NOT FORGOTTEN: More than 85 people showed up to the Drought Community Get Together.
NOT FORGOTTEN: More than 85 people showed up to the Drought Community Get Together.

NOT FORGOTTEN YET: Event gives back to rural communities

WITHOUT access to a town water supply and dams that are bone dry, those in Karara, Greymare and Thane are some of the hardest hit in the Southern Downs by drought.

 

Most have only received 60mm of rain this year, and Karara resident Heather Cullen said you'd be struggling to find a family that wasn't at their wit's end.

 

"My husband's 77, and has lived in Karara all his life, and he's never see anything like it, "she said.

 

"We have two creeks but there's not a drop in there, and a big dam that is so dry we've had to put down a bore."

 

"We're contending with dust, smoke and buying feed … It's tough going, we were married in the '65 drought but this is worst than '65."

 

With the majority of residents making a living from farming, no one knew the reality of their financial and emotional hardships quite like Riverina Stockfeeds sales manager Glen Whitton.

 

"The groundwater for the stock is gone, pastures are non-existent, everyone is buying in hay and stock feed," Mr Whitton said.

 

"These people are the best carers of animals you can get, that's their lifeblood, but when it gets to these stages, ones we've never seen it before, (buying feed) is a big burden."

 

While Mr Whitton knew he couldn't create rain, he did want to relieve those emotional stresses, at least for at least a night, creating the Drought Community Get Together last Saturday.

 

Organising over $5000 in sponsorship from Warwick stock agents, merchant stores as well as John Dee who supplied meat for the barbecue, Mr Whitton hoped that night would show the rest of the community was still rallying behind those in need.

 

"In some way, we're all doing business with those people, so it was nice way to give back," he said.

 

"They all got together and had a yarn with friends, and had a wine and beer.

 

"It's bleak but there's good times ahead."

 

For Mrs Cullen, the night away from worries and her thanks to Mr Whitton were more than she could say.

 

"It was just so uplifting, we just sat and talked and forgot about troubles until we woke up on Sunday morning, " she said.

 

"Sometimes when you live out in little places, you feel as if you're forgotten but it means so much to know they are people out there who do really care."



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