SUPPORT STILL NEEDED: Chief Baconeer Kathryn Stevens delivers a $16,000 cheque to Graham House's Linda O'Hare to help farmers in need.
SUPPORT STILL NEEDED: Chief Baconeer Kathryn Stevens delivers a $16,000 cheque to Graham House's Linda O'Hare to help farmers in need. Elaelah Harley

'We can't forget them': Farmers still need help

IN 2018 there was a big push to rally around our farmers through the drought and the South Burnett community responded to the call.

Farmers in the region continue to require funding and Linda O'Hare from Graham House Community Centre said it was important to remember they still needed support.

"We have got to keep reminding the community that it was good to have the fund raisers but the money goes quickly," she said.

"It is important to remember that the farmers are working every day, they are doing it really tough and we can't forget them."

In 2018 Graham House distributed $9000 to farmers from Coolabunia to Murgon, which was raised at Kingaroy Red Ants Drought Relief fund raiser, $3000 from Bill Hull Car Centre and $850 of food vouchers from CASTRA and Southern Cross Care.

The funds were distributed to stone fruit, grape and crop farmers who suffered loss in the storms but did not meet the criteria for drought assistance from the Department of Communities.

The region's pig farmers shared in $16,000 raised during BaconFest to support them in a tough market.

"The support we got from the community through BaconFest and the Red Ants fundraiser was amazing and made such a huge difference because it was close to Christmas and it meant they were able to pay bills and buy food," Ms O'Hare said.

In 2019 the department of communities will not be funding drought support and Ms O'Hare is looking into other options to assist farmers including funding from the QCWA.

"It a bit heart breaking because the farmers still need funding," she said.

"There was a lot of money given to QCWA at the end of last year for the farmers that are coming through and I am scrolling through to find any other drought funding because it hasn't gone away and they are all really doing it tough."

From August to November 2018 the QCWA distributed over $6,380,000 to 2055 applicants since the Queensland Drought Appeal commenced.

Some farmers are eligible for Farm Household Allowance from the Australian Government but due to property value others do not meet the requirements.

"There has been a little of grass growing for the cattle to eat but the price of grain hasn't come down," Ms O'Hare said.

"None of those organisations are in Murgon so it done online and farmers aren't renowned for going online or asking for help at the best of times."

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