Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has closed applications for its $1 million mouse plague fund, with 1000 farmers set to benefit from the support.

Rural Aid opened the fund in June for farmers from many parts of the country whose livelihoods and incomes had been affected by the devastating mouse plague.

Each eligible farmer is being issued a $1000 pre-paid Visa card, which can be spent on whatever will help them recover from the mouse plague.
Mice numbers peaked in late autumn and early winter across most of eastern Australia.

Bingara farmer Robert Groth said he was very grateful to receive support from Rural Aid.

“Every little bit helps, my word it does,” Mr Groth said.
Mr Groth said he’d “never seen anything like it” during the peak of the plague.

“We got 54 mice in a trap on the veranda in one night. The worst thing is the smell of them,” Mr Groth said.

The mice numbers have largely steadied for now, which Rural Aid CEO John Warlters hopes will continue into spring.

“Rural Aid is proud to have been able to help farmers recover from yet another debilitating natural disaster,” Mr Warlters said.

“Applications for the $1 million fund are now closed. But Rural Aid will keep a close eye on mouse numbers into spring.”

Rural Aid is welcoming any farmers in need of assistance to get in touch. Rural Aid can be contacted on 1300 327 624, or by emailing contact@ruralaid.org.au

For interviews or more information, contact Ash Whittaker at Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au
Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has made the tough decision to postpone Coolah’s Our Towns event, that was due to take place next month.

Dozens of volunteers were planning to travel to Coolah to help with community-building works between the 8th and 14th of August.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the ongoing Covid-19 situation in New South Wales had forced the postponement.

“The safety of the Coolah community and the Rural Aid volunteers and staff is my highest priority,” Mr Warlters said.

“The current uncertainty and the recent tightening and extension of Covid-19 related restrictions in NSW meant delaying our visit was the best option under the circumstances.

“We understand this is disheartening for many, but we promise to return to Coolah with vigour when it’s safe to do so,” Mr Warlters said.
In the interim, Coolah’s leaders have vowed to continue chipping away at the early phases of the community-building works.

“I applaud the Coolah community for their initiative in kickstarting their town’s renewal using the Community Development Plan created in partnership with Rural Aid,” Mr Warlters said.

“The Rural Aid team is so excited to head to Coolah when restrictions permit. At this stage, the Our Towns week has been tentatively postponed until March 2022,” Mr Warlters said.

The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stronger Futures initiative. Rural Aid is heavily invested in strengthening rural communities through its multi-faceted Stronger Futures program- giving locals the resources and confidence needed to help their region thrive.

For interviews or more information, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

Leading rural charity Rural Aid has made the tough decision to indefinitely postpone its Our Towns week in Brewarrina.
Brewarrina’s Our Towns event was originally due to take place between July 4th and 10th 2021.

Unfortunately, due to the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation in Sydney and New South Wales, the Brewarrina event has been put on hold until further notice.

The Our Towns week would have seen dozens of volunteers travel to Brewarrina from all corners of Australia, to assist with vital community-building works.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said his thoughts are with New South Wales locals.
“Sadly, we’ve seen overnight that New South Wales has recorded 112 new cases of Covid-19,” Mr Warlters said.
“Rural Aid has always endeavored to keep the safety of rural communities, our volunteers and staff as its highest priority. With this is mind, Rural Aid is putting the Brewarrina Our Towns week on hold for now.”
“We know this is a disappointing result, so we would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding,” Mr Warlters said.
The Rural Aid team and Brewarrina community leaders are yet to settle on a new date for the Our Towns week. Due to the unpredictable nature of Covid-19, and backlogged schedules, the week may have to be put on hold until 2022.
“For now, all we can hope for is that the Covid-19 situation in New South Wales improves rapidly, and restrictions can be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so,” Mr Warlters said.

“We’ll be keeping the people of Brewarrina in our thoughts and we promise to be back with even more gusto than before!” Mr Warlters concluded.
The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stronger Futures initiative. Rural Aid is heavily invested in strengthening rural communities through its multi-faceted Stronger Futures program- giving locals the resources and confidence needed to help their region thrive.
For interviews or more information, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

A small South Australian town has come together to thank Rural Aid for its assistance over the past three years.    

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, purchased much of its drought relief hay from farmers in the Lock region since 2019.    

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said he’s very grateful to Lock farmers for providing huge quantities of much-needed hay to the driest corners of Australia.    

“Hay was hard to find in the middle of the drought,” Mr Warlters said.     “Rural Aid delivered thousands upon thousands of bales across Australia, thanks to the Lock growers.”   

“The contract is coming to an end, but we look forward to supporting this special part of South Australia in new ways.”   
Farmer Ty Habner has been supplying hay to Rural Aid for a few years.     After vicious frosts jeopardized the Lock economy, Ty said that knowing there was a market for his crop was a huge relief.    

“It was massive for us, just to have the option,” Mr Habner said.    

“And it’s good to know that it’s going to drought affected farmers. We’ve helped them and they’ve helped us. It’s good for the soul.”

Mick Hancock has been tasked with the logistics of delivering hay across Australia using his fleet of trucks at Hancock Farming Enterprises.    

“It’s famers supporting farmers,” Mr Hancock said.    

“Rural Aid bought a lot of hay at a decent price, and they weren’t taking advantage of people. Rural Aid purchased approximately 11 thousand tonnes of hay from around Lock, equating to $2.6 million dollars, which in turn provided further economic benefits to Lock.”

“The town of Lock is very grateful to Rural Aid,” Mr Hancock said.     The last bales are being trucked out of Lock today, headed for Narromine. The fodder will provide relief for mouse plague affected farmers.  

For more information, or interviews, please contact Ash Whittaker at Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

Australia’s leading rural charity Rural Aid has today delivered hay to farmers battling the ongoing mouse plague. 

Two road trains carrying 144 bales of hay arrived in Narromine this morning.   Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said most farmers receiving the hay had their stockpiles decimated by mice.  

“Mice have caused significant mental and financial heartache, especially in the Central West of New South Wales,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Entire sheds of hay have been reduced to unusable piles of toxic straw, that farmers are forced to burn. Grain has been eaten from the ground it was planted in, and homesteads over run.”  “It really is a living nightmare for our resilient farmers,” Mr Warlters said.   Narromine farmer Scott Richardson said it’s been a draining year. 

“I loaded up my shed with hay, but I’ve already burnt hundreds of bales so far. And I can’t even pick up the rest of it. The mice have destroyed it,” Mr Richardson said.   “We’ve just come out of drought and we try to be self-sufficient. This hay drop will go a long way to helping with that.” 

Earlier this week, Rural Aid committed $1 million to support farmers during the ongoing mouse plague. 

Primary producers who’ve been affected by the mouse plague can access a special $1000 emergency payment from the new fund.  

“The money can be spent on whatever will help the farmers get back on their feet,” Mr Warlters said.

“Some farmers will spend the money on new linen, others will spend it on a new fridge or more baits.” 

To find out more about the mouse plague fund, or to check eligibility, visit www.ruralaid.org.au/mouseplague

For interviews or more information, contact Ash Whittaker from Rural Aid media at 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au