Don't lose sight of grassroots drought help

View From the Paddock: Don't lose sight of grassroots drought help


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Rain has become almost a myth throughout many regions of rural Queensland and New South Wales.

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Georgia Hoolihan, 2018 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl runner-up.

Georgia Hoolihan, 2018 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl runner-up.

Rain has become almost a myth throughout many regions of rural Queensland and New South Wales. The effect this is having on farmers is nothing short of crippling.

Alongside farmers, we cannot forget about the other businesses of rural communities, which are experiencing the consequences of drought no less.

2017-2018 was arguably the most well-advertised period of drought in Australia's history, thanks to technology and social media.

City folk were jumping at the chance to help struggling farmers. While this was a phenomenal effort that made many lives that little bit more bearable through tough times, this was a quick fix for a long-term issue.

The conversation began to diminish as the "donation phase" got tiring. Lack of education for the urban population caused a false sense of problem solving.

City people are lacking the information that the drought is still ongoing as well as being educated about a more worthwhile way to help the whole rural community.

There are many ways to help lighten the weight of the drought without handing out donations. A road trip through drought-stricken areas is a fantastic way to help struggling communities. When the farmers are doing it tough, the communities are doing it tough.

Locals cannot always afford to spend large amounts in their local stores. Items and services such as a new dress, a new garden hose, regular fresh fruit and veg, a haircut, even an ice-cream become low priority and are considered a "rare treat". This makes it hard for store owners to keep their doors open.

For a family from the city to come out and make purchases along the way such as buying a pie at the bakery, staying at a motel, buying fuel at the servo, buying an outfit from a boutique, it all helps put revenue into small towns. Not to mention, this boosts morale.

The typical store owner in a country town is only too happy to have a chat to tourists, boasting about what their community has to offer and making suggestions on great tourist attractions in the area.

It's a saddening statement to make, but the drought is far from over. It is still so important for farming communities to be supported in any way possible.

- Georgia Hoolihan, 2018 Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl runner-up

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