Article submitted by Martin van Elst – Rotary Club of Bairnsdale
 
As many of our followers will be aware, our club has been helping farmers during this terrible drought since August 2018 and have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from Rotarians and the general public.
 
Now East Gippsland has to deal with the fires that have ravaged country and farms already affected by the drought. Our club continues to support these farmers and will honour our commitment to see this through until it is all over.
 
Since 1 January 2020, we have joined with the other four Rotary clubs in East Gippsland to maximise the assistance that we can offer to those affected by the fires. Our member Rex, who is in charge of the distribution of donated hay to drought affected farms through our Farmers Relief project, is now using his contacts to distribute donated hay to fire affected farms.
 
The fires have taken a lot of the focus off the drought and some recent rains have eased the situation somewhat, but more hot days or winds negate the good of the rain. We are still focused on helping our drought affected farmers (yes there are still many areas in need) and thank all of you out there who have offered support over the last 18 months.
 
      Some of the hay bales donated
         Bonnie Walker being inteviewed
 
On Tuesday 21st January, 350 bales of hay donated by Melbourne Water was delivered to us, freight free, and then sent straight on to those in need. Win TV was there to do an interview and photo shoot, and the result was on Nine News at 6pm that evening, providing great coverage.  
 
Donations are very welcome to:
The Rotary Club of Bairnsdale, Projects Account
BSB: 633-000     Account: 165960451
Ref: Drought Relief or Fire Aid - so that it goes to the correct cause.
 
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