of local networks such as the mail contractor, Cobar Mobile Children’s Resources and locals to help distribute aid to farming families,” Mr Hill explained.

In addition to the St George Motorboat Club’s contributions, other donations from  Rotary clubs in NSW and Victoria and  various charities and registered clubs such as the Gulf Horizons Foundation, the Country Women’s Association and GIVIT have helped to finance the Drought Relief program.

Mr Hill said while we have seen some good rainfall in parts of the shire over the past few weeks, many local landholders have had no respite from the drought and are still doing it very tough.

“Even when the drought does break, and useful rainfall is received in Western NSW, it will be some time before our farmers can bring stock numbers back to levels experienced prior to the drought,” Mr Hill said.