Farmers lend a hand to Coonabarabran fire victims

TWO farmers are stepping up to lend a hand to Coonabarabran producers devastated by bushfires.

Rob McLeod and Geoff Daymond have organised a fodder drop to be delivered to affected farmers and their livestock in the next couple of days. 

Bushfires ravaged the area in north-western NSW last week, destroying homes, crops and livestock as it passed through.

Mr McLeod said he initially saw the devastation of the Yass fires on television and, after talking to his wife, decided they would donate bales of hay to help out farmers in the area.

“I wanted to do something to help the farmers at Yass, so I just rang the DPI [Department of Primary Industries] donation line and said I’ve got 300 bales of hay,” he said.

Mr McLeod said the DPI assessed the statewide situation and decided the fodder was most needed at Coonabarabran.

“The DPI said that’s where it needed to go, which was a bit further than what I could cart it,” he said.

“Geoff Daymond then donated some more hay to fill the load, and said he will get it to Coonabarabran.”

Mr McLeod commended the work the DPI and Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) do in such situations.

“Most farmers try and pitch in and help out, but the DPI and LHPA are right in the thick of it,” he said, adding he hoped his donation would help spur other people on to do what they could to lend a hand to farmers caught up in the fires.

“We were involved in the fire at Rock Forest a couple of years ago, and it really came home to us how devastating it is,” he said.

“We were leasing that place, we didn’t own it, but we saw first-hand the damage a fire can do.

“This time we are in a position to help, and we’re happy to do it.”

Central Tablelands Livestock Health and Pest Authority chair John Seaman said it was the sort of generosity shown by Mr McLeod and Mr Daymond that made him feel proud to be a Bathurstian.

“So many people from Bathurst are trying to help where they can. You’ve got the Lions Club, those two men from council [councillors Bobby Bourke and deputy mayor Ian North have organised a whitegoods appeal], St Vincent de Paul and other groups all making a great effort to help, and they’re all from Bathurst,” he said.

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