Australian families are hurting, and no one is listening.
Last night I watched a program where author, poet and bush advocate Sandy Thorne was interviewed by Peter Beattie and Alan Jones. For half an hour Sandy spoke from the heart with more expletives than I have seen on national television for a long time – and it was so refreshing. She shared her pain about the drought conditions that have caused incredible suffering for those Australians living in those areas impacted in NSW and Queensland.
Sandy spoke with passion, sincerity and wonderful directness that has been missing from the mainstram media. I felt immense pride in hearing her words – but a sense of shame too. Shame because I didn’t realise conditions were quite so bad. As a city slicker I am ashamed to say that my understanding of this issue was minimal at best.
Just for a moment imagine that you are a farmer.
It has not rained for three years and your livestock are dying.
You haven’t received an income for two years and you need help, but no one is listening.
You have started to think about the life insurance policy you have and that maybe your family would be better off without you.
That all sounds a little out there but the reality is that there are many farmers in rural Australia that have lived in severe drought for three years, many of whom haven’t received an income for upwards of two years and have borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep their livestock and future alive.
I can’t even imagine the struggle or hardships they are confronted with every day.
Families are hurting. Australian Families.
There are so many ways that we can help.
Firstly the Federal Goverment needs to recognise that a drought of this magnitude is a natural disaster. It’s destroying the lives of those it touches as surely as a cycline or tsunami. The time for action is N O W.
If funding is difficult to find then look no further than the foreign aid budget. Australian families need our help Prime Minister Abbott and Premiers Baird and Palaszczuk and your responsibility begins at home. These people need funds for feed and water for their livestock, and to put food on their table.
Outside of sharing this article we should all write to our local Federal and State MP asking them to take action now, and for protection from banks when the cycle turns – as it surely will.
Finally we need to lend a hand by kicking in a few dollars. More on that when a solution that is reliable, effective and resourced becomes available. This may take the form of a levy on all tax payers, crowd sourcing or a donation.
Please let me know anything you wish to share or if you have any ideas about how we can help. I am more than happy to create a template letter for you to send to you local member.