Generous support coming in for farmers affected by bushfires

Producers around the state have thrown their support behind farmers affected by the recent bushfires in the Junee district and other parts of the Riverina, donating fodder and grain and making agistment available.

Department of Primary Industries' (DPI's) Emergency Response Coordinator Graeme Eggleston said more than 1600 tonnes of hay had been donated from farmers from as far as South Australia.

“The fodder drive for those affected by these latest bushfires, which is being coordinated by the NSW Farmers Association and the NSW DPI, has had an excellent early response, with calls of donations continuing to be received,” he said.

“In addition to the donation of a large amount of hay, there has also been 100 tonne of grain donated. These donations will be distributed to those farmers affected by the bushfires for use as emergency stock fodder for their surviving livestock.

“There has also been more than 4,700 hectares in agistment offered to the fodder donation register which will help provide additional feed sources for livestock in the affected areas.”

Mr Eggleston said anyone still wishing to donate fodder or offer agistment should contact fodder donation hotline on 02 6938 1892.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being finalised for an information evening and BBQ being organised by Junee Shire Council for those families and landholders affected by the New Year’s Day bushfires.

The social gathering will be held at the Illabo Showground Hall on Wednesday, 11th January starting 7pm. Staff from a range of organisations including the NSW DPI, NSW Farmers’ Association and Rural Assistance Authority will be on hand to offer recovery advice. More information contact 02 6924 8144.

Mr Eggleston said it was important farmers affected by the fires were made aware of the range of services available to help them start their recovery process.

“NSW DPI staff will continue working in close cooperation with the NSW Farmers’ Association, Rural Lands Protection Boards, the Rural Fire Service and other organisations to provide advice and assistance to those affected by these bushfires,” Mr Eggleston said.

A summary of the damage caused by the New Year’s Day fire near Junee follows:

  • 25,200 ha burned
  • Approx. 200 properties affected
  • 7 houses burnt out
  • 4 shearing sheds burnt out
  • Large amount of hay and silage destroyed
  • several headers destroyed
  • about 20,000 sheep killed (all stock estimates include those that had to be destroyed)
  • about 100 cattle killed
  • 4 alpacas killed
  • 2 horses killed
  • estimate 1500 km fencing severely damaged
  • 20 hectares un-harvested crop burned.

Landholders affected by fires at Boorowa, Weddin and Crookwell are also receiving assistance.

Media contact: Trudy Glasgow 02 6391 3312 or 0427 217 354