AUSTRALIANS are being urged to pour out their hearts and open their wallets in support of farming communities facing ruin after years of drought.
Following on from last year's inaugural Let it Pourcampaign, in which pubs and clubs across the nation raised more than $1 million for drought relief, Great Northern Brewing Company will donate 1000 beer kegs to hundreds of venues nationally to stage fundraisers over the weekend of October 25-27.
Emotive images captured by outdoor photographer Krystle Wright will also be posted on billboards around the nation to draw attention to the devastation caused by drought in rural communities.
Outback adventurer and Great Northern ambassador Matt Wright officially launched the 2019 Let it Pour campaign in North Queensland today (Friday) with a heart-felt plea to Australians to dig deep for their country cousins.
"People living in North Queensland know only too well the devastating effects of extreme weather events - be it drought or floods or cyclones," Mr Wright said.
"This current drought is devastating rural and regional communities right across the country. Farms are destocking, businesses are shutting and families are hanging on by their fingernails.
"More than ever, we need to show that true-blue Aussie spirit of helping our mates and Let it Pour is a way for everyone to lend a hand. All you need to do is buy a beer and you'll be helping a farmer."
Great Northern's Antonia Ciorciari said hundreds of hoteliers from every state and territory across Australia will be hosting events over the Let it Pour weekend.
"Great Northern was incredibly humbled by the passion and generosity of people who responded to the Let it Pour call last year," Ms Ciorciari said.
"Once again pubs and clubs across the country will host live bands, sausage sizzles, bale tossing and other great activities to raise much-needed funds for our battling bushies - it's going to be a lot of fun and all in the name of a good cause."
Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Townsville is the first venue to sign up for this year's Let it Pour. Hotel owner David Zeller said the success of last year's campaign, as well as the passion of locals to help drought-affected people, made taking part an easy decision.
"Many people are looking for ways to help and I don't think we'll have trouble convincing them to buy a beer for a bushie," Mr Zeller said.
Rotary's Philip Archer said all funds raised through Let it Pour will be donated to a drought relief fund organised by Rotary Australia and administered by Bendigo Bank.
"Last year, funds were given to people who needed help with everything from feed and water for livestock to school supplies for children, repairs for their farm machinery and food for their dinner tables," he said.
"They were overwhelmed and incredibly touched by the generosity of Australians in both urban and regional centres and found great comfort in their show of support as they turned out in droves to events across the country.
"Social isolation is a big problem in regional areas and often the local pub, club or Rotary club is a place to unite for a bit of moral support or just a few laughs with mates which helps remind us all what's important in life."