Many regions are doing it tough at the moment.
Was it only seven years ago that Cyclone Yasi struck bringing images describing miles of floodwaters dotted with tiny islands with groups of bedraggled sheep huddled together waiting for their rescue, to headline the news?
But the floodwaters that made their slow and immutable way to the Coorong that year were also life saving.
But then came Cyclone Debbie with its devastating winds and more water than the rivers and dams could hold, and yet most of that, seemingly ended up back in the Pacific Ocean where it had come from. Not much use to Cloncurry or Boulia or Cobar.
The seasons continue to cycle around and another drought is in full swing, grinding most of the country to dust in its tortuous grip.
Once again farmers across New South Wales and Queensland are watching their sheep and cattle die.
As politicians gain exposure doing their tours of duty to gain first hand experience of the misery in the bush, Local Governments not directly affected are showing their compassion by generously donating thousands of their own dollars to those who are.
Leading the way is Wollongong whose Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery AM, said Council’s donation of $10,000 on behalf of rate payers gave recognition to the challenges farmers and their families are facing.
“It’s a way we can say ‘we’re with you’.’’
With LGAQ’s donation of $20,000, President Mark Jaimeson acknowledged the broader and longer lasting effects of the disaster.
He said that while the devastation that primary producers had suffered remained the public face of the drought, their plight was shared by the small businesses, families and workers in towns and cities who relied on a healthy rural and regional economy for their own well-being.
Circular Head Council, Tasmania, has pledged a $4000 donation to farmers up north and challenged local businesses and community groups to match the donation through community fundraising endeavours.
Council will extend the challenge to other Tasmanian councils via a letter to the LGAT for a combined gesture of goodwill.
LG NSW is connecting councils seeking drought-related assistance with others – particularly from the metropolitan councils – who can provide it, in addition to assistance being provided through sister council and other cooperative arrangements.
LG NSW President, Linda Scott, said the association was aware of councils seeking support in the form of staff, plant and equipment, such as borrowing water tankers and drivers for short periods.
They had also received inquiries from councils keen to help.
Those councils within drought affected areas are finding creative ways of supporting their residents with fund raising efforts like Mackay’s ‘Parma for a farmer’ deal, Isaac’s Mayoral Charity Gala, making available free potable water and cartage, reducing or waiving council fees and charges for those families suffering hardship.
It might be that the individual dollar amounts raised or discounts offered won’t feed the herd or save the farm mortgage from the bank, even the offer of $12,000 from former Prime Minister Turnbull may seem insignificant in the greater scheme, but its not nothing. It’s often all that a person or a council can afford to give this time.
And the goodwill extended has no dollar value.