RACQ Foundation helps drought-stricken farmers

A team of RACQ Foundation volunteers has returned from a week in Charleville where they helped farmers doing it tough because of drought.

RACQ Foundation spokesperson Renee Smith said the group of six mechanics repaired farming machinery and household equipment on seven properties.

“The RACQ Foundation volunteers put in a lot of hard work, fixing 28 vehicles, four bikes, two generators and a trailer,” she said.

“These vehicles are the work horses of modern day properties and as one farmer explained, they can’t make money without them.”

As well as boosting means of income, Ms Smith said the project was about raising spirits.

“Farmers admit their stock levels have halved, they have no cash to spare and they’re having to live day by day to make ends meet, as a result of this four year drought,” she said.

“An important part of this trip was that our volunteers stayed on Charleville properties. This gave them the opportunity to get to know the farmers, spend some quality time with them and really come to understand what they’re going through.

“More than just fixing equipment, we wanted to show the farmers that those in other parts of Queensland care about their plight.”

Applications are currently open for the latest round of RACQ Foundation drought funding for community organisations.

The RACQ Foundation was set up in response to the 2011 floods to assist victims of natural disasters. Since its inception, more than $7 million has been donated to 160 community organisations across Queensland.

The Charleville Drought Project was undertaken alongside volunteers from Frontier Services, Qantas and Rotary Australia.