“It’s just the Australian way.”
These are the words of Cressy farmer Matthew Bayles who is currently en route to drought-stricken farmers in NSW. With him is a convoy of 13 trucks carting about 20 tonnes of hay from Northern Tasmania.
The round-trip should cost about $130,000, but thanks to kind donations and fees waived the support effort is feasible.
Regardless of donations, it sounds as though the support mission would always happen. Because, as Mr Bayles said, it’s just the Australian way to offer help when help is needed.
Tasmania has been in drought recently.
The East Coast is experiencing a very dry season at the moment, not to the extreme of NSW, but enough to warrant close attention by the agriculture industry.
Tassie farmers have been through the wringer the last few years – floods, drought, more floods and a biosecurity threat of fruit fly for good measure.
During the natural disasters the first people to help those farmers were fellow Tasmanians, followed many people on the mainland.
In the past decade or so there has been value added to corporate social responsibility. People are more likely to support businesses who support the every day people.
Loyalty is what companies pursue. We are seeing this played out with people choosing to shop at various stores based on their efforts to support NSW at the moment. But more can always be done – particularly those institutions that make billions of dollars a year.
Australians have shown they are a loyal bunch. They support those who support the greater population.
With that said, we also roll up our sleeves and are willing to do the heavy lifting ourselves. The number of trucks heading to the mainland from Tassie is proof of this.
But don’t underestimate any gold coin you can give during this period. Every dollar can help provide support.
Unfortunately, history shows, there will be a time in the future where it will be us seeking help again.