Untapped bounty used for drought relief

Article image - Untapped bounty used for drought relief Volunteers who delivered the hay, Ipswich Waste drivers Justin South and Shane Hall, shake hands with grateful

Ipswich City Council staff are behind a heartfelt initiative that is making a difference to Queensland farming families in need.

On 20 October council staff delivered a load of hay to a drought-stricken farm nominated by the Aussie Helpers charity.

It was the second load of 36 bales to go to a farmer in need as part of the ongoing council staff-led initiative.

The hay campaign started when Waste Services employee, Justin South, and Works, Parks and Recreation mechanic, Brett Kerle, saw the large grassed areas owned by council, slashed or mowed to reduce fire risk and left to decompose.

That cut grass could be baled and transported to areas in desperate need from the drought

Unfortunately winter frosts had killed off a lot of the viable grass, so in the meantime Council’s 1300 staff held a fundraising campaign, raising more than $4000 which Council matched dollar-for-dollar.

Hay was purchased from Marburg, Council provided transport, and experienced staff volunteered to deliver it to farms nominated by Aussie Helpers charity.

The first load of hay went to a family-owned dairy farm outside Goombungee, and the second load to a beef producer north of Allora.

The Council initiative is set to become an ongoing commitment as spring grasses start to grow.

Already Council is identifying its grassed areas across Ipswich that would be suitable to slash, bale and transport.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Dill, said the staff were proud of the hay initiative and it was fully supported by all levels of the organisation.

“There is much compassion and generosity within Ipswich City Council, with staff who are proud to support our community and those well outside our area.

“Staff have really gone above and beyond with this initiative. It just makes sense but needed initiative and drive to make it happen.

“ICC staff have lead by example and hopefully other southeast Queensland councils will follow.”