$100,000 drought relief for NSW Farmers

With NSW experiencing its most intense drought since 1982, Seven Hills-Toongabbie RSL has donated $100,000 to support Aussie farming families in need of financial relief.

The donation will go directly to the farmers of Walcha and Bingara, the first two drought-declared areas in NSW.

Seven Hills RSL is proud to be collaborating with the Bingara Lions Club to provide $50,000 worth of financial support directly to 140 farmers in Bingara. The individual donations will be issued to the farmers in “Bingara Bucks” instead of cash, ensuring that the donated funds will be spent within Bingara to support their local businesses.

The town of Walcha also received a $50,000 donation from the Club. Walcha Rotary worked with the Rural Financial Counselling Service to ascertain who was most in need. They decided to distribute $500 each to 100 families in the district who met criteria agreed by the club and compiled a register of the recipients for auditing purposes.

Rotary district governor, Phil Hafey. Rotarian Bob Burnett and Walcha president Andrew Corlette with members from Seven Hills-Toongabbie RSL Anthony Holmes, Barry Wilson, John Burgess and Joe Bayssari

Club President Barry Wilson said it was the club’s absolute pleasure to donate. “You hear about the drought on the news and how badly the farmers are being affected, but you don’t get the full picture of what’s going on,” he said.

“We decided to do something to help and made a trip to the towns of Walcha and Bingara to donate directly rather than go through a charity. We’re in a position to do it, and we are happy to do it.”

Rotarian and grazier Rob Blomfield expressed his heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Walcha community. “Most of us have lost our introduced pastures and to replace that is huge,’ Mr Blomfield said.

“We probably only have 25 per cent of cattle and 50 per cent of the sheep left in the district now so every farming business in this area is highly compromised and it’s going to take anything up to 10 years for this community to get back up to par.”

Mr Blomfield went on to say that the impact of the reduction in livestock is that every business in town is suffering and is going to continue to suffer. “We’ve had the physical drought, and the money drought is about to start,” he said.

“Every farming business in this district is only going to have 30 to 40 per cent of its gross income this year – that’s pretty scary, and that is going to flow through the community. So, for you to come here and put $50,000 into the Walcha community via the farming community (which will hopefully be spent in this district to boost all the local businesses) I mean words can’t express – it’s really special.”

“On behalf of our farmers in our district, thank you Seven Hills RSL for your generous donation.”