A young woman whose uncle in Oberon was one of the first farmers to receive part of Sutherland Shire Council’s Rural Aid ‘Buy a Bale’ donation of a semi-trailer of hay has shared her families touching story.
“When I told my uncle, his first response was ‘someone else deserves it more’. Then I said to him it’s on its way, you have to have it. Well it’s the first time in 12 months I have heard his happy voice back. He said ‘Well I better cancel the truck’, as he had arranged for 70 of his cattle to be picked up to sell. Now he can keep them. Thank you so much. He even said he has some of his 89 year old mum’s famous Anzac biscuits in the freezer she made a week ago that he was saving for a special occasion, so he said his going to pull them out and share with the truck driver to celebrate.”
“Touching stories like this one show just how much of an impact donations like ours are having on struggling farming families across New South Wales,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor, Cr Carmelo Pesce as he visited the town of Oberon on Wednesday.
During its August Council meeting, Sutherland Shire Council unanimously resolved to commit $47,500 to Rural Aid’s ‘Buy a Bale’ initiative, providing a donation of five semi-trailers full of hay to help struggling farming communities. Since then, the Sutherland Shire Community has also jumped on board, donating through Councils official ‘Buy a Bale’ donation page.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Pesce met with Oberon Mayor, Cr Kathy Sajowitz as one of the semi-trailers arrived into the small country town in central west NSW.
Mayor Pesce spoke with Mayor Sajowitz about the drought situation in Oberon and also presented food and fuel vouches for the local Council to distribute to families in need.
“I want to thank the Sutherland Shire Community for their donations, as that money has purchased the Shop Local food and fuel vouchers and I’d also like to thank Oberon Council for their help in making sure those donations are received where they are most needed.
“We now have four other semi-trailers full of hay heading out to different areas across that state, which will hopefully make a big difference to the lives of several other very worthy families.”
Mayor Sajowitz expressed how constantly amazed she is by the generosity of people.
“To donate a truck load of hay to a farmer in need hundreds of kilometres away has a huge positive impact,” she said.
“For the farmer this gift comes down to viability and the means to keep going… or not.
“To the residents of Sutherland Shire who have reached out, I can only say that on behalf of the Oberon Community, thank you so much.”
The remaining four semi-trailers will soon be visiting the towns of Denman (Upper Hunter Region), Wingham (inland Taree), Tooraweenah (north of Dubbo) and Broken Hill (far west NSW) to drop off special deliveries of hay on behalf of Sutherland Shire Council.