Readers of Country Life understand the issues facing farmers and others who live in rural and regional Queensland.
Challenges include ongoing drought, closure of essential services, skyrocketing costs, failure of local businesses, growing unemployment. I have never known it to be so tough.
What may surprise you is that most people in the south-east corner don't have a clue.
Most of them probably know about the drought, but that's about it. They wouldn't be aware of the police stations, doctors' surgeries and shops that continue to shut their doors, the terrible state of the roads, the farmers walking off their land because they can't take any more government red tape.
It's not that city folk don't care.
It's just that they don't know.
AgForce's 'Stand Up For Regional Queensland' campaign is designed to fix that, to provide a standard around which regional Queensland can rally and say to our city cousins "stand with us, we are doing it tough and we need your support".
The more voices in our choir, the more powerful our chorus. If those in the south-east sing along, we may just get politicians to listen.
We must ensure all political parties understand the challenges we face and realise that, for Queensland to continue to grow, they must develop solutions in the policies and programs they take to the next election.
Our movement is gathering speed. We are receiving (and still encouraging) offers of support from other farming, business and community organisations, as well as messages of encouragement from city residents.
We need to maintain this momentum - to keep the conversation alive - on TV, in the papers, on the internet, around boardroom tables and kitchen tables, right up until October 2020.
To do this, we need your help:
- Share our posts (find them by searching for #standupforqldag)
- Subscribe to email updates at standupforqldag.org.au
- Follow AgForce Queensland on Facebook, and
- Become a member of AgForce.
Without regional Queensland, the rest of the state will wither on the vine.
We are all in this together.