THE Bender family of Chinchilla has spoken of their pain and grief after losing a father and a husband to suicide.
George Bender passed away on Wednesday afternoon in a Brisbane hospital after being airlifted from Chinchilla.
He was a well-known campaigner for the rights of landholders in negotiations with coal seam gas (CSG) companies.
His daughter Helen described her father as loving, and jovial, who was a happy man who loved to sing and whistle.
“He was a man who loved his land, and it had to be farmed correctly,” she said.
“Unfortunately he died of a broken heart, as he became a shadow of what he used to be.
“He didn’t give up, his heart broke, and that was it.
“He wasn’t a selfish person, he was fighting for Hopeland’s future and for tomorrow.
“He was a grain, cotton, and livestock producer who was a traditionalist and inter-generational who wanted to secure his land.”
He is survived by his wife Pam, four sons Neil, Tony, Brian, Gary and his only daughter Helen.
Community mourns loss of bush champion
Chairman of Property Rights Australia (PRA) Dale Stiller said George Bender would be missed.
“George was a good man, that championed the right for a fair go,” Mr Stiller said.
“Stress from various sources is a major problem among farming families, and having no control of a situation leads to hopelessness and stress.“
Mr Stiller said on behalf of all the members of the PRA community he sends his deepest sympathy to Mr Bender’s wife, Pam, and to all the Bender family.
Anyone seeking assistance can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit beyondblue.org.au