Cunnamulla graziers are the latest drought-stricken people to benefit from a relief project that helps repair mechanical equipment as part of reaching out to people in need.
The joint initiative between RACQ Foundation, Frontier Services, Qantas and Rotary Australia has already been welcomed in the Longreach and Charleville districts and now the team of seven is lifting spirits in another area that hasn’t seen proper rain for more than four years.
According to RACQ Foundation spokeswoman, Renee Smith, the volunteers were to spend a week in Cunnamulla, assisting on six properties.
She said there was nothing the team couldn’t do, and they expect to be given plenty of variety, not just broken-down vehicles, to fix.
“In Longreach and Charleville in 2016 they fixed kitchen utensils, repaired dangerous stairs and even tended to an unreliable toilet,” she said.
As well as repairing vehicles and helping restore the earning capacity of local graziers, the group will help prepare food at night and provide company for people.
“Drought can have a devastating effect not only on farmers’ livelihoods but on their emotional and mental states as well,” Renee said.
“Machinery can cop a hard time and it’s often not easy to fix, so our people help with that, and they don’t mind a chinwag at the end of the day.
“They find it a really rewarding experience.”
It was hoped that the project would show that although there is distance between Queensland’s west and south east, city people do care about what rural people are going through.
Paroo Shire mayor, Lindsay Godfrey, said anyone who helped out in such a way revived spirits.
“Things still aren’t going well,” he said.
“Seventy per cent of the shire hasn’t had drought-breaking rain.
“So much doesn’t get fixed when there is so much needed to be done in a drought, so this is very welcome.”
The RACQ Foundation was set up in response to the 2011 floods to assist victims of natural disasters.
Since its inception, more than $7.2 million has been donated to over 160 community organisations across Queensland.
Grants are available for community organisations of up to $50,000, and up to $200,000 in special circumstances.
Further information is available at racq.com/foundation