OPERATION DROUGHT RELIEF! (ODR)
As part of the Rapid Relief Team’s ongoing commitment to raising funds to support those in need in our community, we rolled out an initiative to assist the drought-stricken Australian farmers in NSW and Southern QLD throughout the 2nd half of 2018.
RRT'S 2018 OPERATION DROUGHT RELIEF INITIATIVE - HAY RUN
In August 2018, RRT launched the Operation Drought Relief initiative. RRT responded to one of Australia’s major environmental crises impacting farmers, their families and their livestock in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
This drought, compounded by a short supply of hay on the eastern seaboard of Australia and rising transport costs, is likely to change the farming landscape in Australia for decades to come.
Overnight, RRT acted with a major program valued at $3 million, focused on providing food and assistance to farmers and their families, and providing food for livestock. 131 farming families were provided with food vouchers of $100 per week for 13 weeks. Both IGA and FoodWorks agreed to support Operation Drought Relief with a rebate back to farming families.
In early August 2018, RRT arranged the first convoy of 10 road trains bringing hay from Western Australia to the worst affected rural areas of Western New South Wales. This comprised a total of 830 larges bales which is enough to feed 8,300 cows or 83,000 sheep for a week. The approximate cost of this convoy was $230,000.
The final statistics for the Operation Drought Relief initiative were;
- Number of Hay Bales: 12,156 = 6,078 Tonne
- Number of Trucks: Equivalent to 290 Semi-Trailers
- Number of Delivery Points: 10 Locations
- Number of Food Coupons: 131 at $1300 each = $170,300
- Number of Volunteers: 50
- Number of Man Hours: 1419
Operation Drought Relief gave RRT volunteers the opportunity to experience firsthand, the sheer determination of Australian farming families to beat the elements to keep their livestock alive. An experience that will never be forgotten.
September 2018 was the driest year on record for Australia since 1900. At this time New South Wales was in 76.6 percent drought, Victoria was declared 100 percent of farmland in drought and there was no available hay on the eastern seaboard.
Drought has a huge impact on the Australian economy, considering Australia is the second-largest wheat, canola and beef exporter in the world and the largest barley exporter.
We would like to convey how much we appreciate those that have joined with RRT to support Australian farmers and their families in their time of need. It is our donors who have made a real difference on the ground!
RRT'S 2019 OPERATION DROUGHT RELIEF INITIATIVE - PELLET DROP
Now almost a year later – September 2019, RRT AU has launched another Operation Drought Relief initiative as long term, record low rainfall deficiencies have continued to severely limit water resources across Australia. RRT is once again responding to the major environmental crises, this time supplying over 150 Tonnes of Protein supplement to around 300 approved applicants across targeted towns in the central west including Nymagee, Tottenham, Tullamore, Trundle, Fifield, and Condobolin. This supplement is designed to feed livestock such as sheep and cattle- providing them with the protein, energy, and nourishment they need to help them survive in the ongoing, hopefully, fleeting harsh conditions.
Those who wished to be included in this had to have all registrations completed and submitted on our online form by the cut-off date of Today 19th September 2019 to ensure they are amongst those considered for a donation of a 500kg bulker bag per farmer.
Recipients are to collect there donated supplies from the drop-off point in their region on the scheduled date. 3 of these drop-off events are scheduled between 24th September and 10th October in Tullamore, Nymagee, and Condobolin. If these prove a success we hope to work our way up North Western NSW to further support farmers, their families, and livestock impacted by the drought.
As of 20th September 2019 the response to the Rapid Relief Team AU Drought Relief Initiative has been overwhelming.
RRT’s offer was to donate 150 tons of Premium Stock Feed Pellets to farmers experiencing the crippling drought crisis across the Central West of NSW.
Due to popular need and demand, RRT has over-committed at a staggering 215 tons. This allows RRT to assist an extra 130 farmers bringing the total to assisted 430 farmers. However, RRT is prepared to raise the funds needed to meet this further commitment.
Any further registrations will be placed on a waiting list for possible assistance made available in the future.
On behalf of RRT Drought Relief Management, we would like to thank everyone for their understanding, patience, and support.
Other Charitable & Government Initiatives
Now that there is hay available again on Australia’s eastern seaboard, Rapid Relief Team have no hay drops planned for the near future. RRT have been reluctant to have to make this decision, but it is due to the diversity of what RRT offers to people in need in our communities.
RRT’s 4 main areas of focus are; Homeless, Health & Disability, Youth and the Emergency Services.
There are other initiatives available to drought-stricken farming families. If you require further assistance, we recommend you visit the FarmHub website https://farmhub.org.au/ which lists a number of Government initiatives to support farmers and their families.