Council trucks to deliver water, hay to struggling farmers
KYOGLE'S youngest councillor is calling for all five councils on the Northern Rivers to unite and support the farmers in "extreme need" in drought affected areas of the state.
During last night's Kyogle Council meeting, Cr Hayden Doolan put forward a motion that will see council trucks deliver donated hay and water to struggling farmers experiencing intense drought conditions.
The total financial commitment of the drought relief is $2000.
"I'd love all the councils to come together and be part of this support," Cr Doolan said.
"I've had contact with the Salvation Army and the rural council out there and they are willing to work with us and find families in need.
"I've been in contact with Richmond Valley Council and they are willing to do the same as us and do it as a convoy. We are looking at this weekend, but it's not set in stone."
Cr Doolan said that so far, about 40 bales of hay have been donated by a local farmer towards the cause. Luke Robinson is the volunteer baler, with Cr Doolan volunteering as a driver along with two others.
"I have sourced a bore in the Tamworth area for the truck to fill up from and ship water to houses to assist families with children," he said.
"They have been suffering this drought for up to five years now, with some spending up to $2000 each day for feed for their livestock.
"They are cutting their bills and not feeding themselves because they have to feed their animals.
"Some have to wait for water up to six weeks to get delivered to houses and one lady told me she is now showering fortnightly just so she can survive."
After talking to locals in the area to gather information for his drought relief plan, Cr Doolan revealed some heartbreaking stories.
"One guy I spoke to slit the throat of 700 sheep because he couldn't afford to buy bullets to shoot them," he said.
"He was down to bare nothing with his money, couldn't sell them."
Cr Doolan said he would work hard to source more hay before next weekend and he hoped other council's would get on board.
Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said Cr Doolan's motion was about trying to work cooperatively with other council areas.
"Hayden was chair of the Youth Advisory Committee and ran for council and was elected at 23 and has started his political career," Cr Mulholland said.
"This is this is not a bad first step."