Australian agriculture has had many highs and lows this year however a defining moment in 2018 for Australian farmers was the Drought Appeal helping farmers through the worst drought in living memory.
On the 2 August the National Farmers’ Federation joined forces with Rotary Australia and Channel Nine’s The Today Show to create the 2018 Drought Relief Fund.
Within 24 hours of the donation lines opening more than $150,000 was raised to help struggling farmers.
On the 20th August The Today Show hosted the Farm Aid Live Telethon broadcast live from the Dubbo Showgrounds in NSW.
More than $7.6 million was raised through generous donations from the public and from Aussie celebrities alike.
“What a privilege to spend the day with farmers and their families,” Karl said.
“To hear their stories and to see their struggle has been so humbling. This was an incredible event to be a part of and the response from people right across Australia was awesome. I want to thank every single person who gave their hard-earned dollars to help our farmers. And I want our farmers to know our coverage of this crisis will continue.”
A staggering $10,031,467 was raised to support drought-stricken farmers since the Appeal launched on 2 August.
The donations were administered by Rotary Australia and are were distributed to farmers in need by the NFF.
These organisations help farming families suffering from the affects of drought with household expenses and necessities, transport bales of hay from around the nation and instill hope into the hearts of many struggling communities.
Long after the media attention on drought has faded, we're still assisting farmers in drought with their household…
Thanks to the media hype the dire circumstances of Australia’s farmers caught the attention of the Prime Ministers with Malcolm Turnbull announcing immediate additional financial support of $12 million to drought-affected farming families.
The Morrison Government then announced relief in the form of tax write-offs, low interest loans, faster processing of applications for help and support for regional communities. Major General Stephen Day was also appointed as the National Drought Coordinator as a part of the Morrison Government changes.
It's Major General Stephen Day's first week on the job as National Drought Coordinator. He's already got his sleeves rolled up and getting stuck in. pic.twitter.com/LFugV7Wi22
— David Littleproud (@D_LittleproudMP) August 21, 2018
Farmers are able to access drought relief funding from the Federal and State Government as well as from charities and organisations by visiting the AustralianFarmers campaign page.
On 26 October a National Drought Summit was held in Canberra where representatives from all levels of government, the farming and agribusiness sector, banking and finance services, community and charitable organisations and other relevant experts gathered to discuss how to better manage the drought in Australia.
As a result of the Drought Summit a $5 billion Future Drought Fund to build the drought resilience of farmers and communities. A ‘Farm Hub’ forum was also announces, which is a one-stop, online portal for all drought support information.
Scott Morrison (ScoMo) speaking after today’s Drought Summit in Canberra.
Posted by National Farmers' Federation on Thursday, 25 October 2018
As the NFF President, Fiona Simson, says: “we are approaching drought relief as a marathon and not a sprint,” and despite some significant recent downpours, we are far from declaring the drought over.
Thank you to everyone who showed their support and generosity during the Drought Appeal campaign and who are continuing to display it today and into the future.