Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has joined forces with the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA) to create a fundraising drive for flood-affected graziers in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

The fundraising effort has been given a huge kick start by leading agribusinesses Nutrien Ag Solutions and Elders, which have generously donated $10,000 each to help producers impacted by the disaster, providing a kick start of $20,000 for Kimberley producers.

Nutrien Ag Solutions West Region Manager, Andrew Duperouzel said many of their clients have been impacted by the devastating floods.

“The clean-up, repair and rebuild work ahead for flood affected communities will present challenges given the remote location and shortage of labour in this area.

So Nutrien is proud to offer our support through this donation and other practical relief measures with our teams on the ground to help our farmers and their communities,” said Mr Duperouzel.

Mark Allison, Elders CEO and Managing Director, said the organisation has a long standing affiliation within the Kimberley region, with staff in both Derby and Broome, who are now working closely with clients and pastoralists severely affected by recent flooding.

“Elders has donated close to $100,000 to support flood affected communities through Rural Aid in the past 12 months, and are committed to supporting the Kimberley Pastoralists fundraising campaign with an initial $10,000 donation.

“I will personally be travelling to Broome in early March to view the effects of the flood and hopefully meet with key clients to discuss ways that Elders can further support them, and the Kimberley communities, in and around Fitzroy Crossing,” said Mr Allison.

The early January flooding event was the worst in the state’s history. Ex-tropical cyclone Ellie brought unfathomable volumes of rain to Fitzroy River catchments – up to 800 millimetres in a week for some locations – resulting in a flood that exceeded previous water levels by more than two metres. Properties such as Yeeda Station, just outside of Derby, were battling up to 40 km of flood frontage.

KPCA CEO Mick Sheehy said the loss of livestock has been estimated in the tens of thousands. “Thousands of kilometres of fencing has been washed away along with yards, roads and equipment. Add to that the stock loss, the damage to property and repair costs, the clean-up job required plus the future impact on livelihood and cash flow, it’s going to be tough times ahead for many of our producers.

And with more rain forecast for this coming this week, the true impact of this wet season is still to be realised.”

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the floods have set farmers back years.

“These pastoralists have put decades of hard work into their cattle, only to have their herds potentially decimated by a flood of unprecedented proportions. It’s hard to comprehend the volume of water that swept through the region and left such devastation in its wake.

“Rural Aid will provide financial assistance and mental health counselling to affected graziers. We know how important rapid access to both are at this early stage when the extent of losses are being assessed but producers are determined to pick up the pieces” Mr Warlters said.

KPCA’s Mr Sheehy thanked Nutrien Ag Solutions and Elders for their generosity and Rural Aid for facilitating this initiative through their trusted and respected platform.

“When times are tough, the pastoral industry comes together and supports each other. It’s one of the things we do best. We are so grateful to Rural Aid for their support, and to Elders and Nutrien Ag Solutions for their generosity.

“I strongly encourage those that have been impacted to reach out to Rural Aid – for both financial and mental health support. It’s tough times ahead, but you don’t have to face it alone,” said Mr Sheehy.

Donations can be made through this website: https://hub.givar.com/connect/org/RuralAid/campaigns/kimberley-pastoralist-flood-relief The appeal will close on April 23, 2023.

For more information or interviews, contact

– Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

– KCPA media – Natalie Bell on 041 653 729 natalie@associatedadvertising.com.au

About Rural Aid

Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. Rural Aid provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au

Australia’s most trusted rural charity has distributed more than 700 bales of hay to Central West New South Wales farmers, helping to make Christmas a little brighter for flood-affected producers.
A hay drop was held at the Central West Livestock Exchange in Forbes on Friday, December 16.
Ten road trains delivered more than 480 tonnes of hay to the saleyards for Rural Aid’s registered primary producers.  
Forbes cattle breeder Danielle Beard said her property is still covered in floodwaters and thick layers of mud, smothering any grass underneath.
“75% of our property is under water and we’re going to have water on our place for another seven months.”
She said the bales of hay were exactly what her family needed to help them recover from the flooding event.
“We’re just so grateful for this hay,” Ms Beard said.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said flood affected farmers are facing a difficult recovery that will last well after Christmas.
“Rural Aid has brought back its Buy a Bale campaign, which was first created in the Millennium Drought, to help raise funds to support farmers impacted by these record-breaking floods,” Mr Warlters said.

“Rural Aid predicts at least a two to three-year recovery for communities, with the funds required to adequately support farmers and families estimated to be in excess of $50 million.
 “We’re ready to execute an extensive recovery support program based on a tried and tested approach, but we need as much help as we can get.
“Christmas is going to be an enormously difficult time for thousands of our farming families.
Mr Warlters said Rural Aid is proud to have supported our farmers with two hay deliveries the past week in Rochester, Victoria and Forbes, New South Wales, which have eased some of the burdens facing primary producers.
In addition to hay, Rural Aid has also been providing flood-affected farmers with financial support, counselling, drinking water deliveries and volunteer assistance.
Mr Warlters thanked the Australian public for its generosity in supporting our mates in the bush.
“We’ve asked Australians to Buy a Bale for Christmas and they’ve donated generously to improve our farmers’ lives,” Mr Warlters.
“Rural Aid also been buoyed by the support of businesses like Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations that donated $150,000 to Rural Aid’s flood appeal.
“There is still time to donate to help our farmers this Christmas. Every dollar makes a difference to the lives of the farmers who put food the Christmas food on our table and the clothes on our backs,” Mr Warlters finished.

To support Rural Aid or make a donation go to: www.buyabale.com.au

For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757. 
 
About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. Rural Aid provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au

Australians have been urged not to forget the thousands of families impacted by the most expensive flood in the nation’s history in the delicate weeks leading up to Christmas, as trusted charity, Rural Aid, prepares to deploy assistance measures to some of the communities hardest hit by this natural catastrophe.
Much of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia was subjected to record rainfall between September and November, with more than 130 local government areas (LGAs) declared disaster zones.
More than $5.5 billion in damages have been recorded so far – more than any other flooding event in Australia’s history – as the dire consequences for regional communities become a harsh reality.
The true cost is estimated to be significantly higher given farmers may not have been insured for many of the losses incurred and there remains limited information as to the ongoing loss of income thousands of rural businesses will suffer.
Trusted charity Rural Aid has relaunched its Buy a Bale fundraiser in response to the disaster, and will team up with the Rapid Relief Team to support a Farmer’s Community Connect event in Rochester to help flood-affected Victorian farmers.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the event is a chance for farmers to come together for support.

“These floods have had unprecedented impact on rural Australians – families are losing their homes and livelihoods and entire towns are being wiped out,” Mr Warlters said.
“It is difficult to measure the true toll the floods are taking, and will continue to take, on impacted farmers and communities – many of whom have experienced drought, bushfires and multiple flooding events in just the past four years.
“Our immediate concern is the mental health and wellbeing of families in the leadup to Christmas, however, once the emergency subsides, communities face a long and challenging road to recovery.”
Rural Aid’s registered mental health counsellors will be at the event, where farmers can register for free A-grade, feed-tested hay while enjoying a free BBQ lunch and connecting with local service providers.
Rochester is located in Campaspe – one of the 55 disaster-declared LGA’s across Victoria.
Almost 500,000 hectares of farmland have been flooded across the state, an area equivalent to more than half the size of Melbourne, wiping millions of dollars from farm incomes and causing immeasurable stress on rural families.
There is now also a growing possibility the flood event will be protracted and episodic with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above average rainfall from December to January in many of the already impacted areas.
“This particular event poses a unique challenge in that unlike the drought, where some farmers were better prepared or could take steps to manage the impact, this has been sudden and widespread,” said Mr Warlters.
“Additionally, the many years of droughts, floods and fires have left many families at breaking point.”

Farmer’s Community Connect
When: Thursday, 15 December 2022
Where: Rochester Recreation Reserve, Reserve Street, Rochester
Time: 7.00am to 3.00pm
To support Rural Aid or make a donation go to: www.buyabale.com.au

Media enquiries:
 
Ashleigh Whittaker, Rural Aid media officer
0447 116 757

John Warlters, Rural Aid CEO
0409 618 641
 
More about Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. Rural Aid provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au 

The dire flood crisis continuing to grip huge areas of land and communities within New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia has prompted the urgent relaunch of Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale rescue campaign in the lead up to Christmas.
Thousands of rural families face a bleak festive season, with recovery from what has been deemed Australia’s most expensive flood event hampered by ongoing rain across the more than 130 local government areas already declared disaster zones.
Rural Aid has now made an urgent plea for donations through the Buy a Bale program, which first came to prominence when it raised $100 million for drought-affected farmers between 2015 and 2020.
Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters, said the scale of this disaster made it necessary to bring Buy a Bale back.

“These floods have had unprecedented impact on rural Australians – families are losing their homes and livelihoods and entire towns are being wiped out,” Mr Warlters said.
“Hay supplies are running out and stranded animals are drowning and starving. Crops are rotting in the ground.
“It’s time to bring Buy a Bale back, not only to provide much-needed fodder deliveries, but also to offer financial assistance, clean drinking water, volunteer and counselling support to Aussie farming families facing this crisis.”
Rural Aid predicts at least a two to three-year recovery for communities, with the funds required to adequately support farmers and families estimated to be in excess of $50 million.
With concerns the extent of the disaster has not been fully communicated to policy makers, corporate Australia and the broader community, Mr Warlters is urging governments and private donors to commit to prioritising the wellbeing of affected communities.
“We’re ready to execute an extensive recovery support program based on a tried and tested approach, but we need as much help as we can get,” he said.
“With the generous support of the broader community, we can help keep our farmers going, get them back on track, keep homegrown produce on our tables, and stand with our mates in regional Australia.
“These families need help, and they need it now. Without it, they face a frightening and uncertain time as the rest of the country gears up to celebrate Christmas.”

Deniliquin farmer and Rural Aid board member, Airlie Landale, said the floods have been catastrophic.
“It is now summer, yet it still feels like winter is rolling on and haunting us. It feels wrong to be speaking about too much rain, but these floods have taken a toll on so many,” Ms Landale said.
“Farmers have lost thousands upon thousands of hectares of crop, producers have lost livestock, fences and their homes, and rural communities and businesses have been isolated and inundated with water.
“It will take months – if not years – for people to recover, but I know the strength and resilience of our rural people will once again shine though.”
All donations received by Rural Aid ensure the ongoing provision of critical economic and empathetic assistance to farmers, including the expansion of their national mental health and wellbeing program.
To support Rural Aid or make a donation go to: www.buyabale.com.au

Media enquiries:
Ashleigh Whittaker, Rural Aid media
0447 116 757

John Warlters, Rural Aid CEO
0409 618 641
 
More about Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au 

RECENT flooding across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia has been declared the most expensive in the nation’s history and a natural catastrophe by trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, as the dire consequences to regional communities become more clearly understood.
The flood, which made its way across the three states, including in key agricultural production zones, between September and November has already resulted in more than $5.5 billion in damages. The true cost, however, is estimated to be significantly higher given farmers may not have been insured for many of the losses incurred and there remains limited information as to the ongoing loss of income thousands of rural businesses will suffer.
In total, more than 130 local government areas (LGAs) have been disaster declared, including 55 of the 79 LGAs in Victoria and 78 of 128 in NSW.

There is now also a growing possibility the flood event will be protracted and episodic with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above average rainfall from December to January in many of the already impacted areas.
Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters, said there were immediate concerns for the wellbeing of affected families leading into the Christmas period and a growing feeling the ongoing impact of the flood event had not yet been grasped by policy makers, corporate Australia, and the broader community.
“This flood event has destroyed homes and livelihoods, wiping millions of dollars from farm incomes and causing immeasurable mental anguish and stress,” Mr Warlters said.
“It is difficult to measure the true toll the floods are taking, and will continue to take, on impacted farmers and communities – many of whom have experienced drought, bushfires and multiple flooding events in just the past four years.
“Our immediate concern is the mental health and wellbeing of families in the leadup to Christmas, however, once the emergency subsides, communities face a long and challenging road to recovery. It is imperative they are not forgotten in the process.”

Rural Aid predicts at least a two-year recovery for communities, with the funds required to adequately support farmers and families estimated to be in excess of $50 million.
This includes immediate assistance with fodder, clean water and cash payments; community activation of Rural Aid’s Farm Army of volunteers; and longer-term mental health support from its team of accredited counsellors.
In response to the unfolding disaster the organisation is relaunching its Buy a Bale fundraising campaign which was popular during the equally significant recent drought. Rural Aid has already sourced hay for the Central West NSW region and expects much more will be required in the months ahead.


Mr Warlters said Rural Aid stood ready to execute an extensive recovery support program, using a tried and tested approach, but would require both private and government funding to respond adequately to the families who need help.
“Rural Aid holds a deep connection with the nation’s farming families and has the ability to efficiently and effectively deliver assistance, including a team of accredited counsellors who are experienced in delivering unique, tailored on-farm counselling services,” Mr Warlters said.
“However, to deliver this at the scale required in this unprecedented instance, we critically need the support of the corporate sector, the public and both State and Federal governments to commit to prioritising the wellbeing of affected communities.

“We’ve always been overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians in supporting our programs that help farmers in need.
“This particular event poses a unique challenge in that unlike the drought, where some farmers were better prepared or could take steps to manage the impact, this has been sudden and widespread. Additionally, the many years of droughts, floods and fires have left many families at breaking point.
“If you’re in a position to do so, please consider making a donation and helping them get back on their feet as they navigate a very difficult journey ahead.”

To support Rural Aid or make a donation go to: www.buyabale.com.au

Media enquiries:

John Warlters, CEO Rural Aid
M: 0409 618 641
E:john.warlters@ruralaid.org.au


More about Rural Aid
Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Rural Aid has the systems, processes and strong focus on governance to be a crucial partner for government, both state and Federal, in delivering immediate assistance and long-term support.