Cattle from a property where drought assistance has been needed in the past.
Cattle from a property where drought assistance has been needed in the past. File

Where is all drought money going? Tony Stewart wants answers

THE Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners are now into their fourth year of helping the communities in south-west Queensland by putting food on the table.

Gympie Mayor Prayer breakfast Marlene Owen and Tony Stewart.
Gympie Mayor Prayer breakfast Marlene Owen and Tony Stewart. Renee Albrecht
Gympie Australia Day Awards, Citizen of the Year Tony Stewart.
Gympie Australia Day Awards, Citizen of the Year Tony Stewart. Renee Albrecht

They do this by donating pre paid vouchers, purchasing hay and other fodder, paying rates and other bills.

I can only report the situation is getting worse.

Senator Bridget McKenzie was the first politician to take up the offer from BIRRR to experience first-hand the work by the BIRRR team, and toured the Alpha area to personally experience the effects of drought and life in a small rural community.
THE Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners are now into their fourth year of helping the communities in south-west Queensland by putting food on the table. Contributed

I have to thank so many people again for your continued support in supplying groceries, stock feed, clothing and donations of cash.

I have now been away for two weeks and have seen a lot of this huge country, speaking to many people about the situation that is unfolding in other states as well as Queensland.

In Central New South Wales I was caught in a massive dust storm and was nearly blown off the road before taking shelter.

This brought back memories of the 1968 drought in Victoria when you couldn't see the white road lines for dust.

I must let you know that some of the charity groups including ours have been criticised by certain town businesses and organisations from out west for taking food etc to farmers and not providing cash so it can be spent in towns.

Well I say bugger them and soon I may name them. Some of these organisations are more intent on raising money to send overseas.

Just last month I sent 50 x $100 pre paid vouchers to Longreach.

The money the public donated, where has it gone?

I know of farmers in a six year drought that have not received a cent.

And worse, I know of one lady with two children who had a $3000 rates bill paid and received 3 x $1500 vouchers all donated from an organisation and (government funded) and your money.

A Royal Commission into this fiasco would be a waste of money but answers are needed into where all donations have gone.

With an election looming the alternative government is not renowned for helping those on the land and funding could tighten further.

Please keep supporting organisations like Drought Angels, Burrumbuttock Hayrunners, St Vinnies, Local CWAs and Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners as at least you know where your dollars are going.

With no rain systems in sight as I write we must continue to support our farmers and a big thank you to all that have given so far.

If anyone can donate, our Gympie BOQ branch, along with Drakes in Gympie and local IGAs will accept.

Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners BSB 124001. A/C 22599186. Tony Stewart 0408767930.