The Laidley community is continuing to enjoy a host of cattle and horse events at the local showgrounds after last year’s floods, thanks to repairs and a $25,000 helping hand from the RACQ Foundation.
Having managed the showgrounds for the past 122 years, the Laidley Agricultural and Industrial Society suffered a severe knock during Queensland’s "summer of horror".
The creek bank behind the showgrounds broke due to the sheer ferocity of the floodwaters which damaged the main ring, wooden posts and the horses’ stables and washed away the back fence.
The caretakers’ residence went under, leaving husband and wife team Daryl and Dalray McCarthy, who look after the showgrounds and organise events, homeless.
However, thanks to the local council, which donated a house, and the RACQ Foundation, which covered the cost of making the house liveable, the McCarthys will soon be able to move out of the temporary tin structure they have been residing in since the flood, and into their new home.
"When I heard we would receive funding from the RACQ Foundation I stood up and did a happy happy dance," Mrs McCarthy said. "It’s very cold out here and the difference between having a tin humpy and a house is huge. It just makes you live again.
"Without the RACQ Foundation funding we couldn’t have done it. We’re the trustees of the showground and we hold auctions, car boot sales and horse shows to pay the bills and it’s all volunteer work."
Mrs McCarthy said every time a business re-opened after the floods it encouraged those who were still rebuilding and helped to boost morale in the community.
"The whole town was affected by the flood and everyone came together," she said. "A couple of businesses were closed for a long time and each time a new one re-opened it gave the community a bit of a lift and encouragement."
RACQ’s Executive Manager External Communications, Lynda Schekoske, said the RACQ Foundation had approved approximately $6 million to more than 100 community groups throughout Queensland since it was set up in January 2011.
"The Foundation’s primary purpose is to help affected community organisations recover and charity organisations to provide ongoing assistance to flood and cyclone victims," Ms Schekoske said.
"Community organisations impacted by the floods or severe weather events can apply for funding up to $200,000 per project to repair, replace or rebuild damaged properties, buildings, equipment and assets."
Ms Schekoske encouraged those still recovering from flood damage to submit an application to the RACQ Foundation before the next deadline of 31 August.
For more information, visit www.racq.com/foundation.