Tasmanian farmers to deliver about 300 tonnes of hay to New South Wales

When a Cressy farmer loaded 20 tonnes of hay onto his truck, it was too wet and he nearly got bogged, but it will be a stark contrast on delivery. 

On Sunday, Matthew Bayles and 12 other trucks started their journey to central New South Wales where they will deliver 260 tonnes of hay to drought-stricken farmers. 

The round-trip would normally cost about $130,000, but Mr Bayles said it was “just the Australian way”. 

“It’s all part of being Australian. Everyone helps each other and that’s what makes Australia go round,” he said. 

“There are going to be two or three other trucks meet up with us outside of Melbourne too and drive up with us.”

Mr Bayles said it was ironic when he was loading the truck. 

“To get it loaded I couldn’t get the truck in there because it was too wet. I had to go and get a trailer and cart it onto solid ground,” he said. 

“I had a real struggle getting it loaded from where it was. But that’s all part of it. I know there are a lot of places that have donated stuff that was probably wet when they wanted to get to it, too.” 

In each truck, there will be a tub of donated food and supplies. Katherine Bayles, who is part of Ulverstone’s Boot Scootin’ Devils’ line dancing club and Tuesday Craft organised the groceries to be donated. 

“I started off thinking a beer-box sized hamper would be great, and then these two groups just bombarded me with donations,” she said. 

The devils also made a $5000 donation to the truckies for fuel.  

Glenn Phillips was the brains behind the donation and said the idea started with a couple of guys sitting around having a chat. 

“One guy said ‘I wouldn’t mind taking some hay up’ and I thought that was a pretty good idea too, so I asked my mate if I could borrow one of his trucks and he said ‘only if I can drive the other one’,” Mr Phillips said. 

“Then I put something up on social media and suddenly it was four trucks, eight trucks and then 14.” 

Mr Phillips said he expected a “pretty positive” reaction from the farmers. 

“The guys taking it up are all farmers themselves so it’s a cause pretty close to their hearts.” 

He said Woolworths had also donated 100 gift cards vauled at $300 each, as well as the public donating fuel and other donations.

The trip will take about a week.

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