RECYCLABLES THROW A LIFELINE: Lifeline CEO Derek Tuffield praises Queenslanders for donating their bottles to struggling farmers.
RECYCLABLES THROW A LIFELINE: Lifeline CEO Derek Tuffield praises Queenslanders for donating their bottles to struggling farmers.

From litter to livestock, plastic supports struggling farms

PROCEEDS from 13 million recycled bottles collected by Lifeline Darling Downs will show drought stricken farmers they haven't been forgotten.

In just six months, the charity raised $60,000 for primary producers from Stanthorpe to Goondiwindi through Containers for Change.

CEO Derek Tuffield said the scheme, which began in October of last year, exceeded expectations.

"We knew it was a stretch target, that's $10,000 per month on 10 cent plastic bottles," he said.

"With containers for change, you could choose to donate to a Lifeline number and we had people from Cairns and Mackay wanting to donate."

Lifeline are now focusing on getting the funds out to producers as quick as possible.

"The allocation, the base amount is $500, we're trying to stretch it as much as we can

sometimes we may be able to go up to $750," he said.

"It's about letting people know if they are a primary producer and derive income from the land they can come to us and once they're approved, it can be allocated it to their bank account within 48 hours.

"It's a fast turnaround."

As the concern of drought begins to overtake the pandemic for farmers, Mr Tuffield said he's noticed an increase in requests for assistance.

"Down the Warwick and Stanthorpe way you have the trifecta of the bushfires, the drought and now COVID-19 but I guess recovery for our rural sector doesn't happen overnight," he said.

"It takes a number of years and a number of good seasons to take place."

Mr Tuffield said while the payments might not be a large sum, he hopes they'll take a bit of pressure off local producers with animal feed in high demand.

"It's for their grocery bill or to fill tanks with fuel, we've done a good job."

To check eligibility for a scheme payment email lifeline@lifelinedarlingdowns.org.au for an application form.



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