Get down to Wallace Street to help back our farmers
UNRELENTING dry weather is not only forcing rural families to sell off their stock, it's now diminishing the water reserves residents use for basic needs including washing and drinking.
Water and hamper deliveries from Warwick today are working to help those whose water stores are running low but residents are being called upon to continue helping with the drought relief effort this weekend.
The Warwick Warriors Woodcutters and Southern Downs Ex-Services Association have set up a tent near the Wallace St bridge over the Condamine River.
They will be holding the fort today and tomorrow, urging residents to donate money to support further water deliveries as well as items of need including non-perishable food and hygiene products.
Drought assistance co-ordinator and former army major Cynthia McDonald said the organisations were pulling together to focus on the human face of drought.
"I've never seen a drought like it, not in my lifetime," she said.
Ms McDonald said the drought, as well as the ongoing forecast of drier and hotter than average weather, was taking an emotional and financial toll on residents.
"People are dumping cattle on the market because they can't keep them alive for another season," she said.
"Winter is looking bleak because we haven't had any summer rain, there's no feed, and the frosts will come and burn things off."
Truckie and business owner Steve Walters from KP Freighters in Brisbane made his fourth trip to the region today to help deliver water to farmers doing it tough.
Already this morning he had delivered an 18,000L load, with four more properties on the list for today.
Mr Walters is donating fuel for the trip as well as the first load of water, with the help of Omega Chemicals.
Mr Walters said he put his hand up to help, alongside his wife Kathy, daughter Carmen and son-in-law John, because they were in a position to assist with long-distance runs that were not feasible for other vehicles.
He's been listening to the stories of people doing it tough around the region.
"They're just heartbroken, they've got no stock left and now they're running out of water," he said.
Ms McDonald said non-perishable food as well as hygiene products such as toothpaste and deodorant were particularly in need.
"It makes you feel a lot better in the day and they're things people generally won't ask for," she said.
"If you can make a contribution to people themselves it's lifting their spirits."
The water deliveries today are a combined effort from about six organisations, including the Southern Downs Regional Council and Rural Aid.