Businessman opens wallet to aid drought ravaged town
AS southeast Queensland suffers under continual dry, hot conditions, one man is gathering allies to take a stand against the drought.
John Schollick, proprietor of Lockyer Valley Waste Management, is delving into his own pocket and reaching out to personal connections, to bring water to struggling communities in the Southern Downs.
His plan involves the purchase of several food-grade, stainless steel 30,000 litre tankers, and a road train to transport vast quantities of water from the Riverina area to those doing it toughest.
"It's several hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I feel I need to do something for communities. I'm only a little fish, but I like to do things for communities where possible," he said.
The Regency Downs man also plans to donate a pallet of Buddina Spring water to every school in Stanthorpe and its surrounds, every two weeks, at his own expense.
"There are six schools as of today [September 5] on the outlying of Stanthorpe that have no water whatsoever, so I'm prompting this operation to start early next week," he said.
"I've got a national transport company, Lindsay Brothers, who are going to cart the water free of charge from our warehouse at Maroochydore to Stanthorpe. That's a wonderful gesture on behalf of Lindsay Brothers."
In conjunction with his business partner at Maroochydore, John is also putting in place a plan to give two families a very special holiday, some time prior to Christmas.
"We are going to give two families who are truly, desperately doing it bad, a week's holiday at Waves resort at Maroochydore, and they can eat at my restaurant, Red Sea Steak and Seafood," he said.
The winners will be decided through a raffle, the proceeds from which will go towards funding further water supplies.
John stressed his acts of generosity were not motivated by a desire for fame or recognition, but to show his support to people in desperate situations.
"I don't want accolades, and I won't accept them, I just love helping communities," he said.
This isn't the first time John has been involved in a massive operation to help those in need.
"Some years ago - and not many people know this - I was the organiser of Hay Runners, and I moved close to 7000 tonnes of from the Riverina, Victoria, and South Australia, to Queensland," he said.
"I did that because I felt I needed to do something to help the community. I'm just so proud that I'm able to assist."