Drought Support GLENRAC Style

Providing support to drought & bushfire affected landholders and working with partner organisations to distribute donations

Drought Support GLENRAC Style

Providing support to drought & bushfire affected landholders and working with partner organisations to distribute donations

Community Participation

The issue

Our community has been in the grips of severe drought conditions for more than 12 months with many primary producers having to either destock or spend significant amounts of money on livestock fodder and increasingly on livestock water. The ongoing costs and lack of cash flow is having an impact on the whole community. In late 2019 many parts of our region were affected by a number of bushfires, resulting in loss of lives, loss of homes, as well as significant areas of farmland and bushland being burnt.

The need for support and resources is increasing, and while there are generous organisations and communities in other parts of NSW and Victoria who are providing donations of all manner of items, there is a need for coordination to ensure distribution in a timely and equitable way. GLENRAC have been identified by many of these organisations as an effective mechanism, and to be able to manage the coordination GLENRAC requires funding to pay for staff time.

The solution

Funding from Community Underwriting Small Grants enabled GLENRAC to deliver support and services to the rural communities of the Glen Innes district, for a period of 10 weeks in early 2020. This has seen a part-time Drought Support Officer assisting primary producers, small business and other community members to access resources during challenging times.  There are a number of federal, state and non government administered assistance funds available, these all have application processes of varying levels of difficulty.  Landholders focussed on feeding livestock and carting water often don't have the time, and in some cases the capability due to issues like poor internet service, no document scanner or lack of computer skillls, so need assistance to not only navigate the diversity of assistance programs available but to also fill in the forms and provide supporting documentation.

The impact

In this 10 week period from mid January to end of March 2020, the Drought Support Officer assisted 42 landholders with filling in and submitting forms to access assistance from a number of agencies including NSW Rural Assistance Authority, Rural Aid, Salvation Army and Country Womens Association.  They also worked with numerous charitable organisations, like Lions, Rotary, CWA and RSPCA that were receiving donations of food, toiletries, bottled water, working dog food, pet food, clothing, school bag packs, gift vouchers and swim packs to ensure that they reached those rural landholders and community members in need.

This support complemented the other drought work that GLENRAC has been delivering in the regular local "Smoko with Friends" events in villages and localities and "Time Out From the Dry" dinners bringing rural communities together during challenging times.

Key facts

  • 42 landholders helped to access drought support
  • Worked with partner organisations CWA, Lions, Rotary, RSPCA
  • Distributed donations of 100 bags of working dog food, 42 school bag packs, 60 ten litre containers of water and much more

Project Partners