WITH NSW farmers still struggling through drought, two central Victorian Rotary clubs have struck up an ongoing relationship with one small town.
A record breaking dry period has left farmers in Cobar NSW in dire straits, relying on bottled water for domestic use and carting water daily to feed stock.
But the Rotary clubs of Castlemaine and Eaglehawk have been doing their best to help farmers in the region get through the dry, supplying hay, water and essential items.
They've enlisted the technological aids, providing a desalination machine to take around from farm to farm.
Shannon Noll even jumped on board the relief efforts, throwing a concert in Cobar at the end of July.
The central Victorian Rotary clubs have donated 12 loads of hay to Cobar and the surrounding region since mid-2018.
Members have also visited the small town several times, to help with drought relief and facilitate a well-being weekend for Cobar's farmers.
Rotary Club of Castlemaine member Lyndal McClure has been among the Rotarians to travel up to NSW to help the drought affected community.
The members have visited Cobar several times since mid-2018, including to help the Royal Flying Doctor service run a well-being weekend.
Some have travelled by Mrs McClure's husband's little Cessna, cutting a seven hour drive to a two hour flight.
"When we went up there on the first trip, it was incredibly dry. There was no growth at all, it's really just barren land," Mrs McClure said.
"It's quite tree-ed up there out on the farms, there's a lot of trees, but certainly very little grass for the animals to eat."
The Bureau of Meteorology's latest map of drought affected areas shows much of NSW in severe or serious rainfall deficiency over the past 16 months, including Cobar.
The Murray Darling Basin has experienced its driest 31 months on record since January 2017.
The rotary clubs have sent fodder trucks out along the five main roads stretching out of Cobar to reach the region's farmers.
The clubs have also helped Cobar's 14-member-strong Rotary Club provide drought assistance packs to farmers. These contain the basics: groceries, essential items, water and dog food.
In April the clubs delivered a reverse osmosis machine to Cobar, direct from a business in Axedale.
The mobile unit can produce 25,000 litres of drinking water per day, meaning farmers can fill up their water containers to take some drinking water back to their properties.
She said the fodder was essential to helping farmers keep their breeding cattle and sheep, so they could re-establish their herds when the drought finished.
Drought is a defining feature of Australia and its impacts can be distressing and affect the whole community. So, what do we actually mean by "#drought"? Watch our new video or read the blog to learn about the different types of drought: https://t.co/ZHbx2Pww7upic.twitter.com/2muaASmMNe— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) August 2, 2019
The basic supply packs meant those struggling knew they could access essential items if they did need, she said.
And for the farmer's mental health, knowing there were people out there who cared was just as important, Mrs McClure said.
With continuing dry conditions, it looks like the drought support from central Victoria to NSW might need to continue, she said.
The clubs have told the Royal Flying Doctor Service that they're available to help further into the future.
"You go up and meet these people, they're wonderful people. These properties have been there for a long time," Mrs McClure said.
"They're passionate about their farms and the area they live in, and it's important that we help them."
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